Whizz - - - Bang!
By Graham Conway.
Witnesses interviewed by Steve Adair and Graham Conway on 9th January, 2000.
For the Allen-Bergeron family Sunday, January 2nd, 2000 was a not too special day. If anything it was a "clean up after Christmas" sort of day. And that meant taking the Christmas tree to Newton Athletic Park on 128th Street in Surrey, to the chipper that was located there. They disposed of the tree and as they were leaving at around 15:55 an East Indian gentleman approached them in a great state of agitation asking if they would be witness to a highly unusual event. According to his account he had been walking through the park when he heard a whistling sound approaching. A few seconds later a large piece of ice fell out of a clear blue sky and landed in the soft turf about two feet away, shattering on impact and throwing fragments over an area about fifty feet in diameter! His first reaction was to look upwards for an aircraft, but the sky was clear and none was to be seen. Daniel Bergeron said that the man was visibly shaken as he recounted the circumstances.
The hole that was created was about one foot wide and a foot deep. A large fragment of ice remained embedded in the soft soil. If this original ice fall had hit this man he would most certainly have been killed.
By this time a crowd of people had gathered around to wonder and commiserate with the near victim. Someone phoned 911 (why?) and shortly afterwards the Newton Fire Department arrived. A fireman lifted out the ice chunk, stirred around in the impact crater with his flashlight and of course discovered nothing more of any consequence.
Although concerned about the possible effect of radiation, Colleen and Daniel picked up two pieces of ice about the size of tennis balls, took them home and placed them in the deep freeze in plastic bags.
The ice is opaque, weighs a quarter of a pound, the second chunk maybe slightly less. If it fell from an aircraft toilet then no chemical discoloration can be seen, nor is human waste apparent to either the eye or nose. It will be interesting to see what a laboratory analysis will disclose, (if anything).
At this point it would be worth mentioning I think that whilst on the topic of unusual incidents, this took place right in the centre of the "Surrey Corridor" (a long history of high strangeness), was in close proximity to an electrical sub station, and is only one of many recorded incidents of strange ice falls, even here in Vancouver. A few years ago two such falls took place within one week! Both went through the roof of the owners homes.
Although BCTV carried the report on the evening news none of the city newspapers seemed to pay attention to it. Not even the Surrey Leader and the Surrey Now.
For those readers who are prepared to again attribute this event to a passing, (long since gone aircraft) it should be pointed out that Charles Fort recorded large chunks of ice falling from the sky as far back as 1802 and that is only one of many cases recorded during the 1800s from a variety of diverse locations such as Britain, Spain, France, Hungary, Tunisia, India and the United States. When one of these pieces weigh 80 lbs and in another instance is 3 wide, 3 long and two feet thick! you have to ask yourself other questions, to which simple answers are not easily found.
And, oh yes, before I forget. About 15 "iceballs" have rained down in Spain in the first three weeks of January, 2000. One of them, a lump of ice weighing 8 lbs, fell out of the sky onto a car, demolishing it! That event took place on the 12th January in Madrid.
Not a bad start for mysteries of the new millenium.
Above: Sabrina Allen beside crater left by Iceball impacting at Newton Athletic Park, in Surrey. Above: Daniel Bergeron, Colleen Allen and Brandon beside "Ice Hole". Above and below: Fragments of the Surrey "Iceball". Compared to a "Toonie" on the left and a quarter on the right.
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