Available right now is a new book from Coachwhip Publications of Greenville, Ohio, titled Flesh Falls & Blood Rain. As the title makes abundantly clear, the subject-matter is deeply controversial. And as the title also suggests, we're dealing with very strange and bizarre phenomena. Do a Google search on both issues and you'll find a great deal of data of varying degrees of credibility. Not to mention a high degree of sensationalism. What we have here, however, is a book that, largely at least, carefully avoids sensationalism. Instead, it goes for the facts and presents its topics in a down to earth, logical fashion.
The author, John Hairr, clearly knows his stuff, and offers the reader excellent insight into the world of two, very weird, mysteries - the origins of which date back not just years, decades or centuries. But millennia, too. Flesh Falls & Blood Rains is a book that both believer and skeptic, alike, can read and digest. Not only that, it is a very useful resource tool, too.
Just a couple of pages into the book, Hairr shares with us the saga of "bloody rain drops" as described in Homer's The Iliad. To be sure, it is a controversial story, which Hairr openly acknowledges when he states: "Epic poetry is not history as we understand it, and whether or not this specific blood falling episode was actually witnessed by a Mycenaean or Trojan will never be known."
Near-identical tales from the 8th century BC follow, amid accounts of people falling mysteriously sick. Crops and cattle also suffered. A connection between the mysterious rain and illness? Hairr asks the question, but does not insist on speculating, or providing an over the top answer. Much of this particular section of the book is focused on matters relative to red rain and the people of ancient Rome. In fact, for anyone wanting a concise, balanced look at the Roman Empire and its bloody rain connection, Hairr's book is a good source to go to.
Much of Europe - in more modern times - falls under Hairr's microscope as he demonstrates the widespread nature of the old tales. Accounts from England, Ireland, France (specifically Paris), and the Hebrides, abound. And, also in this chapter, Hairr provides us with a calendar of bloody events across Europe from 4 AD to the year 1695. He then notes that: "Stories of unusual weather soon became part of the lore of the descendants of these people as they made they way across a new continent."
As Hairr's aforementioned words suggest, much of the rest of the book chronicles countless reports of both phenomena across the United States - with the vast majority of the accounts coming from newspapers of the 19th century. The titles of the articles are, themselves, worth reading alone: "Shower of flesh and blood;" "A shower of beef;" "That Kentucky meat-shower;" "The carnal rain;" and "Blood and Meat." Quotes from the articles appear toward the end of the book, giving the reader the ability to assess the credibility levels of each individual tale.
Certainly, Chapter 8 of Flesh Falls and Blood Rains is the most controversial one of all. This 16-page chapter leads us into the worlds of fairly down to earth phenomena, such as tornadoes and whirlwinds. At the other end of the spectrum, however, there are theories pertaining to wormholes and animals caught in them and ending up "torn to shreds." Sandwiched between the two are theories concerning comets and meteors and the hitchhiking of mysterious microbes to Earth.
Admitting that, "Doubtless many of our scientific theories today will sound as quaint to researchers in the future as stories of Olympian gods" and other phenomena, Hairr concludes: "Regardless of their point of origin, showers of flesh and blood-like material remain one of Earth's most intriguing weather mysteries."