"Something is frightfully wrong here," wrote anomalist Ivan T. Sanderson as he referred to the Ringing Rocks in his provocative book, Things. Using perhaps a bit too much schmaltz, Sanderson was describing a seemingly out of place, seven-acre field of barren, tumbled boulders located in Upper Black Eddy, a tiny, northeastern Pennsylvania town near the New Jersey state line. As if a seven-acre, ten feet thick, layer of stones in the middle of a peaceful forest wasn't bad enough, Sanderson further confounded the reader with fact that about 30% of those stones would ring like bells when struck with hammers!

    While the ringing propensity of the rocks has since been shown to be caused by high internal pressure due to an unusual and selective weathering process, a number of claims and counter-claims made about the rocks and their field have held the subject in debate.

    In 1981, Enigma Project researchers went to the Ringing Rocks field to evaluate the strange place for themselves. Our basically empirical findings, which were eventually published in Fate Magazine, agreed with most of Sanderson's observations. For example, we found that either breaking the rocks or removing them from the delicate environmental stasis of their field did not stop their ringing properties--a strong contradiction to what some scientists had insisted. We also agreed (with Sanderson's assertion) that the rocks would ring whether clamped or suspended, since there were ringers in the field clearly wedged by other rocks weighing tons. We did, however, disagree with Sanderson's claim that all lifeforms (except man, that is) avoid the field. Project investigators found examples of spiders and garter snakes living among the rocks and even a couple of young saplings that had managed to take root.

    In all, we don't know how "frightfully wrong" the Ringing Rocks are but we will concede that they and their field are unusual and, as is the case with most phenomena, definitely controversial.

2000 M.A. Frizzell