A strange clear goo falls on the town of Oakville, Washington.

A gelatinous material fell from the sky

Tests were performed on the substance

CASE DETAILS

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:

“I got sick, my wife got sick, my daughter, everybody that lived here got sick.”

Beverly Roberts:

“Everybody in the whole town came down with, like, a flu, only it was a really hard flu. It didn’t last, like, 7 days. It lasted 7 weeks, 2 or 3 months.”

The gooey substance covered the windshield

Officer David Lacey was on patrol with a civilian friend at 3:00 AM when the downpour began:

“We turned our windshield wipers on and it just started smearing to the point where we could almost not see. And we both looked at each other and we said, ‘Jeez, this isn’t right.’ I mean, we’re out in the middle of nowhere, basically, and where did this come from?”

Officer Lacey pulled into a gas station to de-goo his windshield. As an added precaution, he put on a pair of latex gloves:

“The substance was very mushy. It’s almost like if you had Jell-O in your hand and you could pretty much squish it through your fingers. We did have some bells go off in our heads that basically said that this isn’t right, this isn’t normal.”

Local resident Dotty Hearn was equally puzzled.  By the time she stepped outside that morning, the storm had ended but the blobs were everywhere:

“It looked like hail laying on top of the wood box and everywhere else.  So I just went over, and I touched it, and it wasn’t hail. It was a gelatinous-like material.”

That afternoon, Officer Lacey suddenly became ill:

“I was to the point where I could hardly breathe. I started to put it together that, possibly, whatever the substance was, it made me violently sick like I never had been before, to the point where it just totally shut me down.”

Across town, Dotty Hearn was sick also:

“I started feeling dizzy. Everything started moving around and around, and it got worse, and, as it did, I became increasingly nauseated.”

An hour later, Dotty’s daughter and son found her sprawled on the bathroom floor.
Sunny Barclift is Dotty’s daughter:

“She was cold, drenched with perspiration. My mom had been vomiting. She had extreme vertigo. She complained that she had difficulty with her vision, her vision was blurring.”

Dotty spent the next three days in the hospital. The diagnosis:  a severe inner ear infection. But Dotty’s daughter had a different idea:

“For some reason, as we were going out the door, I remembered the substance and I wondered if perhaps it might have had some sort of an effect on her, if it might have made her sick.  So I opted, at that moment, to take a sample of this gelatinous material to the hospital.”

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:

“It was very uniform. There was no structure that we could see visibly or with a microscope. I set it up on various microbiological media and attempted to isolate bacteria.”

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 FAA ruled that out, because under the regulations, human waste is dyed blue. The substance was not blue. It was crystal-clear in color.”

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:

“I saw what I think was a eukaryotic cell, which is, basically, a cell that has a definable nucleus, and is found present in most animals.”

Translation:  the goo was alive. But where did it come from? Sunny Barclift recounted one theory she heard:

“Someone theorized that since the navy had been conducting live bombing runs at sea, they might have blown up a school of jellyfish. And, of course, this jellyfish would have been thrown up into the air and floated 50 miles inland and, over a period of 3 weeks, fallen 6 times. I find that somewhat preposterous.”

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:

“We had a significant amount of military aircraft flying over the home prior to this happening.”

Dotty Hearn:

“Every day almost, we had slow flying bombers, helicopters, all black in color, and we kind of thought maybe it might’ve come from them.”

Maurice Gobeil:

“They let off things in the air all the time here. There’s testing done all over the place. There are a lot of places you can’t go into.”

Beverly Roberts:

“Maybe we were a biological experiment of some kind, a small one, maybe just to get people a little bit sick to find out, say, if an enemy did come over here with a biological bomb or something and dropped it, maybe it was just a test run to see how, what would happen.”

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.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season nine with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

 

21 Comments

  1. BruceH

    The gel appears to be the same type thats used in diapers. Rectilinear, clear, sticky blobs.
    Maybe a dust devil or small twister dragged through a dump site, picked it up and scattered it around.
    Could explain the bacterial, DNA and toxic contents

    Reply

  2. julete

    what season nd episode is this?

    Reply

    • Unsolved Mysteries

      Unsolved Mysteries Post author

      This case is streaming in S9:E6 with Robert Stack, S5:E20 with Dennis Farina and in SP108 on Lifetime and Escape.

      Reply

  3. Anna

    I just found some in my back patio.

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    My dad’s tribe is Chehalis, so when I first saw this I was interested! Over the years, this story tumbled around in my head until I came up with a grand plan to write a fiction book! I went to Oakville and started asking questions – everyone acted like they had no idea what I was talking about! This was in 2003. At a little restaurant on the end of town, a waitress became excited when I asked her about it. We chatted. And then…a man in cammo turned around from the counter to watch us, glaring. She stopped talking right away! On the nearby Indian reservation, even family members wouldn’t talk to me about it. I spoke with the employee at the labs that analyzed the goo…he went into details, although he no longer works with Amtest. Later on I went back to my motel room…it has been broken into! Nothing was stolen, but I felt creepy like it was turning into an all new episode of your show! So I went home to Oregon. I plan to pick up the story I started writing back then, one day, and finish it.

    Reply

  5. Roxx

    I had a UFO experience in June 1994 in Tustin CA. We had to give Petrie dish of our DNA, then had to repeat the experience the next night because they had “an emergency in the sky” and lost all of the stuff. I don’t talk about this because it’s too creepy!

    Reply

  6. man in black

    another case of the American government/military using its own people as experimental guinea pigs. they should stop doing that.

    Reply

  7. USAF

    This was due to an experiment using chemicals to absorb moisture to avoid damages due to hurricanes and tornadoes

    There was a Silicone powder which we the USAF released a Silicone Powder Compound above Storm Clouds in an effort to absorb the moisture within the clouds to avoid heavy rainfall, etc. This test was abandoned. It was called Operation Popeye.
    Geez, Hope I don’t disappear for disclosing what is already public info See: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=us+government+release+silicone+powder+to+harness+storms

    This is readily available if one was to search within NOAA.

    What makes this an Unsolved Mystery?

    Reply

  8. Erick holmgren

    This is for real it really happened

    Reply

  9. Star jelly viewer

    I see the jelly all over road and the sides of the roads in winlock wa walking home in morning on 506 years ago I pick it up in my hand. And played with it for a minute and it dissolved in my hand

    Reply

  10. lake michigan 256

    also I never saw it fall.

    Reply

  11. lake michigan 256

    I don’t know if it was the same thing but a couple years ago something exactly like that appeared in the driveway at my house in Dexter,MI. I picked it up without gloves and it didn’t hurt me also it didn’t make me feel sick. I found it right before I was about to leave for school which was in the morning and then when I got back mostly all of it was gone. ( I think it evaporated) the weird thing is that it only appeared in a certain section of my driveway and lawn it was’nt anywhere else.

    Reply

  12. Brian Beach

    This was seeding of clouds testing but with a twist a way of delivery of agents onto the battle feld problem was the cold caused the agent is gel up when they wanted a unform compleet coverage of a controled area with out the agent remaing in the atmosphere for a long time note the test agent eas vary low amounts.

    Reply