Science: Phantom Smoke

Last week the New York Sun published a remarkable photograph of Manhattan's 1,046-ft. Chrysler Building. From the building's slender spire, a thin stream of smoke appeared to be shooting almost vertically upward at high velocity (see cut). Since the spire is just a decoration and not a smokestack, the phenomenon looked like a scientific mystery.

The picture was taken several years ago by a Manhattan electrical supply dealer named Frank W. Carlin. Hearing something last fortnight about someone seeing a "beam of black light" emanating from the Chrysler spire, he sent his corroborating photograph to the Sun. One improbable explanation heard last...

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