Let me tell you this story. The next time you are feeling like you have the worst luck in the world, just think of Ann Hodges and you might feel a little bit better.
Picture it: you’re laying there on your couch, taking a much needed nap, and bam! In an instant a big old meteorite comes crashing straight through your roof, bounces off your radio, and hits you right in the hip! This is exactly what happened to Ann Hodges in November of 1954. Ann, from Oak Grove, Alabama, was the only woman in the world who could actually prove she was hit by a meteorite. The rock weighted 8 and a half pounds, and it was still warm to the touch. Now, some may have considered themselves lucky to have survived the ordeal, but not Ann, who blamed the meteorite for completely ruining her life. And maybe it did, considering all the bad luck she had afterwords.
As soon as word got out, people came from all over to loiter in the yard of the meteorite woman’s house; they wanted to catch a glimpse of the “pineapple shaped meteor bruise” on Ann’s hip. The media had a field day with this, it was big news. In 1954 the cold war was all anyone could talk about, a lot of people believed it was not a meteorite, but a chunk of a Russian satellite, or maybe even a weapon, so the rock was confiscated. Ann wasn’t too pleased with this: “I feel like the meteorite is mine. I think God intended it for me. After all, it hit me!”.
Of course Ann felt it belonged to her, meteorites can be worth a good deal of money. A farmer down the road from her found a rock he believed to be a meteor just a day after Ann was hit; he sold that rock and was able to afford a new car and a house! In order to obtain the meteorite Ann had to hire a lawyer and fight for it. When it was finally returned, the landlord was screaming that it did not rightfully belong to Ann – it was not her property by law so the landlord should be the one to keep it. Ann had to pay her landlord off.
Finally the Smithsonian came knocking; they, too, wanted the meteorite. They wanted to buy it from Ann, but they weren’t offering what she expected so Ann held out; like her neighbor, she had her heart set on a new house and a car – but no one else ever offered to purchase it. Within a year, Ann had racked up $4,000 worth of lawyers fees, doctors bills, etc. for a worthless meteorite which nobody wanted to buy.
Anne eventually had a nervous breakdown over it all, and had to be hospitalized for a length of time. Her marriage ended in 1964, and in 1972 she died in a nursing home. She only lived to 52 years of age.
Eventually the meteorite which ruined Ann’s life was gifted to the Alabama Museum of Natural History, for free. It can still be seen there today.