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Did This Ever Really Happen ?

 
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dreenessOffline
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PostPosted: 17-07-2013 18:22    Post subject: Did This Ever Really Happen ? Reply with quote

confused


Some sources say yes, some sources say no.

From Weather Whys Blog:
Quote:
Hell Comes to Earth in 1859

The world record high temperature was recorded at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922 when an official weather observation registered 136 degrees Fahrenheit. Not far behind is the highest reading in the US (and western hemisphere) of 134 degrees at Greenland Ranch- Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913. But who would have guessed that the third hottest temperature of all time was near Santa Barbara, California?

A serene setting most of the time, Santa Barbara is a place where the weather remains fairly constant: beautifully pleasant. Oh, there is the May Gray and the June Gloom- low clouds and fog, but skies usually clear out in the afternoon. In fact, Santa Barbara is listed as 4th out of the top ten cities in the US for lack of changeable weather. “Reliably nice” might characterize it. But that wasn’t the case in the summer of 1859.

California had only been a state for 9 years and the country was on the verge of civil war back east. But on Friday June 17, 1859 the looming war would be forgotten in Goleta, just west of Santa Barbara on the California coast. The morning started with mild temperatures and a noticeable lack of traditional morning fog and clouds for that time of year. Winds were out of the northeast. By mid-morning it was unusually hot. The mercury had risen to the upper 80s and then around noon winds picked up out of the north. It quickly hit 100 degrees. Townsfolk were startled by the extremely hot wind coming down from the Santa Ynez Mountains. But they had no idea of what would transpire a short time later.

Around 1 PM strong winds likely gusting over 65 MPH from the northwest blasted the town with thick dust and temperatures near 130 degrees. Suffocating conditions lead the citizenry to consider this might be Judgment Day and the end of the world. It was a time of surreal paranoia as well as disarming fear. Nobody knew what was going on in this usually pastoral coastal region of about 2,500 residents. And it had happened rather suddenly. All semblance of normalcy was suspended as townspeople were agape with wonder while choking on the hot dust. Everyone attempted to escape this blast furnace of nature. The temperature reached its zenith at 2 PM, measured at 133 degrees. It was 130 degrees offshore on a US coastal survey vessel. Nothing like this had ever been experienced by anyone there. And the sights coastal inhabitants witnessed that afternoon would be reported, but not believed by many. Birds falling dead to the ground while in flight. Some birds in their attempt to escape the burning heat would dive into a well, only to drown. Cattle died under the shade of oak trees. Calves and rabbits died while on their feet. 3 PM and 4 PM, still the temperature was 130 degrees with a blinding dust storm. Fruit fell off trees. Vegetation was scorched and ruined. So terrible was the heat and the loud noise and the lack of breathable air, it seemed to be a plague of God. Daniel Hill, owner of Rancho La Goleta, gathered a number of people in an adobe to earnestly pray for it to end. But yet it went on, mercilessly. A dispatch from the Aquajitos Ranch reported a fisherman had rowed back to shore with blisters on his face and arms from the searing heat. The sun and sky could not be seen through the obscuring dust. Finally, by 5 PM the temperature had fallen a bit to 122 degrees with winds still strong but not as forceful as a few hours earlier. Then, at 7 PM the northwest winds ceased and the mercury rapidly fell to 77 degrees. It was over as suddenly as it had begun.

Residents of Santa Barbara were stunned by the unleashed fury of nature, but felt fortunate to simply be alive. They cautiously surveyed the damage in their town- the loss of livestock, horses, pets and other indigenous animals, not to mention the toll taken on their crops. It was an amazing event, unmatched at any time since. Santa Barbara has endured some tremendous natural disasters, including a great earthquake (estimated magnitude 7+) and tsunami in December 1812. But nothing can compare with the shear terror produced by this weather event. In the Santa Barbara Gazette it was referred to as the “Great Simoon”. A Simoon is an Arabian term, meaning “Poison” and is observed in the Sahara desert as an intensely hot dust storm wind. It often destroys everything in its path.

This simoon was what now is commonly called a Sundowner wind. These winds, similar to Santa Ana winds in other parts of southern California, are extreme features of a downslope wind. They are common in Kern County and often bring dusty and warm weather to the south valley ahead of a cold front. It is also the dynamic that causes our “rain shadow” when wet weather is approaching from the west with strong southerly winds around Bakersfield. For Santa Barbara in June 1859, very strong mid level winds were blowing north to south across the Santa Ynez range and a late season cold dry airmass has expanded over the Great Basin and interior California. The already dried air which had come into the foothills of the Sierra by way of a “Mono Wind” (dry northeasterly wind across the Sierra) would be further warmed and dried when forced over the Santa Ynez mountains south into Santa Barbara. It was a singular event. Many other Sundowners have occurred since, typically late in the day (hence its name)- but never of such intensity and renown. The 133-degree high temperature that day was the unofficial high temperature record for the US (only because “official” records weren’t established until 1870 with the founding of what would become the US Weather Bureau). More than 50 years would pass before Death Valley claimed the current title of hottest place in America, and that at a place you might expect it- in a desert below sea level. People still talk about the Great Simoon as if it were a legend or tall tale. But from the account of newspapers, ship logs, government records and many stories handed down from generation to generation- it really happened on an infamous Friday in June 1859.
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 17-07-2013 19:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

The local university's professors doubt it.
http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/events/department-news/771/goleta-s-great-simoon-of-1859/

"When asked, Professor Joel Michaelsen commented: “I have never found any outside source to validate Tompkins' story, and I am highly skeptical of its veracity. I don't doubt that strong hot, dry downslope winds could kick up lots of dust and produce very high temperatures - but in the 110 F - 115 F range at most. The 133 F just isn't physically reasonable, as it would require the creation of an extremely hot air mass somewhere to the northeast. Last Monday's weather was a very good strong example of the sort of conditions that would produce such a heat wave, and our temperatures topped out at least 20 degrees below Tompkins' figure. Stronger winds could have increased the heating a bit, but not nearly that much. Add to all that meteorologically-based skepticism Tompkins' well-known tendency to mix liberal doses of fiction into his 'histories,' and I think you have a strong case for discounting this one.”"
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dreenessOffline
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PostPosted: 18-07-2013 06:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another puzzling event that may or may not have ever really happened.


From MaltaStar.com
Quote:
Malta Cave and Missing Children

Unexpained Mysteries

Tradition holds that before the British government sealed up several tunnels, one could walk from one end of Malta to the other underground. One of the labyrinths, discovered by excavators, is the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, in which excavators discovered the bones of over 33,000 people who had been sacrificed by an ancient pagan neolithic cult.National Geographic, Aug. 1940 issue, told of several school children who had disappeared without a trace in the Hypogeum.

British embassy worker Miss Lois Jessup convinced a guide to allow her to explore a 3-ft. square "burial chamber" next to the floor of the lowest room in the last [3rd] sub-level of the catacombs. He reluctantly agreed and she crawled through the passage until emerging on a cavern ledge overlooking a deep chasm. In total shock she saw a procession of TALL humanoids with white hair covering their bodies walking along another ledge about 50 feet down on the opposite wall of the chasm.

Sensing her they collectively lifted their palms in her direction at which a strong "wind" began to blow through the cavern and something big, "slippery and wet" moved past her before she left in terror to the lower room, where the guide gave her a "knowing" look. Later she returned after the 30 school children and their teacher[s] had disappeared in the same passage that she had explored, only to find a new guide who denied any knowledge of the former guides' employment there.

She heard reports however that after the last child had passed through the "burial chamber" and out onto the ledge, a "cave-in" collapsed the burial chamber and the rope connecting them to the lower chamber was later found to be "cut clean". Grieving Mothers of several of the children swore that for a week or more following the disappearance they could hear theirchildren crying and screaming "as if from underground". Other sources state that an underground connection exists or did exist between Malta and reaches hundreds of miles and intersects the catacombs below the hill Vaticanus in Rome.


See also this link:

link
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 18-07-2013 17:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

dreeness wrote:
Quote:
Sensing her they collectively lifted their palms in her direction at which a strong "wind" began to blow through the cavern and something big, "slippery and wet" moved past her before she left in terror to the lower room, where the guide gave her a "knowing" look.


Something big, "slippery and wet"?

Cthulhu?
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dreenessOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2013 12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gassing, or mass hysteria?

From Illinois Times
Quote:
Thursday, May 1, 2003

The Case of the Mad Gasser of Mattoon

Maddening mystery finally solved, says local science teacher
By Cinda Klickna

For several weeks in September 1944, people in the town of Mattoon, Illinois, showed the symptoms of exposure to poison gas--nausea, vomiting, weakness leading to near paralysis, light headedness, even spitting up blood. All of the victims reported a "sweet cheap perfume odor" permeating their homes prior to the onset of sickness.

Scott Maruna, a high school chemistry and physics teacher in Jacksonville, explains the terror in his book, The Mad Gasser of Mattoon: Dispelling the Hysteria (Swamp Gas Book Co., 2003).

This case has long been cited in college psychology classes as a perfect example of mass hysteria. Occurring during World War II, when so many men were off fighting and so many women were left alone, the gassings have been explained away as the product of paranoia, panic, and delirium.

But Maruna dispels this idea, giving credence to many who came forward to report a smell coming through their windows at night, and in some cases seeing a shadowy figure running into the darkness.

Within 48 hours, four homes had been hit and the newspaper headlines blared, "Anesthetic Prowler on the Loose." The evenings were sultry, forcing people to leave open their windows. On subsequent nights, several more homes were "hit."

Maruna's 100-page book presents the facts surrounding the cases, the police investigations, and similar events in other cities across the United States. He then looks at the episode as a perfect example of hysteria. When police led people to believe the reports were mistaken, suddenly calls to the station dropped, possibly, Maruna suggests, from sheer "embarrassment"--and perhaps because the police chief threatened "to arrest anyone else who reported a gassing without submitting to a medical examination." This alone, Maruna says, deterred people from admitting they'd been gassed.

Maruna then examines 11 traits common to mass hysteria, providing factual details to subvert each of these characteristics. For example, most mass hysteria cases involve women, as did the Mattoon gassings. Maruna logically explains, though, that during the height of WW II Mattoon would have naturally had more women in residence; therefore, the victims would obviously include more females.

In the end, Maruna presents his solution. He dismisses the 60-year-old claim of mass hysteria and points to a real person as the culprit. Living in Mattoon was a town genius who could be found with "his nose buried in books" at his family's grocery store. Farley Llewellyen drank too much, kept a secret laboratory, and experimented with various chemicals. Once, an explosion from his lab rocked the neighborhood. Maruna says, "Farley, the obvious chemical genius behind the gas's synthesis, was the real gasser. In a fit brought on by mental instability and years of pent-up rage against a town that would not and could not accept him, Farley tinkered and toyed with various organic solvents in an attempt to create for a suitable weapon." Maruna even goes so far as to identify Farley's chemical as tetrachlorethane, a chemical with all the properties to induce the symptoms reported in the gassings.

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon is an interesting, easy read that presents compelling arguments for Farley as the "mad gasser." Hats off to Scott Maruna for an intriguing book.
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MercuryCrestOffline
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PostPosted: 19-07-2013 14:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Dreeness!

Just recently I was trying to remember which caves those were where I read that story.

How fortuitous.
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krakentenOffline
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PostPosted: 06-08-2013 02:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember, when Cthulhu calls, he calls collect!
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 06-08-2013 11:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

krakenten wrote:
Remember, when Cthulhu calls, he calls collect!


Very Happy
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eburacumOffline
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PostPosted: 28-09-2013 13:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been in the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni; it is a well-studied archaeological site and a World Heritage Site. There are no such hidden caves connected to it. Curiously though this story was reported in the National Geographic;
see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypogeum_of_%C4%A6al-Saflieni#Cave-in
Quote:
According to National Geographic's Ancient X-Files there are no local newspaper reports or accounts from residents about the missing children, making it more likely this was an invented story.
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