A strange clear goo falls on the town of Oakville, Washington.
Oakville, Washington. Population: 723. Clouds fill the sky here daily, bringing rain on average of 149 days a year. So when it began pouring on the morning of August 7, 1994, no one was really concerned, until they realized it wasn’t raining rain. It was raining tiny blobs of gelatinous goo. It came down in torrents, covering 20 square miles. And it made people sick, including Maurice Gobeil:
Officer David Lacey was on patrol with a civilian friend at 3:00 AM when the downpour began:
Officer Lacey pulled into a gas station to de-goo his windshield. As an added precaution, he put on a pair of latex gloves:
Local resident Dotty Hearn was equally puzzled. By the time she stepped outside that morning, the storm had ended but the blobs were everywhere:
That afternoon, Officer Lacey suddenly became ill:
Across town, Dotty Hearn was sick also:
An hour later, Dotty’s daughter and son found her sprawled on the bathroom floor.
Dotty spent the next three days in the hospital. The diagnosis: a severe inner ear infection. But Dotty’s daughter had a different idea:
A lab technician found a startling clue. The substance contained human white blood cells. But exactly what it was and why it fell from the sky could not be determined. The goo was immediately sent to the Washington State Department of Health. It was examined by microbiologist Mike McDowell:
Mike McDowell discovered that the sample was full of two species of bacteria, one of which makes its home in the human digestive system. Sunny Barclift wondered if it was human waste dropped from an airliner:
The blobs rained down on Oakville six times over a three-week period. Dozens of people got sick. Several dogs and cats died after coming in contact with it. Nearly a year after Dotty Hearn’s illness, she took a sample of the material she had stored in her freezer to a private research lab. Tim Davis is a microbiologist with Amtest Laboratories:
Translation: the goo was alive. But where did it come from? Sunny Barclift recounted one theory she heard:
The Air Force confirmed that practice bombing runs were being conducted over the Pacific. However, they denied any knowledge of the unknown substance or any involvement in creating or dispersing it. But some locals were not reassured. Sunny Barclift:
Today it’s impossible to say what the goo was or where it came from because all the evidence has disappeared. The Washington Department of Health says it can find no record of what happened to the samples it received.