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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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987