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American woman known to be the first person hit by meteorite and lived through encounter

Friday, 29/12/2023, 21:00 (GMT+7)

Ann Hodges is the only person recorded in history who was directly hit by a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite and lived after the horrifying encounter.

The Alabama woman became famous after being hit by a meteorite while taking a nap at home. This strange incident catapulted Hodges into the national spotlight and sparked curiosity and fascination around the world.

Who is Ann Hodges?

Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges born on February 2, 1920, came from Sylacauga, Alabama, was an American woman known as the first individual recorded to not only be hit by a meteorite but also survive the encounter.

She married her first husband, Roy Holtzclaw, at the age of 18 and they had a son together. However, their marriage ended in divorce and Hodges remarried a few years later to Eugene Hodges.

She lived in a small rented house in Sylacauga with her husband and mother-in-law. 

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Ann Hodges was the first person struck by a meteorite and lived through the encounter. Image Credit: Getty

The Meteorite Incident: Ann Hodges was hit by a huge meteorite while taking a nap in her home

On the afternoon of November 30, 1954, Hodges was taking a nap on her couch while her husband was out running errands. 

Suddenly, she was woken up by a loud noise and felt an intense pain in her side. 

She initially thought that a gas explosion had occurred, but soon realized that a rock had crashed through her roof and hit her.

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The meteorite suddenly crashed into her home, leading to a huge hole in the roof. Image Credit: Getty

The meteorite, estimated to be about 8.5 pounds, had broken into two pieces upon impact. 

The meteor split up when it came into contact with Earth's atmosphere. Hodges was struck by one piece, and a farmer discovered another a few miles apart. 

Impact of the incident

Overnight, Ann Hodges became a celebrity as news of her encounter with a meteorite spread across the country. She was interviewed by reporters and appeared in newspapers and magazines. 

Her story even caught the attention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who sent her a letter wishing her a speedy recovery.

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The roof was destroyed following the incident. Image Credit: Getty

According to reports, the force of the impact left a large bruise on her hip and caused minor cuts and bruises on her arm and hand. 

Prondzinski, her attorney, said: "I think the fact that it came through the roof, that slowed its trajectory, and the fact that it did bounce off the radio – if she had been lying under the radio, it would have broken her leg or her back. It probably wouldn't have killed her, but it would have done a lot more damage to her." 

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The meteorite left a large bruise on Hodges' hip. Image Credit: Getty

Additionally, the incident also brought unwanted attention and an invasion of privacy for Hodges, as she received numerous letters and requests for interviews, and her home was constantly surrounded by curious onlookers. 

She also faced legal battles over ownership of the meteorite, as her landlord claimed it belonged to him since it fell on his property.

After the unexpected incident, Hodges decided to donate the meteorite to the Alabama Museum of Natural History 

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Hodge was surrounded by numerous interview invitations following the meteoroid hitting. Image Credit: Getty

According to Prondzinski, the meteorite caused a divorce between Hodges' husband and her in 1964 as he attempted to sell the meteorite to profit from it but was unable to do so.

Hodges passed away from renal disease at a nursing facility in 1972 at the age of 52.

Scientific Research of the Meteorite

The meteorite that struck Ann Hodges was later named the Sylacauga meteorite and is classified as an ordinary chondrite, estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, and weighs about 8.5 pounds.

It is composed of mostly iron and nickel, with small amounts of other minerals. 

This type of meteorite is believed to have originated from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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The Sylacauga meteorite was estimated at 4.5 billion years old and weighed 8.5 pounds. Image Credit: University of Alabama Museums, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Ann Hodges is the only person recorded in history as hit by a meteorite and lived through the encounter

"She's the only one who's ever been hit by a meteorite and lived to tell about it. Because of that, the meteorite has been appraised at over a million dollars," Prondzinski said. 

Prondzinski stated that in the years that have passed, people have gotten in touch with the museum to discuss adapting Hodges' narrative for stage, screen, or even comic books. 

Hodges and her story are still well-known.