The year was 1884. It was a June afternoon in the Dundy County ranch land, and a cattleman was riding out for a roundup with several of his hands. The last direction any of them expected danger to come from was above. But that was how it happened.

With a sudden rushing roar, a huge bright object fell out of the sky and struck earth. It hit the bank above them, and then bounded like a white-hot marble into the distance. The men scrambled up the ridge and saw it about half a mile away until it disappeared into a distant draw.

Intrigued, they galloped as fast as they could toward it. The path that the object had made burned with an intense heat, most of which was emitted by certain objects that it had left behind: cog-wheels and machinery (their description-we may know better nowadays) that scorched the grass a long way around. Finally, they came to the edge of a deep ravine which held the unearthly object. The very air was hot, and the meteor gave off a light so intense that the eye could not bear to rest upon it. An unfortunate soul named Alf Williamson actually stood with his head above the rise, and even though his distance from the object itself was over 200 feet, he collapsed after seconds of exposure, extremely burned and permanently blinded. He was afterwards taken to a hospital in Denver.

So, the little party wisely turned back, and along the places where the "mysterious visitor" had bounced, the sand had been fused into glass. The cattleman, Mr. John Ellis, returned to his house, his curiosity still unsatisfied. But he sent messages to his neighbors, who came to see this strange thing. By the time night fell, it was still impossible to bear the object's powerful glow.

Many investigators visited the site, and verified the event in painstaking detail. These included a Denver Tribune representative and E.W. Rawlins, a brand inspector. The latter, by virtue of his profession, was accustomed to observing and recording detail. Once the pieces of machinery cooled off, he hefted one with a shovel. It was about sixteen inches wide, three inches thick, three-and-a-half feet long, and propellor-shaped. Surprisingly, it weighed no more than five pounds. There was also what looked like a fragment of a wheel with a mille edge, having a diameter of seven or eight feet. The flying object itself was described as a huge cylinder, fifty or sixty feet in length with a ten or twelve-foot diameter. It all seemed metallic in nature, but this "aerolite" was unlike any metal any of them had ever seen.

The party was soon over. On June 8 of the same year, a torrential rainstorm hit the area, and strangely, by the end of it, all that was left of the object and the components it had strewn in its path were several small gel-like puddles, which quickly lost their metallic essence and were gone in the runoff. The air was filled with "a faint, sweetish smell".

We were not involved with this story until a little over 100 years later, when we came into possession of our first lapidary collection. In it were specimens of green glass, in which were embedded strange fluffy ball-like inclusions. We were told that a glass factory had burned in the desert, and that as the melt flowed, it somehow picked up these irregularities from the sand. We accepted this story, as it was the only one available.

Then in 2009, we were sent an article from the McCook Daily Gazette about the 1884 event, which quoted the Nebraska State Journal from around the time of the crash. The next time we went down to the States on our vacation, we managed to obtain a larger chunk of glass with the same fluffy inclusions. It has been described as lime jello with cottage cheese, and that seems an apt description.


Robert Golka, a scientist at MIT, has been studying the phenomenon for years, scouring the country for samples. He works with the support of the scientific community, as well as the chemists at the Corning Glass works in New York. As most of the glass has been picked by curiosity-seekers, no one quite knows the original location of the crash, but we can deduce some facts about this aerial visitor. It must have burned incredibly hot, indeed. According to Golka, this green glass would correspond with the high temperatures involved. Green glass, by the way, is also produced by the temperatures at atomic blast sites.

One thing which must be kept in mind about this story is that these happenings were reported before ufology became the popular subject it is today. People's minds were relatively unbiased on the subject.

Here we have presented all the information we have been given. Of course, we leave any conclusions up to the reader. We have examined our sample with all methods at our disposal, but still it declines to reveal its secrets. Perhaps that knowledge is being held off for some time in the future, or it may be that we shall never really know.

Nice talking to you!

Ben Livingstone


Benkelman Post August 25, 2010
McCook Daily Gazette July 13, 2009
Nebraska State Journal June 7, 1884
June 9, 1884