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Spain bombarded by giant chunks of ice

Spain has been bombarded by giant chunks of ice from clear skies. Scientists say they could be a sign of global warming.

Megacryometeors tend to weigh more than 22 pounds and could leave 5-foot holes in houses. You wouldn't worry that a hailstone-like block of ice might fall on your head... But these great blocks of ice are formed where they shouldn't exist. And they aren't neither hoaxes nor ice from passing aircraft. Its isotopic composition bears the signature of Iberian rain. That indicates that components of the atmosphere are changing in different levels.

Some ice clouds made from crystallized vapor trails of aircraft remain longer now. Their centers then fall, bouncing and gathering mass to smash a car windshields or land softly in a field. The first megacryometeor in 2002 was found by startled farmer riding his tractor in Soria weighed 35.27 pounds. It's registered worldwide more than 50 of them over last decade. One of them weighing around 440 found in Brazil. Others have been found in Mexico and Australia.

A model created by Jesus Martinez-Frias and his team shows that ice can form on a clear day.


On Tuesday, January 18, 2000, a large block of ice fell in the small city of Albalat de la Ribera in Valencia province.

On Monday, January 17, 2000, a block of ice fell in the middle of the seaport city of Cadiz, located 400 kilometers (240 miles) southwest of Madrid, the national capital.

"The block of ice fell on La Palma street, in the popular La Vina neighborhood (of Cadiz) around 3:30 p.m., according to a brief communique issued by the Policia Nacional. The object, being 3,750 cubic centimeters in volume, was collected by the police prior to its transfer to the local precinct headquarters to determine its weight."

To date, a dozen large ice chunks have fallen in Spain, three in Valencia alone. Two have fallen in Andalucia (southern Spain--J.T.), including one large chunk in the town of Tocina in Sevilla province.

In Cadiz, the police were summoned by Jose Manuel D., a pedestrian "who was walking down the street and witnessed the icefall."

"The chunks of ice of unknown origin--the three latest yesterday (Monday) in Valencia--have led the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Superior Council of Scientific Investigations--J.T.) to create an interdisciplinary task force whose goal should be conducting a comprative analysis of the samples to determine if they have the same origin."

"Meteorologists from Spain's Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia" in Sevilla, Murcia and Valenncia "have agreed that the meteorological conditions were not propitious for the formation of such ice masses."

The Instituto thinks "the ice may have fallen from spacecraft or aircraft or may be the remains of cometary nuclei."

"Jesus Martinez Frias, a CSIC geologist who traveled to Valencia to collect a fragment of the object that fell in that community, was able to take the most recent of them," i.e. the one that fell in Albalat de la Ribera.

Martinez Frias "will study the piece of ice at the Instituto del Frio de Madrid. He admits his astonishment. 'I'm the most startled one when it comes to this kind of phenomena. It's to early to engage in a priori evaluations but everything points to a cometary origin for these fragments.'"

One fragment was milky white, was estimated to have frozen at minus 220 degrees Centigrade and showed traces of quartz embedded within.

But not everybody buys the outer-space theory. "Javier Armentia, director of the Pamplona Planetarium, finds it hard to believe that they could be remnants from a comet's tail, also known as 'dirty snowballs.'"

"'I'm convinced that parts of this phenomenon are little more than pranks. In other words, following the falls of one or two ice fragments, there was a wave effect, similar to what happens with UFOs,' he opines that it 'will be necessary to wait for the ice analyses to be completed'" to discover if they are "'only made of tap water.'"
(See the newspaper El Mundo of Madrid for January 19, 1999, "A scientific commission researches the mysterious ice shower."

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