Ian Goddard, <Ian@Goddard.net>, writes:
> ON A SKEPTICAL NOTE...
> In my brief inquiry into possible explanations for the facts
> outlined in the ENS news reports about mysterious spraying
> from jets , it's my assessment at this time that some
> innocuous explanations are taking the lead. Here's why:
It is good to be skeptical and open to non-conspiracy explanations.
> * The major bug I've discovered with the accounts of
> cobwebs and "angle hair" falling from aircraft and UFOs
> is that all the accounts I've found have the witnesses
> claiming that the material "disappears" when they try
> to collect it! I suppose it could suddenly melt and turn
> to a gas (as is claimed) whenever people get near it(?!);
> however, claims that the evidence is gathered by it keeps
> disappearing before it can be tested are suspect on their
> face! My request for information about the four samples
> of "angel hair" ENS reported remains unanswered. I can
> only assume and hope that, if those samples were taken
> successfully as indicated, they didn't also disappear.
I have read about various reports of "angel hair" like this in connection with UFOs. The 1977 book, "Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena", by William Corliss, briefly mentions such reports, including the behavior of subliming (vaporizing) on contact or approach. (Not that there is anything contradictory in such behavior; many substances will do this, depending on conditions.)
Corliss quotes one particularly interesting report, not UFO related, in connection with "cobweb" or "gossamer" showers:
"The cobweb matter becomes more bizarre with the following datum from the M.V. Roxburgh Castle, moored at Montreal on October 10, 1962. 'At 2000 GMT, while the Roxburgh Castle was moored to her berth (Section 24) in Montreal, I was walking round outside my accommodation and noticed fine white filaments of unknown kind hanging around stanchions and topping lift wires of derricks.
"'Calling the attention of the Chief Officer, I pulled one of these strands from a stanchion and found it to be quite tough and resilient. I stretched it, but it would not break easily (as, for instance, a cobweb would have done), and after keeping it in my hand for 3 or 4 minutes it disappeared completely; in other words, it just vanished into nothing.
"'Looking up, we could see small cocoons of material floating down from the sky, but as far as we could ascertain there was nothing either above or at street level to account for this extraordinary occurance.
"'Unfortunately I could not manage to preserve samples of the filaments as the disappearance took place so quickly' (Marine Observer, 33: 187-88, 1963)."
The existence of "angel hair" has been reported enough that I would tentatively conclude that it really exists. However it is doubtful that it has anything to do with secret weather modification projects.