Analysis of Purported “Angel Hair” Collected October 19-20, 1977 (Los Gatos, California)

Analysis of Purported “Angel Hair” Collected October 19-20, 1977 (Los Gatos, California)

Case File Information

Date of Event / Case File: 10/19/1977

Background

Three stored “angel hair” samples were found November 1998 in the carport attic of John Timmerman, Lakeview, Ohio. They were preserved there for a number of years after closure of the CUFOS Chicago Office. All three samples seem to be from the same event, though documentation does not indicate any details of the event. One sample is clearly identified as originating from the late Paul Cerney and has a handwritten note from him.

This handwriting matches that from two other samples. And the information indicates all three samples were obtained at the same time (October 19–20, 1977) and location (Los Gatos, California). Two samples were very tightly sealed in glass jars and other was in an envelope. For many years this analyst has read tales of mysterious “angel hair” falls all over the globe and its purported unusual properties such as an ability to turn gelatinous and vanish (though not universally reported). John’s discovery of these samples provided my first opportunity for analysis of this material.

Conclusions

1.) The white fibrous material in all three “angel hair” samples is composed of a polymer containing protein amide type linkages. This suggests that an animal/biological source is involved in its manufacture. Trace amounts of a long carbon chain ester and carboxylic acid are also detected. It is unknown if these are contaminants or components coating the fiber.

2.) The material definitely does not originate from spiders, i.e. spider webs. The amide type peptide linkages are more characteristic of silk from caterpillars such as silkworms, tent caterpillars etc.

3.) There is no evidence for volatile decomposition products of the fiber. However, it should be noted that any volatiles probably dissipated after 22 years. The filaments are tacky/sticky and a large bundle easily compresses into a minute ball when rolled between one’s fingers. The fact that the material easily balls up into virtually nothing could, in part, explain the purported disappearance of the material or volatilization reported by witnesses of angel hair falls.

4.) The fact the material is of biological origin does not rule out an extraterrestrial source. Spider web/silk properties, especially strength, are desirable for many products and applications. According to a newspaper article, molecular engineers are trying to make spider silk out of goat’s milk. The article indicates a single bundle of strands of spider silk the thickness of a pencil could stop a Boeing 747 in flight! This article can be found in the addendum.

5.) Should more “angel hair” falls occur this analysis could well used for comparison even though adequate documentation and details of the case are not available.

The Analysis

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Originating Organization: Phyllis Budinger


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