In Oakville Washington, it once rained gelatinous blobs that contained human white blood cells.
The townspeople of Oakville, Washington, were in for a surprise on August 7, 1994. Instead of their usual downpour of rain, the inhabitants of the small town witnessed countless gelatinous blobs falling from the sky. Once the globs fell, almost everyone in Oakville started to develop severe, flu-like symptoms that lasted anywhere from 7 weeks to 3 months. Finally, after exposure to the goo caused his mother to fall ill, one resident sent a sample of the blobs for testing. What the technicians discovered was shocking – the globs contained human white blood cells. The substance was then brought to the State Department of Health of Washington for further analysis. With another startling reveal, they discovered that the gelatinous blobs had two types of bacteria, one of which is found in the human digestive system. However, no one could successfully identify the blob, and how they were connected to the mysterious sickness that plagued the town.
The story is about the mysterious blobs that rained down over Oakville, Washington on 7 August 1994. It says that instead of regular downpour of rain, the inhabitants of the small town witnessed countless gelatinous blobs falling from the sky, and that a mysterious sickness plagued the town for the next 3 months. It is also said that upon initial testing, the blobs contained human white blood cells, and further analysis from State Department of Health of Washington revealed the gelatinous blobs contained two types of bacteria, one of which is found in the human digestive system. Let us analyze how far the claims are facts.
About the Picture
Firstly, the picture of a ‘giant blob’ that often circulates with this story is something else not related to the incident. It is in fact a photograph of eggs from the Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile).
Incident as Reported
On 7 Aug. 1994 during a rainstorm, blobs of a translucent gelatinous substance, half the size of grains of rice each, poured down at the farm home of Sunny Barclift in Oakville, Washington. Note that it was a woman, not man as mentioned in the story. Shortly after the mysterious downpour, Barclift’s mother, Dotty Hearn had to visit hospital suffering from dizziness and nausea, also Barclift and her friend suffered minor bouts of fatigue and nausea after handling the blobs. Hearn’s doctor David Litle expressed doubt that her symptoms may be because of the blobs, but later it was known that it was because of her severe inner ear infection. Hearn herself acknowledged that the appearance the blobs could have been a mere coincidence not related to her symptoms. It was also reported that Barclift’s kitten had died after contact with the blobs, following a battle with severe intestinal problems before the incident. The mysterious blobs fell again for the second time at Barclift’s farm, but this time no one was reported to have fallen ill.
When Sunny Barclift got it tested, Dr. David Litle reported that the blobs contained human white blood cells. Barclift also consulted Mike Osweiler of the Washington State Department of Ecology’s hazardous materials spill response unit to test the blobs. Osweiler’s staff reported that unlike human white cells, the blobs contained cells without any nuclei. Osweiler suggested that the blobs can be fluid waste from an airplane toilet, but the idea was rebuffed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) saying all commercial plane toilet fluids are dyed blue, a property the blobs did not possess.
Note that there was no mention of “two types of bacteria” in the original accounts and the death of kitten and symptoms of Barclift’s mother could be because of their pre-existing conditions. Also, there were no reports that the mysterious rain of blobs has caused symptoms that ‘plagued’ the city.
Report of Unsolved Mysteries
This case of Oakville blobs was first aired on Unsolved Mysteries on 9 May 1997. They reported that the first downpour of blobs was spread over an area of 20 square miles and was witnessed by many residents. It was also reported that the never before seen gelatinous substance has poured down a total of 6 times over a period of three weeks, making people mysteriously and violently ill. The people were described to suffer breathing problems, blurred vision, increasing sense of nausea and also extreme vertigo. A resident of the area, Beverly Roberts said that after the blobs poured down with rain, everyone in the town contracted a flu-like illness that lasted 2-3 months. Moreover, many cats and dogs that came into contact with the mysterious substance are said to have fallen ill and died.
It was in the episode of Unsolved Mysteries that a microbiologist at Washington State Department of Health, Mike McDowell said the substance was filled with two species of bacteria, one of which lives in the human digestive system. Another microbiologist Tim Davis believed the substance is or had been alive. The episode of Unsolved Mysteries also mentioned that no samples of the substance exist today.
Some people believe the remote Oakville town was the site for military to experiment a new biological weapon or to test the possible damage of a biological attack. The U.S. air force confirmed they were doing practice bombing runs over the Pacific in August 1994, but they denied any involvement in the mysterious substance. The locals of Oakville, however, are skeptical of this, because many Oakville residents say they noticed, almost daily, slow-moving military aircraft in the skies before the blobs poured down.
According to a popular theory, the rain of blobs originated from one of the military’s naval bombing runs in the ocean 50 miles (80 km) away from the farm causing accidental explosion within a school of jellyfish, which were then dispersed into a rain cloud. Read more about this weather related phenomenon sometimes called as Star Jelly. This theory was so popular in the town that there was a discussion of holding a jellyfish festival, also the local tavern concocted a new drink in honor of the incident – “The Jellyfish” composed of vodka, gelatin, and juice.
Hoax or Fact:
Mixture of Hoax and Facts.