In 1954, an Extraterrestrial Bruiser Shocked This Alabama Woman
by Alice George/Smithsonian.com
On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges experienced a rude awakening. As the 34-year-old lay napping cozily under quilts on the sofa in her Alabama home, she awoke with a jolt as she became the only human being known to have suffered an injury after being struck by a meteorite.
The approximately 8.5-pound, 4.5-billion-year-old interplanetary traveler shot like a bullet through her Sylacauga house’s roof at 2:46 p.m. It banged into her large radio console and bounced onto her body, causing a large bruise on her left side.
Experts estimate the odds of being hit by a meteorite are 1 in 1.6 million. “You have a better chance of getting hit by a tornado and a bolt of lightning and a hurricane all at the same time,” Michael Reynolds, a Florida State College astronomer told the National Geographic. Apparently, a larger meteorite split in two as it fell toward the ground. One piece hit Hodges and the other landed a few miles away. The second meteorite can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Moving at approximately 200 kilometers per hour, the meteor lit up the sky in parts of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.