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 thread  Author  Topic: Mystery force flattens trees close to Ruby, Alaska  (Read 3666 times)

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xx Mystery force flattens trees close to Ruby, Alaska
« Thread started on: Oct 28th, 2003, 6:30pm »

This article was sent to us via regular mail by John in Alaska. It is definitely interesting. It was originally posted in the Anchorage Daily News on 10/20/03. ( They have a fee for their archives, so I can't tell if any photos were included. I did email the editor of the paper though to see if he/she could send me any photos. Might be interesting to actually see what it looks like.

Mystery force flattens trees close to Ruby, Alaska

Fairbanks - Something strange happened in Bush, Alaska.

About a month and a half ago in the Yukon River village of Ruby, word began circulating about a swarth of trees the size of a football field, some with trunks as big as 55-gallon barrels, that had mysteriously snapped off on an island nine miles upstream.

"There were different theories," said Pat McCarty, who inspected the site twice. While some residents thought it was caused by wind, others suggested that a meteor, or even a UFO, was responsible for the destruction, McCarty said.

"It's kind of strange the way the trees are all standing and all of a sudden there are no trees at all, they're all lying down," said McCarty, 50. He said he has lived in Ruby his entire life and never seen anything like it.

"It's like a gigantic helicopter came down, hovered, knocked the trees flat and on the way out clipped some other trees,” he said.

Dozens of giant white spruce trees were uprooted and large cottonwood trees were snapped up like toothpicks 10 to 20 feet up, McCarty said.

“These were some big trees,” he said. “They were just knocked down.”

Nobody knows when it happened. A pilot who flew over the area at the start of the moose hunting season in September was the first to notice the hole in the woods on what’s called Ninemile Island.

“One of the pilots came in asking if there was a plane wreck up there,” McCarty said.

Mike Spindler, refuge manager for the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge in the neighboring village of Galena, 50 miles downstream of Ruby, heard the rumors. He said when he heard the location and description of the area, he began to put two and two together.

Spindler flew over the area last month with the refuge’s fire management officer, forester Bob Lambrecht, and Lambrecht had spotted the clearing.

“He looked down and said, ‘Oh, that’s a microburst,’” Spindler recalled.

Microbursts are rare weather phenomena that produce tornado-force winds in an isolated area during a thunderstorm by creating a rapid, downward burst of air that spreads out and picks up even more speed when it hits the ground, according to meteorologist Tim Shy at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.

Precipitation pushes against the air and acts like a piston, pushing air downward. At the same time, dry air evaporates the precipitation and cools the air, making it more dense and creating more velocity.

The air hits the ground at 50 to 60 mph and spreads in a circular pattern like a cup of water being poured on the floor, Shy said.

As it spreads, the wind speed increases to 100 mph or more.

A microburst typical covers a very short distance in a very short time, Shy said.

While Spindler and Lambrecht didn’t land to inspect the site, they said the devastation was obvious from the air.

“I’ve flown in this area for 14 years and seen blowdowns, but I’ve never seen an intensively cleared area like this,” Spindler said. “There wasn’t anything standing in that area.”
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xx Re: Mystery force flattens trees close to Ruby, Al
« Reply #1 on: Sep 28th, 2004, 7:27pm »

You did here about the meteorite that exploded in tingusta a long time ago?I think that is how it is spelled? Maybe that is what happened.Could have happened higher up and then took the trees down.
Because the trees where down also and know one could figure it out...then the meteorite idea answered the question....
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