revenge of the volcano


I’ve been reading a fascinating collection of stories, Incredible Phenomena, pubished in 1984. In a chapter called Jinxes and Curses there is mention of an airline vice-president from New York called Ralph Loffert who, in 1977, together with his wife and four children, visited the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa.


volcano lamp found at Uberreview

While there they collected some stones against the advice of locals who warned them it would anger the volcano goddess. A few months later, one of the sons, Todd, developed appendicitis, had knee surgery and broke his wrist; another son, Mark, sprained an ankle and broke his arm, the third son, Dan, caught an eye infection and needed prescription glasses and daughter Rebecca lost 2 front teeth in a fall. 


In July 1978 the Lofferts sent the stones back to Hawaii but the disasters continued. Mark hurt his knee, Rebecca broke 3 more teeth. Dan fractured his hand and Todd dislocated an elbow and fractured his wrist again. 


Mark then confessed he had kept 3 more stones. They were promptly sent back to Hawaii and the trouble ceased.

I’ve searched for a reference on the net to this tale which appears to have been written by one of the editors of the Fortean Times. It’s hard to tell as the names don’t appear with the individual stories. Here is the only mention I was able to find. It’s been translated from Hungarian for your reading pleasure…..  (there seems to be a story about Prince Franz Ferdinand and a cursed car also…..)


Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 7:08 am  Comments (25)  

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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I need to check and see if someone planted those kinds of stones here in my apartment.

  2. The dangers of getting stoned ……. tsk. Love the pacifier – I must get one!!!!

  3. isn’t it the best?


  4. i want a ‘loaf baby’ for my christmas tree!

  5. Yeah, one should NEVER torque off the volcano gods . . . trust me . . .

  6. My Old World Italian grandmother use to routinely cast the maloik (devil horns) and hurl a curse at all her imagined offenders.

  7. It’s spooky. You know the last time I had the runs, there was an earthquake in Japan.


    I think not.

    Tom Laird, for a funny man you post all too seldom on your blog. You and Charlie Mingles are cut from the same cloth. What do I have to do to get you to post more?

  8. That cupie doll in the first picture is scary.
    The story of stealing the stones from the volcano just goes to show you should never mess with Pele.

  9. Interesting that the Volcano Goddess seemed to focus her wrath on the kids and left Ralph alone.

    How would they react at the Gimcrack if a family showed up with four kids (all of whom had mysteriously broken bones and/or missing teeth) and Dad claimed it was all due to the fact that they accidently pissed off a Hawaiian Volcano Goddess?

  10. Not buying it. This story was ripped off a Brady Bunch episode.


  11. I’ll keep my stones – – –

  12. Damn! I thought they were going to sacrifice the daughter to Pele . . .

  13. By the way, have you seen this story? For once, I’m at a loss for words.

    !#%^&* that just made my jaw drop open

  14. @tobymarx Oh, my goddess. Do they need to label those things so that people don’t use them as sex toys?

  15. Stupid valcano needs to mind its own business.

  16. Yeah, I blame my clumsiness on ancient curses, too.

  17. Dolce will be home to lift the curse soon Kyk

  18. Nurse Myra, I think I need to wear incontinence pants when I read your blog as I have wet myself again looking at your posts.

  19. That volcano god really had it in for Todd for some reason. Rebecca got off easy. Hockey players lose more teeth than she did.

  20. Mark lied. It was Todd who kept the extra stones.

  21. My teen had one of those teeth things but it had a lolly on the other side .. must find the photo it is great.

    That is one ‘special’ Christmas decoration btw lol

  22. Ha! I love those pacifiers. I hope they are not made from volcano stones though.

  23. Nursie Dear I’m loathe to speak for Charles Mingles Esquire.

    I however am a man of simple tastes.

    I’m sure your bedside manner will prevail.

    Leather hotpants are always a plus.


    PS. Easy with the thermometer. Use plenty of lube

  24. I’ll pick you up from the airport…..

  25. This sort of problem with Pele the Fire/Volcano Goddess is SO common, the people at the National Park Service at Mauna Loa receive packages with stones tourists picked up there EVERY DAY.

    Actually, if you don’t want to piss Pele off, it is important to do a ritual and leave her an offering if you are going to adopt one of her children. She is said to love wine and flowers. Also by the way if she has released her children from the mountain and they are washing around on the beach, she no longer takes umbrage if you wish to adopt one.

    I love that pacifier.

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