The study of materials or objects falling onto the earth was first initiated by Charles Fort in his remarkable work The Book of the Damned (1919). Fort collected and correlated accounts of the most astonishing variety of falls, including black rain, red snow, butter, manna, large blocks of ice, frogs, periwinkles, and hailstones with portraits on them. He also distinguished selective falls in which different objects were apparently sorted before descent. Fort was not only concerned with the bizarre nature of authenticated falls, but also by the principle of selectivity that appeared to govern descent.
Since Fort's death, further data on falls and other Fortean phenomena have been collected by groups such as the Fortean Society and the International Fortean Organization and by such individuals as William R. Corliss and Robert J. M. Rickard, editor of the Fortean Times.
Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.
Corliss, William R., ed. Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena. Glen Arm, Md.: The Sourcebook Project, 1977.
——. Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena: A Catalog of Geophysical Anomalies. Glen Arm, Md.: The Sourcebook Project, 1983.
Fort, Charles. The Books of Charles Fort. New York: Henry Holt, 1941.
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