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I caught scraps of their conversation, from which I was able only too distinctly to infer the main subject discussed. “Something passed her, all dressed in white, and vanished”—“A great black dog behind him”—“Three loud raps on the chamber door”—“A light in the churchyard just over his grave,” &c., &c. A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench. The Man Who Caught The Storm. Author: Brantley Hargrove. Editor: Simon & Schuster. File Size: 44,52 MB. Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi. The life and death saga of one of history’s greatest storm chasers: a tour-de-force tale of obsession, ingenuity, and the race to understand nature’s fiercest phenomenon. Perhaps, or the storm that had accompanied his own arrival-had banked sand inside the lagoon so that there was a long, deep pool in the beach with a high ledge of pink granite at the further end. Ralph had been deceived before now by the specious appearance of depth in a beach pool and he approached this one preparing to be disappointed. Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Rankin (October 16, 1920 – July 6, 2009) was the only known person to survive a fall from the top of a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud. He was a pilot in the United States Marine Corps and a World War II and Korean War veteran. He was flying an F-8 Crusader jet fighter over a cumulonimbus cloud when the engine failed, forcing him to eject and parachute into.

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'A Descent into the Maelström'
Artist Harry Clarke's 1919 illustration for 'A Descent into the Maelström'
AuthorEdgar Allan Poe
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Science fiction

'A Descent into the Maelström' is an 1841 short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. In the tale, a man recounts how he survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool. It has been grouped with Poe's tales of ratiocination and also labeled an early form of science fiction.


Inspired by the Moskstraumen, it is couched as a story within a story, a tale told at the summit of a mountain climb in Lofoten, Norway. The story is told by an old man who reveals that he only appears old—'You suppose me a very old man,' he says, 'but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves.' The narrator, convinced by the power of the whirlpools he sees in the ocean beyond, is then told of the 'old' man's fishing trip with his two brothers a few years ago.

Driven by 'the most terrible hurricane that ever came out of the heavens', their ship was caught in the vortex. One brother was pulled into the waves; the other was driven mad by the horror of the spectacle, and drowned as the ship was pulled under. At first the narrator only saw hideous terror in the spectacle. In a moment of revelation, he saw that the Maelström is a beautiful and awesome creation. Observing how objects around him were attracted and pulled into it, he deduced that 'the larger the bodies, the more rapid their descent' and that spherical-shaped objects were pulled in the fastest. Unlike his brother, he abandoned ship and held on to a cylindrical barrel until he was saved several hours later when the whirlpool temporarily subsided, and he was rescued by some fishermen. The 'old' man tells the story to the narrator without any hope that the narrator will believe it.


The story's opening bears a similarity to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798): in both, an excited old man tells his story of shipwreck and survival.[1] The tale is one of sensation, emphasizing the narrator's thoughts and feelings, especially his terror of being killed in the whirlpool.[2] The narrator uses his reasoning skills to survive and the story is considered one of Poe's early examples of science fiction.[3]

Major themes[edit]

  • Ratiocination (see also 'The Mystery of Marie Roget', 'The Purloined Letter', C. Auguste Dupin)
  • Sea tale (see also The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, 'MS. Found in a Bottle', 'The Oblong Box')
  • Story within a story (see also 'The Oval Portrait')



The story mentions Jonas Danilssønn Ramus, a man from Norway who wrote about a famous maelström at Saltstraumen. The opening epigraph is quoted from an essay by Joseph Glanvill called 'Against Confidence in Philosophy and Matters of Speculation' (1676), though Poe altered the wording significantly.[4]

Publication history[edit]

'A Descent into the Maelström' first appeared in Graham's Magazine, May 1841.

The story first appeared in the May 1841 edition of Graham's Magazine, published in April.[5] Poe rushed to complete the story in time and later admitted that the conclusion was imperfect.[6] Shortly after Poe's story 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' was translated into French without acknowledgment, French readers were seeking out other Poe works and 'A Descent into the Maelström' was amongst the earliest translated.[7]

Like his other sea adventure works The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket and The Journal of Julius Rodman, 'A Descent into the Maelström' was believed by readers to be true and one passage was reprinted in the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica – but it was based on a passage that Poe had lifted from an earlier edition of that same encyclopedia.[6] In June 1845, 'A Descent into the Maelström' was collected for the first time as part of Poe's Tales, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons Wiley & Putnam, and also included eleven of his other stories.[8]

Critical response[edit]

Shortly after its publication, the April 28 issue of the Daily Chronicle included the notice 'The 'Descent into the Maelstroom' [sic] by Edgar A. Poe, Esq., is unworthy of the pen of one whose talents allow him a wider and more ample range.'[9] Mordecai M. Noah in Evening Star, however, said the tale 'appears to be equal in interest with the powerful article from his pen in the last number, 'The Murder in the Rue Morgue'.[9] In 1911, Richmond professor Robert Armistead Stewart said the story was 'the most enthralling of that trio of tales of pseudo-science that demonstrate Poe's wizard power' along with 'MS. Found in a Bottle' and 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall'.[10]


In 1953, Pianist Lennie Tristano recorded 'Descent into the Maelstrom', inspired by the short story. It was an improvised solo piano piece that used multitracking and had no preconceived harmonic structure, being based instead on the development of motifs.[11]

In 1962, Arthur C. Clarke wrote the short story 'Maelstrom II' inspired by Poe's story.[12] It was first published by Playboy magazine, and can also be found in Clarke's anthology, The Wind from the Sun.


In 1968, Editora Taika (Brazil) published a comic adaptation in Album Classicos De Terror #7, 'Descida No Maelstrom!'. Adaptation was by Francisco De Assis, art was by Edegar and Ignacio Justo. It was reprinted in Zarapelho #3 in 1976.

In 1974, Skywald published a comic adaptation in Psycho #18. Adaptation was by Al Hewetson, art was by Cesar Lopez Vera. It was reprinted by Ibero Mundial De Ediciones (Spain) in Dossier Negro #66 (1974), and by Eternity Comics in Edgar Allan Poe: The Pit And The Pendulum And Other Stories #1 in 1988.

In 1975, Warren Publishing published a comic adaptation in Creepy #70. Adaptation was by Richard Margopoulos, art was by Adolpho Usero Abellan. This version has been reprinted multiple times.

In 1979, Crack released their first and only album 'Si Todo Hiciera Crack' (progressive rock) including 'Descenso en el Maelström' (Descent into the Maelström), an instrumental based on the short story. Lavish harmonies and melody lines create a musical atmosphere very much in line with the story narrated in the tale.

In 1986, American composer Philip Glass wrote music inspired by 'A Descent into the Maelström'. It was commissioned by the Australian Dance Theatre.

In 1993, Novedades Editores (Mexico) published a comic adaptation in Clasicos De Terror #4, 'Cayendo En El Maestrom'. Adapter and artist are unknown.

References in literary works[edit]

In 1970, Czechoslovakian writer Ludvík Vaculík made many references to 'A Descent into the Maelström' as well as 'The Black Cat' in his novel The Guinea Pigs. In Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano, Paul Proteus thinks to himself 'Descent into the Maelstrom' as he succumbs to the will of his wife.[13] In Liu Cixin's Death's End, Poe and this short story are both referenced, and some of the characters visit Moskstraumen.[14]

The man who caught the storm pdf free download and install


  1. ^Sova 2001, p. 66
  2. ^Silverman 1991, p. 169
  3. ^Tresh 2002, pp. 116–117
  4. ^Sova 2001, pp. 65–66
  5. ^Bittner 1962, p. 164
  6. ^ abMeyers 1992, p. 125
  7. ^Silverman 1991, p. 320
  8. ^Thomas & Jackson 1987, p. 540
  9. ^ abThomas & Jackson 1987, p. 324
  10. ^Barger, Andrew, ed. (2013). Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Short Stories 1800–1849. Bottletree Books LLC. pp. 171–172. ISBN978-1-933747-49-1.
  11. ^Shim, Eunmi (2007). Lennie Tristano – His Life in Music. University of Michigan Press. p. 87. ISBN978-0-472-11346-0.
  12. ^Arthur Clarke's Maelstrom II. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  13. ^Vonnegut 1952, p. 184
  14. ^Liu, Cixin (September 20, 2016). Death's End. Macmillan. ISBN9781466853454.


  • Bittner, William (1962). Poe: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN978-0-316-09686-7.
  • Meyers, Jeffrey (1992). Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy (Paperback ed.). New York: Cooper Square Press. ISBN978-0-8154-1038-6.
  • Silverman, Kenneth (1991). Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (Paperback ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN978-0-06-092331-0.
  • Sova, Dawn B. (2001). Edgar Allan Poe A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work (Paperback ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. ISBN978-0-8160-4161-9.
  • Thomas, Dwight; Jackson, David K. (1987). The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849. New York: G. K. Hall & Co. ISBN978-0-7838-1401-8.
  • Tresh, John (2002). 'Extra! Extra! Poe invents science fiction'. In Hayes, Kevin J. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 113–132. ISBN978-0-521-79326-1.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt (1952). '18'. Player Piano. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

The Man Who Caught The Storm Pdf Free Download And Install

External links[edit]

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
  • Publication history of 'A Descent into the Maelström' at the Edgar Allan Poe Society
  • Descent Into The Maelstrom public domain audiobook at LibriVox
Retrieved from 'öm&oldid=1033010714'
BornOctober 16, 1920
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
DiedJuly 6, 2009 (aged 88)
Oakdale, Pennsylvania, US
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps Aviation
Years of service1940–1964
RankLieutenant colonel

Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Rankin (October 16, 1920 – July 6, 2009) was the only known person to survive a fall from the top of a cumulonimbusthunderstorm cloud.[1] He was a pilot in the United States Marine Corps and a World War II and Korean War veteran. He was flying an F-8 Crusaderjet fighter over a cumulonimbus cloud when the engine failed, forcing him to eject and parachute into the cloud.[1] Lieutenant Colonel Rankin wrote a book about his experience, The Man Who Rode the Thunder.[2][3]

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On July 26, 1959, Rankin was flying from Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.[4] He climbed over a thunderhead that peaked at 45,000 feet (13,700 m), then—at 47,000 feet (14,300 m) and at mach 0.82—he heard a loud bump and rumble from the engine. The engine stopped, and a fire warning light flashed.[1] He pulled the lever to deploy auxiliary power, and it broke off in his hand. Though not wearing a pressure suit, at 6:00 pm he ejected into the −50 °C (−58 °F) air.[1] He suffered immediate frostbite, and decompression caused his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth to bleed. His abdomen swelled severely. He did, however, manage to make use of his emergency oxygen supply.[1] Five minutes after he abandoned the plane, his parachute had not opened. While in the upper regions of the thunderstorm, with near-zero visibility, the parachute opened prematurely instead of at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) because the storm had affected the barometric parachute switch and caused it to open.[5] After ten minutes, Rankin was still aloft, carried by updrafts and getting hit by hailstones. Violent spinning and pounding caused him to vomit. Lightning appeared, which he described as blue blades several feet thick, and thunder that he could feel. The rain forced him to hold his breath to keep from drowning. One lightning bolt lit up the parachute, making Rankin believe he had died.[1] Conditions calmed, and he descended into a forest. His watch read 6:40 pm. It had been 40 minutes since he had ejected. He searched for help and eventually was admitted into a hospital at Ahoskie, North Carolina.[1] He suffered from frostbite, welts, bruises, and severe decompression.

In popular culture[edit]

Rankin wrote The Man Who Rode the Thunder about his experience;[3]Floyd C. Gale called the book a 'thrilling true adventure'.[6] His story was covered in the March 2, 2017 episode of The Dollop Podcast.[7]

Home is burning pdf free download windows 10 Keep the home-fires burning: till the boys come home. Download 1 file. SINGLE PAGE ORIGINAL JP2 TAR download. Download 1 file.

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcdefgPretor-Pinney, Gavin. The Cloudspotter's Guide. The Cloud Appreciation Society. pp. 320 pg. ISBN0-340-89589-6.
  2. ^'Rankin's F8U Crusader'. July 17, 2015.
  3. ^ abRankin, William. The Man Who Rode the Thunder. Prentice Hall. pp. 220 pg. ISBN0-13-548271-2.
  4. ^'HEROES: The Nightmare Fall'. Time. August 17, 1959. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008.
  5. ^'Rider on the Storm'. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  6. ^Gale, Floyd C. (October 1961). 'Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf'. Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 173–177.
  7. ^'The Dollop with David Anthony and Gareth Reynolds'.
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