May Be First Known Case Wed, Dec 1, 1954 – 15 · The Journal Times (Racine, Racine, Wisconsin, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Mrs. Ann Hodges was not the first to claim injury by meteorite, but her unusual story was the first to be verified as true.
On November 30, 1954, an explosion in the sky was the only warning the napping Ann would get of the 7-inch, 8 pound meteorite hurtling her way. It crashed through her roof, bounced off a radio, and hit the sleeping woman on her hip.
Meteorite Injures Woman in Home Wed, Dec 1, 1954 – 1 • The Morning Call (Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, United States of America) • Newspapers.com
The space rock’s impact led to a big bruise and even bigger publicity. Much of the media attention came from the peculiar nature of the event. What are the chances that with all the open, empty space in the world, the meteorite hit a sleeping woman on a couch in Alabama? But more headlines followed when the meteorite was claimed by both the Hodgeses and their landlord, Birdie (Bertie) Guy. A legal dispute followed over who would get the meteorite. Guy eventually settled out of court; she would give up her claim in return for $500. Ultimately the Air Force returned it to Ann and her husband, who would later donate it to the Alabama Museum of Natural History.
Meteorite Fragment Thu, Dec 2, 1954 – 1 • The Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama, United States of America) • Newspapers.com
Mrs. Hewlett Hodges and the meteorite Thu, Dec 2, 1954 – 3 • Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States of America) • Newspapers.com
Mrs. Hodges, the hole in her roof, and the meteorite fragment Wed, Dec 1, 1954 – 1 • Alabama Journal (Montgomery, Alabama, United States of America) • Newspapers.com
The One in a Million
Ann Hodges remains the only person in history to have been verifiably injured by a meteorite. The offending rock still remains on display in the Alabama museum today, its story summed up in a single line: “Penetrated roof of house and struck Mrs. Hodges on the thigh.”
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