Three unrelated stories of a strange, unusual or dark nature.
January 15, 1919
A wave of molasses nearly 8 meters high, travelling at 60km/h, blew out the walls of the distilling company building and out into the streets. Several nearby buildings were completely destroyed, swept off their foundations to tumble along the avenue.
Several people were lifted off their feet before the wave got to them, a gush of wind preceded it with enough force to hurl people along before it.
The wave left a large area covered in stickiness and in some places the molasses was waist deep. Horses that had been knocked off their feet were unable to stand back up and drowned. Nearby basements and cellars were filled as the wave passed and several people drowned inside, underground... including several workers in the distilleries basement.
Rescue efforts were hampered by the fact that just about everything now looked the same, all covered in thick molasses. It was incredibly hard to discern a hurt person from a mundane object. It was only by the movements of those struggling in the goop that people were found. The eventual toll was 21 people dead (along with several horses) and 150 people injured.
After an investigation was carried out there was a class-action lawsuit held against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company, and survivors of deceased victims were awarded about $7,000 per victim.
The cause was found to be both structural and environmental. Many safety tests were not carried out during the molasses tanks construction, including things as simple as making sure it did not leak – in fact this tank leaked so much that the company painted it brown to hid the leakages!
The steel in the tanks construction was not the required thickness either.
Add to that the sudden rise in temperature on that day causing fermentation to go up and the increase in carbon dioxide gases and essentially it was one very large bomb primed to go off - and this could have been easily avoided.
January 15, 1797
Such a disturbance was not going to go unnoticed and soon Hetherington was arraigned before the Lord Mayor. Hetherington was charged with breaching the peace and inciting a riot as he had "appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat (which was shiny lustre and calculated to frighten timid people)".
Hetherington was fined £50, however, the Top Hat had gathered fans and soon he was making a lot of money filling orders for the new fashion.
(Note, although Hetherington is at times credited with inventing the top hat, he did not, its just in this instance he really helped the trend kick off in England.)
January 19, 1966
At the site where the UFO took off from, a round area had been cleared in the reeds. In this 'nest' the water was seen to slowly rotate as if it had been recently disturbed. This circular area was about 9 meters in diameter, a little larger than the size George Pedley recalled the UFO to be.
The RAAF, royal Australian Air Force, concluded that the object was a type of whirlwind that flattened the reeds. This whirlwind also sucked up some of the reeds and it was these reeds, travelling at high speed within the whirlwinds cone that gave the appearance of the saucer shaped flying object...
Not everyone agrees with this explanation.