Ann Hodges: What Happened To Her?
In 1954, 34 year old Ann Hodges was napping peacefully on her couch, in her house in Sylacauga, Alabama.
Suddenly, a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house and hit her.
This event made headlines all over the world, and Ann’s story continues to capture imaginations to this day.
Here’s everything you need to know about this incredible woman and her extraordinary life.
On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges was hit by a meteorite while she was taking a nap in her home in Sylacauga, Alabama
Ann Hodges: Her Early Life
Not much is known about Ann Hodges earlier life.
She was an Alabama native, born on February 2nd, 1920 in a small Alabama town.
She was born Ann Elizabeth Fowler, and when she married Eugene Hodges, she added his surname and became Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges.
Ann Hodges: Being Hit By A Meteorite
On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges was taking a much-needed nap in her living room in Sylacauga, Alabama.
Little did she know that she was about to encounter something out of the ordinary. A little after noontime, she awoke to an inexplicable noise and the sensation of something hitting her on her hip.
Her mom, who was at a different room at the time, came rushing in to see what had happened.
They quickly noticed the huge whole that burnt through the roof in their house, and the 8-feet strange, black rock in the middle of the roof.
Then they realized that the black rock was actually a meteorite.
Amazingly, it crashed through the roof, hit the radio near the couch, and then ricocheted off to Hodges’s hip.
It is probable that the radio is what saved her life.
Ann Hodges: News Of The Meteorite Hit Spreading
News of the incident quickly spread, and in no time people from all over were traveling to see the aftermath of the meteorite crash.
The news spread so quickly, in fact, that it soon reached Ann Hodges husband, Eugene, who was working in the local factory at the time.
He heard the news and quickly came rushing home.
Everyone flocked to see it, and the house was soon overrun with reporters, neighbors, and even scientists all trying to fathom what just happened.
At first, access to the property was restricted by the local sheriff due to safety concerns and their house was declared a “police area”.
Ann was a shy woman by nature, and she did not like all the attention and people at her house.
Also, she was in a lot of pain due to – well, being hit by meteorite.
Only at nighttime, when her pain deteriorated, was she taken to the hospital for medical examination.
There, a photographer for Life magazine, broke through the guards and without asking her permission – took pictures of Ann being examined by the medical stuff.
The pictures proved to be a national sensation, and Ann was shot to national fame quickly.
Ann Hodges: Court Case To Determine Ownership of the Meteorite
The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C offered the Hodges a hefty amount of money to buy the meteorite.
It was then the Hodges realized they have to face a different kind of natural force: the landlord, Birdie Guy.
Guy demanded that she be awarded the sales money, since it was her house that was hit by the meteorite. Also, someone had to pay to fix that roof.
The Hodges were then dragged into court, which had to settle the debate: who is the true owner of the meteorite – the person who got hit by the meteorite or the landlord of the house it hit?
As part of their battle to receive ownership over the meteorite, Hodges appeared on the TV Show I’ve Got a Secret. Here’s Ann Hodges participation on the I’ve Got A Secret Show:
Eventually, the Hodges and Guy settled out of court and agreed that Guy would get $500 of the sale to fix the house.
Ann Hodges: Changing of Public Atmosphere
But by then the public atmosphere change.
The Smithsonian already purchased by then a different part of the meteorite – one that fell several miles away from the Hodges house, and did not feel they needed another part of the meteorite.
The crowds that swarmed the house in the immediate days have gone on the next craze.
The Hodges found themselves then with a house with a broken roof, a $500 debt to fix the roof, and a 8-feet meteorite in their living room.
They ended up selling the meteorite to the Alabama museum for $25, and then paying Bird $475 to fix the roof.
Ann Hodges: Life After the Meteorite Crash and Her Death
Ann Hodges never fully recovered from her meteorite crash.
She developed what today would be called PTSD, and her general health deteriorated.
In 1964, she and Eugene divorced.
Hodges never remarried, and the couple did not have any children.
She died on September 10, 1972 from a kidney failure in a nursing home in Alabama, at just 52 years old.
Where is the Hodges Meteorite now?
Today the Hodges Meteorite is on display at the Natural History Museum in Alabama.
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