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What Happened In 1954 In Alabama Will Leave You Baffled

Imagine for a moment, you’re napping on your couch when suddenly a meteorite comes crashing through the roof and strikes you. Sounds impossible, right? What if I were to tell you that it’s not impossible, and it actually did happen to an Alabama woman in the early 1950s? That’s right. It sure did, and her name was Ann Hodges – the only confirmed person in history to have been hit by a meteorite.

In Sylacauga, on November 30, 1954, while Ann was napping on her couch, a grapefruit-sized black rock came crashing through her ceiling, bounced off her radio, and finally hit her thigh. The result of this contact was a pineapple-shaped bruise. What makes this event rare is the fact that most meteorites crash into the ocean or remote places and not into peoples’ homes.

Before the meteorite crashed into Ann’s living room, several Sylacauga residents had reported seeing a bright reddish light. Some even reported seeing a fireball. A local geologist arrived on the scene shortly after the incident and confirmed the object was indeed a meteorite.

Soon, this event attracted lots of local attention. As crowds of people tried to enter Ann’s home, her husband, Eugene, pushed them aside. Ann was soon transferred to a nearby hospital to be checked out. While all of this was going on, the Sylacauga police chief took the meteorite and turned it over to the Air Force. Ann wanted it back, but there was a problem. Because Ann and Eugene were renting their home, Ann couldn’t claim the meteorite. Everyone agreed that Ann should have it, but her landlady wanted it for herself because it had fallen on her property.

Ann and Eugene’s landlady eventually settled out of court. She gave up the meteorite in exchange for $500. The Hodges donated the meteorite to the Alabama Museum of Natural History in 1956, and it’s still on display today.

Because of the madness this event created, Ann eventually had a nervous breakdown. She didn’t enjoy being in the spotlight, and all of the sudden attention really took a toll on her. Sadly, in 1964, Ann and Eugene separated. And in 1972, at the age of 52, Ann died of kidney failure.

After that eventful November day in 1954, Ann was never the same again.

To view the meteorite and the radio it struck, be sure to check out this video:

To see the display in person, here’s the address:

Alabama Museum of Natural History
The University of Alabama
Box 870340
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0340

What are your thoughts about this crazy event?

Jennifer
Jennifer is the Alabama staff writer for Only In Your State.