Ann Hodgesa woman from Alabama, in the United States had a unique experience in her life as she became the first documented case of a person hit by a meteorite falling from the sky.
Hodges never intended to be famous, but she was thrust into the national spotlight when his nap was interrupted by an otherworldly rock in 1954.
In the nearly 58 years since that day, Hodges and his strange story remain a source of fascination.. How did Ann Hodges receive the meteorite in her body? and, above all, how did she survive after the impact? were some questions from the people who knew about her adventure.
The nap that was interrupted by a meteorite
Mary Beth Prondzinskiwho is responsible for the collections at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, where the meteorite is on display, wrote in the facility’s memoir, “It’s one of those local legends that not too many people know about.”
Although the Asteroid Day It is celebrated every June 30 to commemorate the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history, the Siberian Tunguska event. However, the story of Ann Hodges should be taken into account.
It all happened at a time when both the threat of an atomic bomb and that of aliens invaded the fear of the population. That’s why it’s not strange that the residents of the small town in Alabama, when they saw the fireball, started calling 911.
According to the Decatur Daily media report, many thought they were witnessing a plane crash.
Ann Hodges, with her husband, rented a house in the Oak Grove community. “Unbelievably, across the street was the Comet drive-in, which had a neon sign depicting a comet falling through the sky,” the Decatur Daily News reported.
How did the meteorite get on Ann Hodges’ leg?
Hodges, who was 34 at the time, had been home with his mother on the afternoon of November 30.. The meteorite crashed into the roof of the Hodges house at 2:46 p.m., according to the specialized magazine Slate.
The post says that “Ann Hodges was napping on the sofa in her living room and was under a blanketwhich probably saved his life in a way,” Prondzinski said.
“The meteor came down through the living room ceiling and bounced off a stand-up console radio that was in the bedroom and landed on his hip” added the chronicle.
Her mother, who was in another room, ran to her daughter’s aid when she heard her scream. Afterward, neither Hodges nor his mother knew what had happened to him..
“All she knew was that something had hit herProndzinski said. “They found the meteorite, a big rock, and they couldn’t figure out how it got there.”
Prondzinski said that the meteorite was composed of iron and nickel. According to the Smithsonian magazine, it was estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.
When the meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it broke apart. One fragment hit Hodges, while another was located a few miles away by a farmer. named Julius Kempis McKinney who discovered the fragment while driving a mule-drawn cart.
McKinney later sold it for enough money to buy a house and a car.according to him Decatur DailyNews.
“Before defining what had fallen from the sky, everyone in the town was surrounding the house wanting to see what happened,” said Prondzinski.
“There was no social media back then, but certainly word spread quickly,” Prondzinski said.
A doctor and the police were called to the house. And the mayor, Ed Howard, also attended. They discovered the hole in the ceiling where the meteorite had crashed.
According to witnesses, the meteor impact left a large “grapefruit”-sized bruise on Hodges’ hip.
“She was taken to the hospital, not because she was seriously injured that she needed to be hospitalized, but because she was very upset by the whole incident.. He was a very nervous person, and he didn’t like all the notoriety and all the people that were around.”
Hodges’ husband, Eugene, came home from work to find his house surrounded by a crowd of people. He soon found out what was going on.
“I think the fact that she went through the roof slowed her trajectory, if she had taken the full impact, she would have broken her leg or her back. It probably wouldn’t have killed her, but it would have hurt her a lot more.Prondzinsky said.
“The Air Force looked at it because they thought it was a flying saucer and all that crazy stuff,” Prondzinski said.
The fight for Ann Hodges to be the owner of the meteorite that hit her
After it was confirmed to be a meteorite, the Hodges faced a lengthy litigation process to acquire their property. Her landlady, Birdie Guy, thinks the meteorite belongs to her because she owns the house.
“Suing the government to have the meteorite that hit me is the only way I’m going to get it,” Hodges said on a television show at the time, “I believe that God destined it for me. After all, he hit me“.
According to him Decatur DailyNews, the Hodges wanted money to fix the roof of the house. The litigation dragged on for a year, and Prondzinski said Guy settled for $500. Eventually the house burned down and was demolished to make way for a mobile home park.
Hodges became an overnight celebrity and even appeared on a game show.
Ann Hodges became famous at onceand. “She was invited to go to New York to participate in the Garry Moore show, “I have a secret, in which the jury had to guess what her profession is or what happened to her, why she is a notable figure”, Prondzinsky said.
Hodges received fan letters from churches, children, and educators asking about the meteorite.but never responded to any of them, leaving it in the hands of his lawyer.
“He was a very private person,” Prondzinski said. “He didn’t like having all the notoriety.”
Ultimately, Hodges decided to donate the meteorite to the Alabama Museum of Natural History. It was not a decision made for a scientific question, but because it caused many arguments in the couple.
The husband wanted to make money from the meteorite, but could not find a buyer. And the tensions only subsided when they divorced in 1964.
Finally, in 1972, Ann Hodges passed away in a nursing home. She was 52 years old.