Weird History (#1) – 1951


60 years ago this month:

From Newsweek, September 17, 1951: “Wail of the Unborn” (and thanks to Susan Bono of Petaluma for sending it along):

“When Frank Avilez and his wife, Beatrice, heard strange wailings in the night, they were startled, then worried. The young Hanford, Calif., couple discovered that the noises didn’t come from seals, ghosts, or leprechauns; they came from inside Mrs. Avilez. Avilez rushed his wife, in the last weeks of her pregnancy, to the hospital. Dr. Earl Hagen told them not to worry. Certain membranes had broken, allowing the unborn child to receive air, Hagen said, and the baby was crying. After making a recording of the wails, Dr. Hagen sent Mrs. Avilez home to await a normal delivery.”

According to later news reports, Mrs. Avilez’s baby persisted in wailing off and on until its birth a few weeks later.

No word on Apgar scores…

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