Are UFOs Causing Fish and Frogs to Rain from the Sky?
North of Lake Huron and east of Lake Superior lies a vast stretch of Canadian Shield steeped in history, where ancient pictographs overlook rivers and lakes, and modern highways parallel portage routes used by voyageurs in centuries past. In the heart of this storied wilderness lies the tiny logging town of Chapleau, Ontario, established in 1885 when the Canadian Pacific Railroad was built through the area. With its Metis and francophone communities, and its neighboring Cree and Ojibwa reserves, most of its residents descend from families that have called the Canadian Shield home for centuries.
Unbeknownst to most Canucks, the tiny community of Chapleau holds a strange secret, which was first revealed to the public in an article in the January 1961 issue of the magazine Fate. From her home in Toronto, Ontario, former Chapleau resident Jean D. Byers described a strange phenomenon which regularly occurred on one of the many lakes which surround the community. On hot summer afternoons in the mid-late 1920s, when she was a little girl, Jean, her sister, and her neighbour would go canoeing on the lake. Every once in a while, they arrived just in time to witness one of the mysterious frog showers that occasionally fell upon the beach.
“We’d stand on the shore,” she wrote, “and just love the feel of the little frogs as they fell on us, bounced off our heads and rolled off our backs.
“The head man in the pump house used to give us tin cans to gather them up. We made canals to keep the frogs in and would go back daily to see them. They were our playmates and we watched them grow. We did this for a good many years and no one thought it unusual.
“We figured then that they were sucked up by the sun and when the clouds got too heavy with frogs it would rain frogs.
“We watched for the black clouds over the lake and would race to the shore to get the deluge of frogs as they came down. This became an almost daily part of our lives in the years of 1924, ’25, ’26, ’27, ’28, ’29. Then we grew up and forgot the frogs in favor of boys who seemed more interesting.”
The mysterious phenomenon of animal rain is not exclusive to the wilderness of Northern Ontario, and has been reported all over the world for millennia, one of the most famous modern cases being the Lluvia de Peces, or Rain of Fish, which falls on the city of Yoro, Honduras, every June, which we explored in a previous piece. One afternoon in 1903, for example, a legion of tiny dark brown toads no more than 3/4s of an inch in length rained down on the community of Rockingham, at the northern end of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Locals recalled the ground being covered by the little amphibians, which suddenly and inexplicably fell from the sky. More than a decade later, one Sunday morning during World War I, the yard of the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company plant in the town of Trenton, Nova Scotia, was subjected to a rain of bright green frogs about three inches long.
In December 1959, John Bryks, a farmer from the hamlet of St. Michael, northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, reported finding thousands of small silvery fish in his field of wheat and oat. The provincial Lands and Forests department identified the specimens he mailed them, stuffed inside an envelope, as five-spined sticklebacks, or brook sticklebacks, a local species which likely inhabited ponds and sloughs near Bryks’ property. The rangers proposed that the fish had been picked up from these small bodies of water and deposited on the farmer’s field by some sort of freak wind, apparently forgetting that it was December in central Alberta, when ponds and sloughs far and wide were thoroughly frozen over.
Another possible explanation for Bryks’ strange surprise presented itself five years earlier, in 1954. While drilling for oil near the town of Bentley, Alberta, just northwest of the city of Red Deer, and a 2.5 hour’s drive southwest of St. Michael, a petroleum exploration crew hit an underground stream 500 feet below the surface. To the drillers’ astonishment, the water which gushed from the drill hole carried with it thousands of tiny fish. Dr. R.B. Miller, an ichthyologist at Edmonton’s University of Alberta, identified the fish as the five-spined stickleback, the same creatures that John Bryks found in his field. Perhaps, as some theorists have proposed as an explanation for the Yoro phenomenon, the inexplicable appearance of fish in terrestrial environments could be attributable to the flooding of underground rivers, and the subsequent transference of their fishy inmates to the surface.
Another less conventional explanation for raining fish was proposed by Robert Whiteman of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, who submitted his idea for publication in the January 1961 issue of Fate. Near the end of World War II, Whiteman explained, Canadian naval scientists developed an unusual method of proofing iron-hulled cargo ships against torpedoes, which proved effective in trial but was never put into practice. In the middle of winter, and with the aid of internal refrigeration, the hulls of the ships were coated with freshwater mixed with sawdust. This solution froze in layers to form a thick impenetrable shield which was resistant to both torpedoes and warmer water.
“Now, possibly,” Whiteman wrote, “space craft are visiting our planet and submerging in small lakes in order to freeze a sheath of ice around the craft to ward off the ‘shrapnel’ of outer space, namely meteors and meteorites.
“In which case it would be likely that sometimes small fishes or frogs would be frozen into the ice around the UFO. The ice falls may be either chunks of ice chipped off the UFO by a meteor or the UFO may melt off the ice deliberately before coming to the Earth’s surface to renew the coating.
“If the ice containing the fish or frogs melted before reaching Earth we would have a heavy but localized rainfall accompanied by aquatic life.”
Whiteman concluded his piece with the question, “Has anyone found ice chunks fallen from the sky with fish or frogs or other aquatic life frozen in them?”
“Frogs from the Sky,” by Jean D. Byers in the January 1961 issue of Fate
“I See by the Papers,” by Curtis Fuller in the June 1960 issue of Fate
“Raining Fish,” in the December 31st, 1959 issue of the Leader Post (Regina, Saskatchewan)
“More Falling Frogs,” by W. West in the June 1959 issue of Fate
“I See by the Papers,” by Curtis Fuller in the November 1954 issue of Fate
“Fishes and Frogs,” by Robert Whiteman in the January 1961 issue of Fate