The Blizzard of 77 -- One of New York State's Most Destructive Snowstorms

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 0
The Blizzard of 77 -- One of New York State's Most Destructive Snowstorms
Twenty-nine people died in the storm from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, 1977 the first snowstorm to warrant a federal disaster area declaration. Total damage reached $300 million. For 11 days, national news reports showed images of a city blanketed in snow up to the roofs of houses.

Blizzard of 77 Buffalo, New York postcard

When the blizzard began, it seemed like just another Friday morning snow flurry. But by 11:35 a.m., lightning flashed and the sky darkened. The wind shifted and began to howl. Soon, people couldn't see across the street.

"My reaction? Wow!" meteorologist Ed Reich said. "It was the most dramatic storm I ever saw." Surprisingly, the snowfall total for the storm was only 12 inches. What made the blizzard unique were the sustained winds, gusting up to 69 mph, which picked up the drifts piled high on frozen Lake Erie and dumped them in western New York and southern Ontario.

The winds were accompanied by Arctic cold temperatures, making it feel like minus 60 degrees outside. Whiteout conditions quickly trapped thousands of people at work, in cars and in homes. Some had to stay put for a day, others for the storm's duration. At least nine motorists froze to death in their stranded cars.

During this time WKBW Radio was the up-to-the minute source of emergency news for all Western New Yorkers. Not only did WKBW report school, office and factory closings but it was a major contributor of reports that cities, towns and even entire counties were closed and impassable due to blowing and drifting snow! The following audio clips were recorded during this event.

While listening to these recordings of the actual broadcasts, you may detect some anxiety in the announcer's voice!

Blizzard of 77 stop sign buried in snow

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20171105065010/http://www.wkbwradio.com/blizzard.htm

Unfortunately, the audio on that mirrored link cannot be played because the streaming audio files were never mirrored there.

But you can listen to them in this video by PhilaVideo on YouTube. It is well worth the listen.

Here's a TV Broadcast during the Blizzard of '77 from WBEN Channel 4:

A slideshow video from the mirrored website above:

Snow Depth Map of the Blizzard of 77 (skip to 1:22:24, pause, and fullscreen if needed):

A Magical Sound Made By The Earth - Singing Ice

Monday, November 11, 2019 0
A Magical Sound Made By The Earth - Singing Ice
Singing ice is somewhat common and occurs with ice on frozen ponds and lakes. It is otherwise known as acoustic dispersion and occurs in a few ways. Which includes skipping rocks across the surface of the ice, from taking a chance ice skating on ice that's still thin, and (as in this video) from the movement of the ice and the water beneath the ice. When you get to experience it, in person, it is an amazing sound. It is like a spiritual sound and a musical instrument of nature trying to speak with its own voice. Almost unearthly at times.

When I was young, we used to have a depression in our yard that would fill with water from autumn rains. When it would get cold enough to freeze I would skip rocks across the surface of the ice to hear the unique sound of the 'singing' ice. It was nothing as remarkable as what's heard in this video though. If you ever have the chance, I definitely recommend going out to an undisturbed, newly frozen pond and experiencing it for yourself by skipping rocks off the surface. It is an experience that is worth traveling or hiking to a pond or lake, in late fall or winter, to hear the sounds firsthand.

September 1865 Sighting of an Unidentified Object Falling From the Sky in Montana

Thursday, October 31, 2019 0
September 1865 Sighting of an Unidentified Object Falling From the Sky in Montana
Below is a report from an article from November 5, 1865, published in numerous newspapers across the nation in October and November of 1865. Newspapers which included The Daily Phoenix of Columbia, South Carolina, The Cincinnati Commercial, and the St. Louis Democrat. What it describes is an unidentified object that fell from the sky in mid-September of 1865, near Cadotte Pass, Montana. Essentially, a UFO.

A Stone Falls from the Sky, with Characters Engraved upon It.

Mr. James Lumley, an old Rocky Mountain trapper, who has been stopping at the Everett House for several days, makes a most remarkable statement to us, and one which, if authenticated, will produce the greatest excitement in the scientific world.
Mr. Lumley states that about the middle of last September, he was engaged in trapping in the mountains about seventy-five or one hundred miles above the Great Falls of the Upper Missouri, and in the neighborhood of what is known as Cadotte Pass. Just after sunset one evening, he beheld a bright luminous body in the heavens, which moved with great rapidity in an easterly direction. It was plainly visible for at least five seconds, when it suddenly separated into particles, resembling, as Mr. Lumley describes it, the bursting of a sky-rocket in the air. A few minutes later, he heard a heavy explosion, which jarred the earth very perceptibly, and this was shortly after followed by a rushing sound, like a tornado sweeping through the forest. A strong wind sprang up about the same time, but suddenly subsided. The air was also filled with a peculiar odor of a sulphurous character.
These incidents would have made a slight impression on the mind of Mr. Lumley, but for the fact that on the ensuing day he discovered, at the distance of about two miles from his camping place, that, as far as he could see in either direction a path had been cut through the forest, several rods wide-giant trees uprooted or broken off near the ground- the tops of hills shaved off and the earth plowed up in many places. Great and widespread havoc was everywhere visible. Following up this track of desolation, he soon ascertained the cause of it in the shape of an immense stone driven into the side of a mountain. An examination of this stone, or so much of it as was visible, showed that it was divided into compartments that in various places it was carved with curious hieroglyphics. More than this, Mr. Lumley also discovered fragments of a substance resembling glass, and here and there dark stains, as though caused by a liquid. He is confident that the hieroglyphics are the work of human hands, and that the stone itself, although but a fragment of an immense body, must have been used for some purpose by animated beings.
Strange as this story appears, Mr. Lumley relates it with so much sincerity that we are forced to accept it as true. It is evident that the stone which he discovered, was a fragment of the meteor which was visible in this section in September last. It will be remembered that it was seen in Leavenworth, Galena and in this city by Col. Bonneville. At Leavenworth it was seen to separate into particles or explode.
Astronomers have long held that it is probable that the heavenly bodies are inhabited -- even the comets -- and it may be that the meteors are also. Possibly, meteors could be used as a means of conveyance by the inhabitants of other planets, in exploring space, and it may be that hereafter some future Columbus, from Mercury or Uranus, may land on this planet by means of a meteoric conveyance, and take full possession thereof -- as did the Spanish navigators of the New World in 1492, and eventually drive what is known as the "human race" into a condition of the most abject servitude. It has always been a favorite theory with many that there must be a race superior to us, and this may at some future time be demonstrated in the manner we have indicated.

1864 UFO Crash...?

My Favorite Halloween Movies and TV Episodes

Thursday, October 10, 2019 0
My Favorite Halloween Movies and TV Episodes
Every year around Halloween I try to make time to watch a few films and tv episodes during the season. Not all of them are Halloween themed specifically but they're suited for this time of year. Some of these shows and films are more about nostalgia for me. As is the case with many of the reasons why people watch certain shows and movies throughout October. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest P. Worrell was one of my favorite characters in movies when I was a child. This film is no different and I've seen it quite a few times. It's a good film for nostalgia's sake.

The Hollow (2004)

There are a lot of people who don't like this film because of who stars in it (Nick Carter). And this was before the accusations against him. Ignoring his presence in the film as much as you can, this movie is an okay retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Further down the article I will also be highlighting a much better film based on Washington Irving's story.

Casper (1995)

1995's Casper film, starring Christina Ricci, goes along great with the Casper cartoons. The cartoons, which were also a favorite of mine growing up. We had a few episodes of them on those VHS tapes that'd you get from Ames (remember them?) and Kmart. Anyways, about the Caspar movie, the story is really good and the acting is also, in my opinion. The fact that CG in a film, from the mid-90s, looks as good as it does is also a plus.

Disney's Scary Tales (1983)

I used to watch this Disney special every year, during the month of October, when I was younger. In fact, this one was just about a must to watch when I was a child. You can find a few other Disney Halloween specials listed on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scary_Tales

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

No list is complete without this classic. Another Halloween cartoon I would watch every year growing up.

Wait Till Helen Comes

This is a more recent movie but was a story that I read as a child. I'd only remembered the name of the book once advertisements for the film were being shown online. The story stuck in my mind from my childhood and the film isn't all that bad.

Trick 'r Treat

I only found out about this film because I was watching True Blood and was looking for other similarly-themed stuff that starred any of the people from the HBO show. Specifically Anna Paquin. Trick 'r Treat was the film that fit the bill. Sam is an excellent standout character and one that makes this film itself stand out from many Halloween-season films of recent years. 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Last, but not least, is the 1980 movie, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", starring a young Jeff Goldblum who makes for the perfect Ichabod Crane. This adaptation of the Washington Irving story is much much better than The Hollow above. And it's far more atmospheric, partly owning to the age of the film and how it was filmed. Like The Hollow, it is also a made for tv film. I recommend watching this after watching The Hollow though. Maybe even on Halloween night if you have the time. The full version is currently available on YouTube.

I've probably forgotten quite a few of the greats for watching during October and during the Halloween season. So feel free to leave a comment about some of your Halloween tv and movie favorites.

On Believing in Ghosts - My Experience

Friday, September 27, 2019 0
On Believing in Ghosts - My Experience
On the existence of spirits, spiritual energy, ghosts, whatever you call them, I certainly believe that such energy exists that we cannot explain. That our scientific understanding cannot explain. With a universe of an unknown expanse and many dimensions (in physics terms/definitions), we cannot discount the fact of there being something more. Even without what's learned from the world's faiths, religions, and belief systems the majority of us feel that there's another world beyond this one. A feeling of an existence that's deeply embedded within us, our spirits, our souls, our DNA, what have you. To deny an existence of such 'other worlds' and energies would be ignorance.

With that said, on to my experience. This was from one summer when I was either fourteen or fifteen years old. I don't remember all specifics about this night but we, my siblings and I, used to sleep out in a tent in the yard. I remember the moon being bright in the sky that evening when we got into the tent. We went to sleep without a problem but were woken up around (my estimate) two in the morning. Immediately, I was hearing this sound coming from the woods, which the woodline began  right up next to the eastern edge of our yard. The sound itself though was further away and wasn't in a directly discernible area. Possibly because of the distance from us. Maybe a few hundred feet or so. At least that's what it sounded like. Not too close but not far away. But definitely too close for comfort.

Anyway, this sound was of a girl softly crying. So here we are, in our yard way out in the country, listening to the sound of a girl weeping early in the morning. A continual weeping that didn't sound like any animal, it was definitely human. It wasn't a cry of pain but more like a deep sadness. To be honest, even thinking about it still gives me chills. To the extent that I still feel for whoever this/they were or it was. I still hear the sound of their weeping in my memory. And this is the part that freaks me out, saddens me the most. I thought that during this experience I heard a soft teary, unclear whisper of them saying something. The whole experience was more saddening than scary.

So there I stood, with my scared siblings now out of the tent, trying to figure out the exact direction to no avail. I remember the small feeling I had at that time. Not fear, but yes, the sadness of their crying and the whisper I thought I heard got to me. Almost like a strange worry. It was like the voice was in the air everywhere roughly to the east of where we stood. After around ten minutes or so the sounds of the weeping faded out into the night as we were still standing outside. Which I was glad the moon was bright that night or I wouldn't have stayed outside to listen to the whole time. After it stopped, we all went back into the house to sleep. We never slept outside in the tent ever again.

About a year later, we'd found out from an older neighbor that a girl had fallen in a well and died on that wooded property, which was once a yard with a house that was long gone. This was an event that occurred even before his time. I don't know many details, besides what we heard from the neighbor, but they didn't reach her in time or the well collapsed or something like that. Maybe it was her spirit that we heard? Or maybe a replay of history recorded by some phenomena that we don't understand? Who knows? But it's an experience still burned into my memory. It was the experience, of my few 'paranormal' experiences, that still stands out most in my memory.

So yes, I do believe in spirits. I do believe in ghosts. We all have an energy about us and everything has a memory. Even nature itself. As we feel, so does it. So does everything.

Katelyn Nicole Davis ♥ Forever Missed