Fabulously Fortean: Magnetic Mystery Glitter Descends Upon Indiana Neighborhood

Fabulously Fortean: Magnetic Mystery Glitter Descends Upon Indiana Neighborhood


There’s a magnetic mystery afoot in Northwestern Indiana, and it has made one neighborhood freaked out and faaaab-ulous!

On Tuesday morning, residents of Hammond, Indiana began reporting a mysterious, glittery, magnetic substance that started appearing all over town, coating lawns in a shiny, sparkly layer of dust. One resident described the scene as if someone had dumped glitter over the entire neighborhood.

Dan Goldblatt of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says he’s been fielding calls about the glitter for days, but has no idea where it’s coming from.


“Originally I thought it could be a type of graphite kish but our experts in the field do not believe that is the case,” he told CBS Local News. “Right now, we don’t know what it is or where it is coming from.”

The town of Hammond is located near a few steel mills, and is no stranger to soot, but both the DEM and locals are certain that the magnetic flakes are unlike anything they’ve seen before. They’ve taken to calling it “lawn glitter”.

The local environmental agency reports that the magnetic mystery flakes have since ceased, but their testing on the substance continues.

What do you think caused the fabulous fortean event? What could the strange glitter be? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, tweet us @WhoForted, or leave your comments below!


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  1. JeremyZero

    06/09/2013 at 9:25 AM

    You’d think the authorities would want to pass it off as some kind of accidental expulsion from the nearby steel-mills. They must be pretty stumped if they aren’t even faking an answer…. I’m just gonna’ put in a vote for fairy dust. Has anyone in the area recently taken a fondness for green tights and flying about?

  2. Sergei

    06/09/2013 at 2:20 PM

    A couple possibilities being meteorite dust or the flakes being carried from a body of water by evaporation, then deposited gradually over the town. Let’s not rule out the most obvious possible cause: Teenage vampires.

    • Greg Newkirk

      06/09/2013 at 2:32 PM

      Ooooo… meteorite dust! I like that one, plausible yet awesome.

      Maybe the town should stat shaping some stakes just in case, though.

  3. Coppertop

    06/09/2013 at 8:32 PM


  4. Patricia Altair

    06/09/2013 at 10:07 PM

    My cat came in with glitter in her fur tonite…were in the Catskills.

  5. Austenite

    06/10/2013 at 2:20 AM

    It drives me crazy that the article ends with “They should have an answer later today.”
    Where is the follow up? This was posted days ago and all they’d have to do is add a line of text on the end to let readers know the status of the investigation.

    • Cooch

      06/10/2013 at 2:24 AM

      I just checked up on this actually, and it looks like they still have no idea where it’s from, but determined it isn’t from the steel mills, which they pretty much already said.

      • Austenite

        06/10/2013 at 2:42 AM

        Thank you for the update, can I ask where you looked for more information? I’m afraid I don’t yet know how to navigate through the CBS / U.S.A local news infrastructure.

  6. S Cricket

    06/10/2013 at 9:49 AM

    This happened last week in Alabama. I wonder if it is a similar situation.

    Radar chaff over Redstone Arsenal unusual, lingered in atmosphere 10 hours


  7. R.A.

    06/13/2013 at 10:14 AM

    Aha, radar chaff does seem a likely candidate. Takes a hell of a lot of it to fall for days over an entire town, however.

  8. butch

    06/16/2013 at 2:23 AM

    this is what it looks like when doves cry,doot doot do doot

  9. Gill Avila

    09/20/2016 at 3:00 AM

    Tinkerbell wanted to put a little sparkle in people’s lives.

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