Alternate Perceptions Magazine, June 2019
THE “ANGEL HAIR" FILE
by: Rick Hilberg
One of the most fascinating aspects of the UFO mystery over the years has been the many reports of "angel hair" being seen and collected by witnesses in conjunction with their UFO sightings. This still unknown substance is a silky-like material that seems to fall from the sky and is somehow produced by the unknown flying object itself, as numerous witnesses have seen it seemingly spewing forth from various parts of the objects at different times. It is named from the gossamer material that was used for many years to adorn Christmas decorations, particularly those depicting biblical angels. These reports of angel hair in conjunction with sightings of unknown objects in the sky date from the beginnings of the UFO phenomenon in the late 1940s, and somehow began to diminish in ever increasing numbers up until the late 1970s. Since that time there indeed have only been a handful of reports, but certainly nowhere near to the hundreds of incidents in past years.
On a number of occasions this material was collected and saved in various containers for analysis, but in a large percentage of these cases the strange substance would literally seem to "melt away" as time went on or when picked up and handled by witnesses. Researcher Allan Manak reported that on several occasions when the substance could be reliably analyzed is often consisted of boron, silicon, calcium, magnesium and smaller amounts of other elements. Many have speculated over the years that this material is somehow a byproduct of the propulsion system used by the UFO, but obviously there so far has been no way to prove that this is indeed the case.
Throughout recorded history there have been numerous reports of similar substances falling from the sky, but obviously not in conjunction with any unknown objects that may have been seen at the time. Manak has cited a case from Japan from 679 C.E. that was the first case of this nature that he could find. In that instance, cotton-like matter in strands of about five to six feet long were seen to fall from the sky over Osaka and drift in the wind for quite some time.
To give the reader some idea of just what these reports contain, I'm going to cite selected cases and list them in chronological order.
1949 - Ashley-Clinton, New Zealand. Four circular UFOs in a diamond formation flew over during the early morning hours, discharging a cobweb-like substance that draped itself over fences, telephone and power wires and vegetation. The material rapidly melted after being handled by witnesses.
1952 - October 17 - Oloron, France. In a classic case from the UFO literature, a number of saucer like objects moving in pairs, left a large trail of this substance. It settled on the ground and on trees and wires. The mysterious stuff also melted away when touched to vanish completely. When set aflame with a match it seemed to burn like cellophane, and when quickly rolled into a ball it became gelatinous and melted away.
1954 - February 3 - Puente, California. A very large "flying disk" with windows or portholes maneuvered high overhead as Mrs. W. Daly watched with binoculars. The disk turned a reddish color and emitted this angel hair that drifted to earth and trees, wires as well as a large patch of ground.
1954 - October 22 - Jerome, Ohio. Two local teachers and at least sixty students observed a cigar-shaped silvery object from the school playground at about 3:15 p.m. The object at first was seen hanging motionless in the sky. It then "took off quite rapidly, disappearing in a very short time," said the school principal. The flying cigar traveled horizontally, leaving a trail in its wake that floated to the ground. Part of the cobweb-like substance fell in long strands and part of it came down in balls similar to cotton. Trees, bushes and wires around the school were covered with it. The substance could be pulled into long threads that were so tough that they could hardly be easily broken. Shortly after being handled, however, the stuff would melt away and disappear. Many reported that after handling the substance their hands were stained by a green residue.
1961 - August 5 - Meelatharra, Australia. Numerous witnesses taw twelve round and silvery objects that were flying in pairs at an estimated altitude of 10,000 feet. An Edwin Payne reported to police that, "Trails of a light substance fell from the UFOs. When it was picked up, it crumpled and disappeared" in the hands of the witnesses. It was "White fine-stranded kind of stuff."
1964 - July - Greenville, Tennessee. At approximately 11: 00 p.m., a round, lighted UFO hovered over a barn on a local farm. The light emitted from the strange object was seen to reflect from the top of the building. After being observed for about five minutes, the object flew straight up, leaving area treetops swaying. The next morning two-foot long strands of a gossamer like substance was found covering small trees and bushes near the barn. These strands of material dissolved when picked up by witnesses.
1966 - October 12 - Jonesboro and Johnson City, Tennessee. Some fifty silver-white disks were seen by people at noon. The strange objects discharged "some kind of substance in sheets that broke into strands." The stuff was sticky and produced an itching sensation when touched. Some witnesses reported becoming nauseated, and cows would not venture into any fields where the substance had fallen until being washed away by a heavy rain. One witness developed blisters after she ran to grab some of the falling material. The stuff hung from trees, telephone and power wires as well as bushes. A Charles Armstrong reported to the Johnson City Press Chronicle that the next day the material was still "hot to the touch" even though the weather was quite cool.
1973 - October 22 - Sudbury, Massachusetts. At 2:00 p.m. a young boy came running into the house shouting, "Mommy, come see the biggest spider web in the world." The mother followed her son into the yard and, to her amazement, saw web-like strands of the material hanging from bushes and wires. The witness looked to see just where this material was coming from, and was startled to see a shiny globe-shaped silver object in the sky, moving from east to west where it was lost to sight behind some large trees. She saw strands of the strange material still falling from the sky for many minutes afterward. The web-like was hanging from trees, wires as well as the ground, and she reported that her car was also covered with the mysterious stuff. When placed under a microscope two days after the event, the material still looked white and translucent. Whatever it was, it seemed to diminish and disappear over time.
Sources: I am indebted to the late Allan J. Manak for his collection of angel hair cases that he gleaned from many sources over time. Manak worked in downtown Cleveland and would often visit the local main library branch to gather material that he noted on 3 x 5 index cards on a wide variety of UFO and fortean topics. Some years ago I took this material and sorted and transcribed it for our many publishing projects with Flying Saucer Digest. I also used by own extensive files of material that I collected for my UFO Magazine and in my own many publishing projects over the years