Test Your Mettle With These Mysterious Small Town Stories From Around the Web - Odd Nugget


Paranormal small town stories like these are strange enough to pique anybody's interest. Take a look...

Curse the Dark (The Harstone Legacy Book 1)

Sadie Goodwin thought she'd endured the worst life could throw at her when she lost her mother and was left to face her future alone.

That was until she was kidnapped and dragged into a world where the monsters and legends of her childhood walked the streets.

Certain that a mistake has been made, Sadie struggles to understand what is happening to her and why, but there is one thing that is becoming clear.

Despite what she has believed her entire life, she does have family, and her family needs her.

Unfortunately, this family could also get her killed.

Curse the Dark (The Harstone Legacy Book 1) on Wattpad

Did a small-town college professor discover the first-ever evidence of extraterrestrial life back in 1959? - a little-known European mystery that totally belongs in the X Files

Did a small-town college professor discover the first-ever evidence of extraterrestrial life back in 1959? - a little-known European mystery that totally belongs in the X Files

November 2nd, 1959. It was an exceptionally chilly day. Professor Guedes do Amaral, a biologist and headmaster of a local college was sitting at his desk going through his notes. From his window, he could see the clear blue skies of Southern Portugal as the majestic Mediterranean sun shone up above. If it wasn't for the cold, it could have been high summer. When the clock struck twelve, he got up from his chair and went to get his coat, thinking about the pork stew he was going to have for lunch. That was when he heard the excited screams outside.

He had walked halfway down the hall when two of his students almost crashed into him as they ran around the corner. Professor Amaral cleared his throat to reprimand them, but he was abruptly cut off. One of the two young men was blabbering about a strange airplane, while the other eagerly took his arm and dragged him outside. As the sun blinded him for a split second, the older man wondered what had gotten into his usually respectful and civil pupils. But what he saw next made the admonishing words forming in his throat completely slip his mind.

He quickly wiped his glasses and blinked several times, but it was still there. A small, grey-blue glowing object, flying far up above, in a pattern, unlike any bird or airplane he had ever seen. That's strange, he thought, maybe some type of atmospheric phenomenon? Intrigued, he briskly walked back inside, making a sign for the two students to follow him. Back in his office, the professor swiftly adjusted his telescope and pointed it at the object in the sky. It looked nothing like a natural atmospheric phenomenon.

It was a seamless, elliptic object, perhaps the size of a commercial jetliner. Except it had no wings, no windows, and no visible propellers. Sometimes it would hover in place, then move Southwest at a speed that defied the laws of physics. Minutes later, a second flying object popped up out of nowhere. It was similar to the first, except much larger. In his report, Amaral would describe it was colossal. The first, smaller disk appeared to orbit the larger one as they flew in an uncannily undulating pattern (jellyfish-like, in his words). Sometimes, both objects appeared to decrease altitude, and one could guess how large they must have been, then climb back into the heavens so fast they became two minuscule dots in a sea of blue.

Amaral was mildly troubled. Was this it? Old age finally catching up with him and messing with his senses? Without a word, he got up from his chair and ordered his students to take a look, convinced his eyes were playing tricks on him. Both young men and a few other teachers looked into the eyepiece, and he watched their amusement turn to surprise, then confusion, then unease. The incident lasted about half an hour until the vessels sped up and disappeared into the celestial sphere without a sound.

More than 100 km Northwest of Professor Amaral's quaint hometown, a team of fighter pilots were preparing to take off for their routine flights at the Sintra airbase. Captain Silva had his helmet on, his plane's controller in one hand, and a checklist in the other. Today, flying was going to be a piece of cake. Not a cloud in sight, the visibility was perfect. It was the kind of day that made him proud of his choice to become a pilot. He just needed the control officer to give him the green light to approach the runway, and in a couple of minutes, he would be enjoying the dazzling view of the lush Sintra mountains, framed by the bright blue Atlantic ocean in the horizon. And then he noticed something off.

An odd, slimy substance had begun to form on his canopy. Captain Silva rubbed it with his gloved hand from the inside. It was not condensation. It couldn't be snow or hail, as there wasn't a single cloud in sight. Ice crystals? He radioed the pilot right behind him, and he, too, reported the same observation. There was a strange, slimy substance coating the outside of his plane. And he was bummed because he had spent hours washing it. Minutes later, the men were asking for take-off to be postponed by a few minutes so they could investigate. Their boots landed on the ground with a thud, and Silva had begun to rub the outside of his canopy with his sleeve when one of his comrades showed up in his line of sight.

Wait, you've got something on your---, he began to say, noticing white streaks on the other man's hair. But then he saw that he too had strange white streaks in his hair. And on his uniform. And everywhere. Fine, colourless filaments were falling from the cloudless sky in a perfectly vertical pattern.

Back in Evora, Professor Amaral stood outside with his hands outstretched to catch the filaments. He had never seen anything like it. The substance looked similar to spider webs, except there were tons of them. So many, they quickly began to form clumps on the ground. And not a single spider to be found. Amaral asked for someone to bring him a Petri dish, but he could barely hear himself above the sound of his students' agitated chatter. They, too, were busy trying to catch the odd, hair-like filaments, only to watch them melt as they met the warmth of their palms. Their professor nervously yelled to warn the youngsters that they shouldn't bring the unknown substance to their eyes, nose, or mouth. Nobody listened.

He could hear the phone ring in the distance. Hundreds of people in town and beyond had spotted the flying objects and wanted his opinion on them. He quickly ran inside, grabbed a dish, and held it at arm's length. A clump of delicate, colourless string landed in the very centre of the glass. Fine and sheer, yet packed with secrets, he was determined to investigate.

In town, the phenomenon was quickly dubbed "angel hair" due to its uncanny resemblance with very fine, white hair. It was described as sticky, and the clumps melted into a light, clear or yellowish slime. The angel hair rain lasted a total of four hours. By the time it was over, there was so much of it, the red clay roofs were snow white.

Upon landing, Captain Silva decided to give his father a call to ask him about the strange phenomenon. Professor Conceição e Silva was a physicist and an astronomer, as well as a member of a circle of reputable European researchers. He listened, puzzled, as his son told him about how he and his men had found their planes covered in a mysterious, white, stringy substance. It had lasted no more than half an hour, and the men easily washed it from their aircraft with a hose upon landing.

Professor Silva was convinced it could be the work of flying spiders, a rare phenomenon where a particular breed of arachnids that leap long distances through the air deposit their silk all over the place. It might look like cobweb rain, but it is actually the result of the webs the spiders use as gliders being pulled down by gravity. Entire fields might end up covered in unsightly gossamer, a rare occurrence in Europe, albeit very common in Australia and New Zealand.

But as his son insisted that no spiders had been observed and that there was so much of the stringy substance it formed clumps where it fell, Professor Silva decided to call a biologist friend for a second opinion. After all, as an astronomer, his knowledge of biology and exotic flying crawlies truly was minuscule. His friend happened to be Professor Amaral.

Amaral jumped when the phone rang. And he was even more startled to hear that his friend's pilot son, too, had seen mysterious "angel hair" fall from the firmament. What were the odds? If the same phenomenon had been observed 100 km Northwest, chances are many other people all over the country had seen it. Unfortunately, in 1950s Portugal, it wasn't easy to find out for sure.

Amaral began to pace around in circles, then sat back down at his microscope to report his findings to Silva. I might be totally wrong, he said, but this is unlike anything I've ever seen. And it certainly was no cobweb. As he extracted a sample of the substance from the Petri dish onto the slides, and after magnifying it about 120 times, he could see a tiny organism, about 1 mm wide, with a seemingly unicellular central core. When pushed between the slides, ten slime-covered tentacles emerged from the core. It expanded and moved. The slime itself was a clear yellowish colour, while the limbs were darker. Convinced there must be a simple explanation for what his friend was seeing, Professor Silva scoffed, but ended up sending him a taxi.

The two men took turns handling the microscope, then just looked at each other, their eyebrows raised, and their jaws tense. Could this be an elaborate heavenly prank? All they could identify as familiar was the sodium line. Everything else was a question mark. The thing moved. It reacted to stimuli. And it was unlike any organism the two seasoned scientists had ever seen. It looked like it was alive.

At the University of Biological Sciences of Lisbon, experts first treated reports of an unknown creature falling from the skies, tangled in spiderweb-like filaments, as a laughable hoax. Professors Silva and Amaral were either looking at minuscule spiders, or at an exceptionally clever student prank. Or maybe a phenomenon so common and easily explainable it had managed to fool even their complex, fact-oriented brains. And then they received Amaral's samples.

Under their much more powerful microscope lenses, the unknown filaments exposed some of their secrets: the central body was egg-yellow, while the tentacles were bright red. When under stress, it exhibited what they described as "intense defensive reactions," "akin to an animal's." Akin to an animal's, because its reflexes were too swift and intuitive for a plant. The tentacles appeared to emerge from the body when the thing tried to break free, showing impressive strength and endurance for its size. Actually, it was so strong, it could slightly lift the microscopic slides as if it feared being crushed. The body itself was able to withstand pressures of up to 350 grams, after which it would change colours from bright yellow to a dark brown. Then, it would presumably die.

The tentacles are formed of parallel filaments, their final report reads, joined together by a gelatinous substance. Each filament, or strand, is transparent, showing corpuscles inside of it, whose number increases over time. These filaments project strongly on the glass sheet, drawing on it a perfectly defined contact line, where certain seem to emerge in organised formations. In the middle of the central body, there is a mouth-shaped opening, around which there are very fine lines, corresponding, perhaps, to existing folds or fissures in the substance that composes it. One can also see dark and round spots that draw a pentagonal shape that becomes increasingly regular.

After about two years, the preserved samples showed disintegration of the tentacles from the body and a progressive fraying of the structure. The substance's spectrometry showed that it contained sodium, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, tin, boron, silicon, calcium, and magnesium.

The only animals I can think of that could resemble this "being" are the Coelenterata (coral animals, and certain types of jellyfish), states Professor Santos, an expert biologist, in her report. But I confess that my knowledge of Biology is insufficient to classify this particular organism.

All I can tell from looking at it, is that it is some form of "being," writes Professor Godinho, also a leading biologist. But I cannot tell you what it is, because it is unlike anything I have seen before.

The sample you sent me is of an animal, says Doctor Resende, Professor Emeritus of Botanics, and general-director of the National Institute of Botanics. And thus, we consider it outside of our field of expertise.

It can be admitted that such beings could come from the Earth's extra atmospheric space, or from another neighbouring planet, theorises another scientist, who agreed to provide his controversial opinion under cover of anonymity.

Professor Amaral, who was now in charge of filing an official report, found himself back at square one. He did, however, receive a number of non-extraterrestrial theories from the experts he reached out to. One believed it could be deep-sea debris that found its way to the continent on a weather balloon (that would explain the organism's primitive features that resembled those of a single-celled organism, such as an alga or a larva ctenophore). Another suggested the filaments were vaporised meteor fragments. And yet another implied it could be the residue of an unknown, inorganic gas. Maybe Cold War stuff. No hypothesis was adequately backed up by credible elements of comparison.

Aware of how weak his report's rationale was, Professor Amaral decided to go ahead and submit it anyway. It contained all the information and opinions he had been able to gather, as well as speculation on how it might be related to the unidentified flying objects he and the people of Evora had observed on the morning of November 2nd, 1959. He handed over his microscopic samples to the University of Lisbon, in hopes someone might recognise the mysterious organism and make sense of the incident.

But Professor Amaral's life would soon take a steep, downward turn. In the 1960s, Portugal was a conservative, pious and authoritarian state. Nationalist politics made it uncommon, if not impossible, for local scientists to share their findings with their foreign counterparts. Censorship and religion ruled over science, and many considered UFOs a thing of the devil. Researchers discredited Amaral's report as sensationalist bogus. When he had it translated and ready to be sent to universities in France, England, and the United States, he was threatened with suspension. Powerless, he turned to Professor Silva, but the latter was unable to get foreign experts from his own circles sufficiently involved. A few articles, containing pictures of the mysterious creature, were published in Spain and France, but nothing much came out of it.

In the years that followed, disorderly students would barge into Amaral's office, cackling about imaginary flying saucers. Cotton, flour, and pillow stuffing would get thrown at his office window by pranksters, teasing him about the mysterious white filaments. He became less and less vocal about his findings, to the point where he adamantly refused to speak publicly about them ever again. But he never gave up his quest to get to the bottom of it. When he went to his grave in the 1990s, he left behind an impressive compilation of his research on the "angel hair" phenomenon, proving that in the vast majority of cases, it was preceded by UFO sightings just like his.

In 2008, investigators reached out to Professor Azevedo, an expert cell biologist who had first examined pictures of the being back in 1980, and who agreed to reexamine them in light of modern science. Azevedo, a professor emeritus at the University of Lisbon, then retired, dedicated his life to studying previously unknown cellular structures and phenomena.

From what I can tell from the photos I was sent and that I am now reexamining many decades later, Professor Carlos Azevedo wrote, this structure, or "microorganism," as some called it, is still unknown to contemporary science. It is made up of a body with ten arms, and [its appearance] vaguely resembles a starfish. The photos do not show any type of cellular organisation. I was unable to identify a single structure akin to an earthly single-cell organism. Almost 50 years later, I reread the reports, including my own report, and I restate what I wrote back then: this could have been an organism. However, the samples were not prepared correctly [by Amaral back in 1959], which makes it impossible for me to make an educated guess.

Professor Carrapiço, also a cellular biologist, argues that we could be looking at a sea-dwelling microorganism, like the billions that live in the deep Atlantic ocean. He believes microscopic jellyfish larvae could be a good comparison candidate. Looking at the photos, and knowing what we know about certain biological organisms, we cannot deny the similarities between this unknown structure and a young, microscopic jellyfish, he says. But how would billions of microscopic jellyfish make their way from the Atlantic ocean into the skies, only to rain down in filaments all over Southern Portugal?

Professor Berenguel, who conducted both the 1980 and 2008 investigations on the case, believes the organism comes from somewhere in the top layers of the Earth's atmosphere. Berenguel is a historian who specialises in fringe science breakthroughs and accounts of unexplained phenomena. He is no scientist, but after many years of showing photos and sharing the Evora account with the world's top experts in meteorology, biology, and astronomy, he is convinced the "being" is a microscopic vegetable species with properties similar to those of a carnivorous plant (as demonstrated by the vigorous protective reflexes Amaral first observed in 1978.) But what about the UFO incident? Could the hair-like filaments have been carried to the Earth from outer space and dropped from an interstellar vessel? Professor Berenguel often dances around this question. The truth is that he simply doesn't know.

Most quality accounts of UFO sightings and unexplained phenomena from the Cold War era seem to hail from either the United States or the Soviet Union. The Space Race transcended their reckless technological ventures - it was not just about who would put the first man on the moon. It was also about who would bring the first batch of little green men from the impenetrable darkness of the heavens. But accounts of astonishing discoveries, such as Professor Amaral's, can be found all over the world. Unfortunately, many got lost in translation over the decades. The author of this write-up entertains the faint hope that someday, someone out there will open the pictures linked below and make sense of the microscope pictures in the official report. Because frankly, the possibility of alien jellyfish flying overhead is a fairly unsettling thing to live with.


Tragically, in 1978, the University of Lisbon's labs burned down in a massive fire, and the original samples were lost.

Some believe another sample was taken from Professor Amaral's laboratory in 1960 by an independent group of researchers. This sample, which could be key to solve the mystery in light of modern science, seemingly vanished.

"Angel hair rain" is a mysterious phenomenon that has been observed on several continents over the centuries. The first official record of it dates back to 1561, and it happened in Nuremberg, Germany. In the wake of the [Miracle of the Sun](white, hair-like filaments also reportedly fell from the sky in Fatima, Portugal. The same phenomenon was observed again in 1898, in Montgomery, in the United States, then in 1952, in Oloron, France, and yet again in 1954 at St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. Italian scientists were able to collect and analyse samples, and their findings were similar to Amaral's. Soviet scientists supposedly carried out a counter-analysis and concluded that the substance was "unlikely to be formed by nature."

The Portuguese government asked the Air Force for an advisory opinion on the matter. Since no UFO was observed on radar and no unique atmospheric phenomena was detected (regardless of pilot accounts), their report was inconclusive.

Lots of pictures, newspaper clippings, and interviews can be found [here]((in Spanish and Portuguese).

Documentaries [here]((in Portuguese) and [here]((in English).

Further reading:


[Fronteras de lo Imposible, a book by Iker Jimenez](ulucycatwrites

Posted on Reddit by quintessences.

To my complete dismay and disbelief, my son announced that he idolized the serial strangler who recently struck our small town.

I marched him straight down to the basement where I showed him that I did way better work in the 80s.

Posted on Reddit by syzygy_cosplay_.

Savage Flowers

A curse.

A disappearance.

A town that will do anything to protect its secrets.

Every five years the most popular girl in town goes missing.

Her family is awarded ten years of prosperity before they die in mysterious circumstances.

When Kelly Bluestem is selected, she begs her best friend Irene to find her.

Whatever it takes.

But it's not easy to find someone once she's lost.

And when the powers keeping her prisoner have no intention of letting go...

Thanks for reading! Cover by the amazingly talented zero-infinity!)

Savage Flowers on Wattpad

[FEB22] When the tigers escaped from the circus that was visiting my small town, the first thing I did was lock my doors and windows.

The second thing I did was grab some popcorn and watch my wife and kids struggle to get inside.

Posted on Reddit by Jauxsonn.

I was in the auditorium talking to my friend about the new serial killer roaming our small town.

Everyone looked at us like we were freaks, but little did they know they were looking at ghosts of dead victims.

Posted on Reddit by 1ove1exi.

Darker Than Sin

When good girl highschooler Ellie falls in love with an ex-convict, old family secrets come back to haunt them and keep them apart.

Living up to her "good girl" reputation had never been an issue for Ellie Browning, a small town Australian highschooler.

That is until she meets Haze.

Handsome, tattooed, and with a criminal past, he is everything she was taught to avoid.

Unable to control their feelings, the two form an unbreakable bond that unearths family secrets and emotional turmoil for Ellie and everyone she has ever loved.

With all odds against them, Ellie and Haze must ultimately choose between their love and familial obligations.

word count: 150,000-200,000 words]]

Darker Than Sin on Wattpad

I thought things had gone back to normal after the police arrested the maniac terrorising our small town.

I don't know how long he waited for me to look up the "cops", but I didn't have time to think about as he clamped a hand over my mouth.

Posted on Reddit by Enby_Bluejay.

Read Indie Scary Puzzle Games are Great - Get One of These - April 2022 - Odd Nugget next.

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