There is no denying of the fact that this planet that we live on is full of mysteries. Some of the mysteries are really authentic and are based on real evidences that startled the entire world. However, there is also no denying of the fact that some of the mysteries are faked and staged for the mere sake of publicity. There is definitely a third breed that hangs between authenticity and duplicity. So, where do we fit in the raining blobs mystery? Honestly, we don’t know. We rather prefer to tag it as a fine blend of mystery and hoax until someone comes up with a definitive proof that will unearth the truth.
The Circulated Story
So, what’s the deal with raining blobs?
It was year 1994. Everything was going fine for people for Oakville, Washington until something weird happened on August 7. It started raining! It was not usual rain as the world knows and neither was anything like the mysterious red rain that baffled the Indians and Sri Lankans. It was a rain of gelatinous blobs.
Yep, gelatinous and translucent blobs started falling off from the sky and it is said that these blobs continued to shower over a period of next three weeks. It is being said that Washington’s State Department of Health studied the blobs and concluded that the blobs had white blood cells found in human bodies and also had bacteria that is usually found in the digestive system of human beings. Apart from that, the State Department also revealed the presence of another variant of bacteria in the blobs but tricky part was that no further details of the other bacteria were given. Isn’t that kind of suspicious? Reports of people falling mysteriously and violently ill and staying sick for 3 months started spreading like wild fire.
The Circulated Image
The image that you see above was circulated as the gelatinous raining blobs. It was a complete hoax because the image shows the photo of salamander eggs.
The Actual Reported Incident
Story that stole the limelight.
One incident that received quite some attention was that of Sunny Barclift who lived in Oakville in a farmhouse. Sunny Barclift lived with her mother and after the rainfall of the gelatinous blobs of the size of half a grain of rice each, her mother became sick. Barclift took her mother Dotty Hearn to hospital where she was diagnosed. The doctor name David Little expressed concerns that Dotty’s reported nausea and dizziness were an outcome of contact with the blobs. Later it was reported that Dotty’s health conditions were because of an ear infection.
Barclift also reported that her kitten came in contact with the raining blobs and died. The problem however was that, prior to coming in contact with the gelatinous blobs, the kitten was suffering with intestinal problems.
It was doctor David Little who reported that the blobs had white blood cells found in human body. Barclift actually ended up sending samples of the blobs to Mike Osweiler of Washington State Department of Ecology. Osweiler and his team were the response unit for hazardous materials spill. Osweiler and his team tested the blobs and concluded that the cells found in the blobs did not have nuclei. On the contrary, human white blood cells have nuclei. On top of that, Osweiler and his team did not mention anything about the bacteria that were reported in the story that circulated.
The so called mysterious illness plaguing Oakville was also absent in the actual reported incident.
The contradictory reports do give us an option of raising our eyebrows. What do you think?
[Please Note: Sunny Barclift – the person who was actually involved in the story has left a comment. Kindly read her comment to know exactly what happened.]
Osweiler came up with a plausible explanation for the raining blobs. He suggested that the blobs were nothing but fluid waste that managed to leak out from airplane toilet.
Problems with Osweiler’s Theory
There were two problems with Osweiler’s theory of leaked fluid waste:
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) countered Osweiler stating that fluid toilet wastes in commercial airlines are all dyed blue. Unfortunately, the raining blobs did not possess that feature.
- It at all it was toilet waste, how come it continued pouring down for a period of 3 months as per the circulated story? (This one is not really a problem but a contradiction to the story that was spread)
A Report from Unsolved Mysteries
This is where we will see how things got twisted. The story of raining gelatinous blobs was first made accessible to public by Unsolved Mysteries on 9th of May in 1997. Note the dates. The incident occurred in 1994 and Unsolved Mysteries published the story in 1997 – 3 years after the incident. Here are the highlights of the report in 1997:
- The blobs rained over an area of 20 square miles.
- The blobs rained for 6 days over a period of 3 weeks.
- People coming in contact with the blobs suffered from extreme vertigo, increasing nausea, blurred vision of breathing problems.
- Beverley Roberts – a resident of Oakville reported that the flu-like symptoms continued for a period of 2-3 months.
- Cats and dogs that came in contact with the blobs also fell sick and many of them died.
- Mike McDowell from Washington State Department of Health reported two types of bacteria in the blobs and that one of the variants was the bacteria found in digestive system of humans.
- Tim Davis, a microbiologist believed that the blobs were alive.
- None of the blob samples exist today.
Notice the hell and heaven difference between the actual report and the report from Unsolved Mysteries. This difference definitely raises questions about the authenticity of the story aired on Unsolved Mysteries.
What really happened?
The raining blobs weren’t fake but the story offered by Unsolved Mysteries lacks authenticity for sure. But the question is: “What really happened and where did the blobs come from?”
Some say that it was a military exercises about finding out the results of a biological weapon. Oakville residents reported that they saw slow-moving military aircrafts almost every single day just before the blobs fell down from the sky. Air Force accepted that there were bombing runs over the Pacific in 1994 but that was only a bombing practice on a daily basis and that the Air Force had no relationship with the raining blobs whatsoever.
Some say that the Air Force accidentally dropped a bomb on a school of jellyfish in ocean and the gelatinous blobs were nothing but body parts of the doomed fish that were dispersed into the rain clouds due to the massive explosion.
This theory sounded somewhat authentic but the primary question is, how come an explosion send jellyfish parts so high up in rain clouds? The problem is, we will never know!
But what we can say for now is that raining blobs incident seemed to be true but the associated stories of 3-month long illness, bacteria, white blood cells etc. are nothing but hoax. So, the mysterious raining blobs definitely fall somewhere between truth and hoax.
Our Retraction [Published August 2, 2015]
We retract our statement: “the story offered by Unsolved Mysteries lacks authenticity“. In fact, according to Sunny Barclift, Unsolved Mysteries gave the most authentic story so far. We had a chance to talk directly with Sunny and asked her about the incident. She was kind and generous to give us a detailed narrative that we are publishing here. Because the story comes directly from the person who was involved in the incident, we will consider her version of the story to be the most accurate one:
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It is my understanding that after the fallout several people in the community did come down with a flu-like illness that lasted for 4-8 weeks in some cases. A couple that stick out in my mind were two individuals who had complications associated with kidney infection or kidney involvement, which I think is somewhat unusual. I did not go door to door and interview people as to the state of their health. Mostly the information gleaned was during casual conversations and over-hearing statements made by others. I have no idea about what each person’s personal diagnosis was.
Communally it was thought to be something like the flu. Some individuals, such as my mother Dotty Hearn and David Lacey, the police officer had more acute symptoms. When my mother first found the substance, on top of a box on the porch where she stored her wood for burning, she touched the substance with her bare hands. Although David Lacey said he wore gloves he too became very ill within hours of contact with the substance.
Initially my mother was treated for Meniere’s Disease (a disorder of the inner ear). She had extreme vertigo, dizziness and felt the room was spinning. Those are all symptoms of that disease. However she also had a fever and other symptoms of infection. She spent 4 days in the hospital. Upon her release I asked Dr. Little what her discharge diagnosis was, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know. Some type of virus.” She did have a complete recovery after she arrived home and over time. Meniere’s Disease usually manifests as an ongoing problem but she never had the symptoms again.
It is interesting to note that my mother had a plethora of outdoor cats used as mousers in the barns and such. Gradually over the following months some of those cats also died or went missing. In time the remaining cats were able to build up a healthy population again.
Dr. Little was the attending physician on duty when my mother arrived by ambulance at McCleary Hospital. I had brought a sample of the substance to the hospital and explained to Dr. Little that less than 24 hours earlier she had made contact with the substance and since we didn’t know what it was would he be willing to do a lab test on it. He agreed and had a lab technician do a routine lab exam. That is when the white blood cell was found. Dr. Little was intrigued by it but baffled as we were. My best recollection is that the lab tech who conducted the test on the goo was known as Kelly.
Once my mother had pointed out the substance to myself and my brother we decided to wear gloves because it was an unknown substance. My background is in occupational safety and health so I opted to wear gloves as a precaution. It is important to note that the gel like substance which was clear, no color at all and about the size of rice grains was literally everywhere. In the grass, on foliage, on my truck window.
We probably would not have noticed them as they would have only appeared as drops of water had my mother not found them on the wood box. She initially thought they were hail. They were not liquid and had mass and were 3 dimensional. I became mildly nauseated a week or so after the first fallout. I became acutely ill with severe bronchitis 6 weeks post the initial fallout. My kitten died on or around the 3rd day of the fall out. It has been reported on some websites that the kitten had digestive problems prior to the fallout but that is not true.
Both of my mother’s dogs fell ill 3 weeks after the first fallout. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The vet said they had an infection and they were treated with antibiotics. It is important to note at this point the fallout of gel was not a single occurrence but instead was a series of 6 fallouts over 3 weeks. All were documented by my mother in her journal. There were rumors that some nearby farms experienced death of larger animals such as horses and cows. I did not investigate those allegations. I have no reason to dispute them but they are here say.
I was concerned about the material and spoke with Dr. Kobioshi at the Washington State Health Laboratory. He advised me to send a sample of the material. I mailed a sample to The Washington State Health lab which was assigned to Mike McDowell one of their epidemiologist on staff. Mike initially set the gel up on bacterial media to see if it would grow anything. It grew two types of bacteria pseudomonas fluorescens and enterobacter collacae. The gel specimen was locked in medium containment facility and over time Mike continued to research it.
At some point he drew the conclusion that the material itself was manmade and was being used as a matrix. A vehicle capable of transporting a virus or bacteria. He did report his findings to his supervisor. When he returned to the lab at some point he discovered the substance was missing. Again he reported this to his supervisor and was advised at that point to not ask any questions. Mike is retired now and still does occasional interviews regarding the subject. I trust his judgment and his findings as he was a credible expert in the field. Mike was interviewed 4 or 5 years ago on a program on the National Geographic Channel the information about the substance missing was revealed in the program. I suspect he was reluctant to speak of it while still employed. He stated that it was the first time in 30 years of service with his job that a sample he was responsible for had gone missing.
I was contacting as many agencies as possible to find assistance in identifying the substance. I took a sample to Mike Osweiler. Mike Osweiler worked for the Department of Ecology. The Department concluded it was an organic material. They determined they did find a cell with a nucleus which indicated to them that it was biological. The cell could have been a bacteria. It was never specified.
Over the years I have held some information close to me. Very little about it has been released to the press. However, 2 years ago some information surfaced on the internet that led me to the conclusion that the Oakville Event was in fact a continuity exercise conducted by the military.
Additional Source: Mystery Blobs Were Once Alive.” Observer-Reporter 20 Aug. 1994, D1