Hundreds of blackbirds mysteriously fell from New Jersey sky

Last month, more than 200 red-winged blackbirds dropped from the sky above Cumberland County in New Jersey. It's the second time in less than a month, and the third this year. From Philly.com:

"They just fell from the sky," said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection...

After county agricultural agents had been notified by homeowners, the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife arrived in Stow Creek and removed the birds, collecting some of them to be sent to a state lab for necropsy, toxicology, and histopathology tests.

But the results of all the tests were inconclusive, Hajna said last week.

"We did ascertain that the birds suffered trauma and internal bleeding from hitting the ground," Hajna said. "But what made them fall from the sky in the first place . . . we can't say for certain."

Even wheat seed from a nearby farmer's field was collected and tested for chemical compounds by the University of Pennsylvania... None of those compounds (found) is considered harmful to birds and none of the chemicals was found to be among those that are sometimes used by farmers to control "nuisance" species like blackbirds, Hajna said.

"Why are these birds falling from the sky in South Jersey?" (Philly.com) Read the rest

Mysterious trumpets of the apocalypse heard in Spokane, Washington

Numerous residents of a Spokane, Washington suburb reported hearing unsettling trumpet sounds overnight on December 14. Listen to a recording of the noise below. Non-believers suggest that it may have been the sound of many snowplows scraping the concrete roads or train rails creaking in the cold. One news outlet's "science expert" commented that "temperature does affect the speed of sound, which can make certain things sounds different than what we are used to hearing."

Of course, we all know the truth: It is the seven trumpets as described in the Book of Revelation. The apocalypse is nigh, and it's starting in Spokane.

"Strange sound in Spokane Valley has thousands of people talking" (KHQ via Mysterious Universe) Read the rest

CNN on blood falls and other Fortean phenomena

It's apparently Fortean Friday over at CNN where they share a handful of unusual natural curiosities and mysteries like "Magnetic Hill" in New Brunswick, spherical boulders in New Zealand, the "sailing stones" that creep along Death Valley, and the "Blood Falls" of Antarctica caused by an iron-rich lake below the ice. "Blood Falls and other natural oddities" Read the rest

Dog-headed man and other strange encounters

In 1999, a reader of the venerable Fortean Times contacted the editors to report that she had spotted a man with the head of a dog. “He was kind of like a basset hound with long floppy ears," she wrote. Over at the Financial Times, David Sutton, Fortean Times' editor, shares several other reports of delightfully strange encounters. Here's one from 2008:
One evening, a confused local in south Wales called 999 to report a “bright, stationary” UFO that had been hovering “in the air” for “at least half an hour”. The police arrived to investigate. The transcript of the ensuing Control Room conversation reads:

Control: “Alpha Zulu 20, this object in the sky, did anyone have a look at it?”

Officer: “Yes. It’s the moon. Over.”

"The List: Strange encounters" Read the rest