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Asunto:[CAV] Sobre el Rainmaker "Charles Hatfield"
Fecha:Martes, 29 de Agosto, 2006  23:34:32 (-0300)
Autor:Nelson Guizzo <nelson22>

Google Alert for: "Charles Hatfield"

Charles Hatfield

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Aug 26, 200611:27 PM

Lately, I've had weird random things pop up suddenly into my head. Things that I've seen before, somewhere, but don't remember exactly where. A couple days ago, there was Bolo Ball (see also some screenshots), but just now, it was Charles Hatfield.

Hatfield was a modern American alchemist of sorts. His particular field was weather modification. From his Wikipedia biography:

In 1915 the San Diego city council, pressured by the Diego Wide Awake Improvement Club, approached Hatfield to produce rain to fill the Morena Dam reservoir. Hatfield offered to produce rain for free, then charge $1,000 per inch for between forty to fifty inches and free again over fifty inches. The council voted four to one for a $10,000 fee, payable when the reservoir was filled. Hatfield, with his brother, built a 20-foot tower beside Lake Morena and was ready early in the New Year.

On January 5, 1916 heavy rain began – and grew gradually heavier day by day. Dry riverbeds filled to the point of flooding. Worsening floods destroyed bridges, marooned trains and cut phone cables – not to mention flooding homes and farms. Two dams, Sweetwater Dam and one at Lower Otay Lake, overflowed. Rain stopped January 20 but resumed two days later. On January 27 Lower Otay Dam broke, increasing the devastation and reportedly causing about 20 deaths (accounts vary on the exact number).

Hatfield talked to the press on February 4 and said that the damage was not his fault and that the city should have taken adequate precautions. Hatfield had fulfilled the conditions of his contract – filled the reservoir – but the city council refused to pay the money unless Hatfield would take liability for damages; there were already claims worth $3.5 million. Besides, there was no written contract. Hatfield tried to settle for $4,000 and then sued the council. In two trials, the rain was ruled an act of God but Hatfield continued the suit until 1938 when the court threw the case out.

Now that's funny.

I don't remember how I found this originally, and I have no idea why I remembered it now. But I did, and now you know about him too.

More links: | Charles Hatfield

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