A cobweb-like and jellylike substance which is also slightly radioactive often falls to the ground shortly after UFO sightings. The substance dubbed “angel’s hair” evaporates without a trace several hours after the sighting. The “hair” was reported to either disintegrate or turn into cottony tufts with an offensive smell when held in the hand. American ufologists refer to the material as “angel’s hair”; Italians call it “siliceous cotton”; and the French use the term “the Madonna’s present” to describe semitransparent threads that fall from heavens.
Ufologists first began discussing the phenomenon in 1954. Two men, namely Gennaro Lucetti and Pietro Lastrucci stood on the balcony of a hotel located in St. Mark’s Square of Venice, on October 27, 1954. The men suddenly saw two “shining spindles” flying across the sky. The objects left a fiery white trail as they zipped along. Both objects flew at high speed, one of them at some distance away from the other. Then the objects took a U-turn and flew away in the direction of Florence.
There were reports on an unexpected break in a soccer game played in one of the Florence stadiums on that afternoon. The players, referees and about 10 thousand spectators just stood there gazing at two objects which flew over the stadium. A couple of unidentified objects flew over the city thrice from 14.20 to 1429. A number of strange cobweb-like threads started to drop to the arena once the objects disappeared.
The substance was quick to disintegrate if held in the hand. Alfrede Jacopozzi, a student, was the only one who managed to pick up a few threads of it and sealed them in a hermetic test tube. Jacopozzi then handed the tube to Professor Giovanni Canneri, a director of the Chemical Analysis Institute under the University of Florence. Professor Danilo Cozzi, a colleague of Prof. Canneri’s, carried out a series of tests of the mysteries find. “It’s a fibrous material, which is highly resistant to tension and torsion. Once subjected to heat action, the material grows dark and evaporates, leaving transparent sediment that melts away. The sediment was found to contain boron, silicon, and magnesium. Hypothetically speaking, the substance may be some kind of boron-silicon glass,” said Prof. Cozzi.
American ufologist Charles Maney suggested that the material was “the UFO excess energy which materialized.” According to him, “the treads return to their dimension or some other space-time continuum while fading away.” A British ufologist suggested that “angel’s hair” was a variety of ectoplasm emanated during a spiritualistic session.
B. V. Lyapunov, a Soviet-era researcher who did a lot to popularize science, received a sample of “angel’s hair” from New Zealand in 1967. A tightly sealed tube contained some unknown stuff measuring less than one-tenth of a cubic centimeter. A comprehensive analysis of the substance was conducted by a team of scientists. Physicist L. V. Kirichenko, a specialist in radiometry, concluded that the substance “is a fine-fibered material; some of its fibers are less than 0.1 micron in diameter. Most fibers are tangled in the bundles or separate “threads” measuring 20 microns in diameter. The threads look somewhat whitish and semitransparent. There aren’t any known analogues to the analyzed substance.” Summing up the study of the material, Academician I. V. Petryanov-Sokolov said that “the sample is of considerable interest as a material with extremely fine fibers. It is unlikely that the material was formed by nature.”
Unfortunately, the entire amount of the substance was used up during the research. No new samples of “angel’s hair” have ever been obtained though the phenomenon was repeatedly reported in this country.
According to reports spread by the British Society for UFO Studies in August 1998, mysterious cobwebs fell to the ground shortly after an UFO sighting in North Wales. The 60-year-old Mrs. Stanfield and her daughter-in-law saw “about 20 silver balls in the sky” prior to taking note of cobweb-like material which descended to the ground.
There are times when “angel’s hair” falls out from a clear blue sky. Residents of the city of Montgomery in the United States reported the fall of “flying web type substance” in 1898. According to the description provided by eyewitnesses, the threads of the material resembled somewhat fluorescent asbestos fibers. On February 10, 1978, a large number of sticky fibers were falling from the sky for two hours in the vicinity of the coastal city of Samaru, New Zealand. The fibers appeared to be “considerably finer than cobwebs” yet clearly visible against a clear blue sky.
Some of the fibers looked like knots the size of a tennis ball; they were slowly unwinding across the air. Others were floating in a cluster which resembled a jet plane’s heat wake. “I’ve never heard about anything like that,” said a spokesman for the Department of Science and Industry Research of New Zealand.