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No. 66: Nov-Dec 1989

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A Bat Fall

Fort Worth, Texas. September 6, 1989.

"Pedestrians dodged hundreds of bats that fell onto downtown sidewalks yesterday afternoon. The winged mammals were sick and dying, and no one knows why.

"'I have never seen bats on the sidewalk at 4 o'clock in the afternoon before,' said restauranteur Chris Farkas after encountering the bats in the 600 block of Main Street. 'About half of them were crawling on the ground. There were about 50 in the air flying around.'"

Many of the bats subsequently died. Two possible causes advanced were heat-stroke and building fumigation. Neither could be shown correct.

(Gilberto, Julie; "Scores of Bats Rain on Downtown," Fort Worth Telegram, September 7, 1989. Cr. R.L Anderson.)

Comment. Bat falls and bird falls are rare in the Fortean literature. Storms, intensely cold weather, and sheer exhaustion are the most common causes.

From Science Frontiers #66, NOV-DEC 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss