I first was made aware of this story after watching a silly Youtube video about unsolved mysteries. I did a bit of research and found out that, for the most part, this video is accurate.
On March 3, 1876, near Olympia Springs, Kentucky, meat rained from the sky for several minutes. It was a beautiful spring day, but all of a sudden, the weather turned nasty and meat started pouring out of clouds. The storm quickly passed, and the weather returned to its normal state. A woman, Mrs. Crouch, was caught up in the middle of it, and so we only have her word about how this all went down from start to finish. None of her neighbors noticed anything weird or had meat drop on their property. Needless to say, Mrs. Crouch's farm was swarmed with curious townsfolk.
People decided to taste the meat, as rural locals are wont to do, They thought it looked like beef, but said it tasted more like lamb or venison. An amateur scientist had a look at it and said, "Nope, this is actually vegetable matter." He was DEAD WRONG (because how do you confuse meat with vegetables?), but thankfully he passed it on to the Newark Scientific Association for real analysis.
Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton, from that association, published in the Medical Record that, actually, the meat was one of two possible options: 1.) lung tissue from a horse, or 2.) lung tissue from a human infant (apparently the lung structures of both of these are very similar). Okay, I grant you that you may stumble over several dead horses in Kentucky, and something weird might happen with the meat. But baby's lungs? Why would there be several dead babies lying around? Wait, don't answer that.
In fact, here is a picture of the baby/horse meat, collected, analyzed and still preserved in a collection today at Transylvania University, Kentucky:
Further analysis verified Dr. Hamilton's findings, but also found that muscle tissue and cartilage were found in the meat, as well as lung tissue. Identifying the meat is all well and good, but they never arrived at a definitive conclusion WHY the meat rained down on poor Mrs. Crouch.
I've already done a similar post like this where meat randomly fell in California in the 1800s. As with that previous post, the hypotheses are more or less the same. People theorized that:
1.) A small tornado might have lifted some dead horses from somewhere (or picked up live horses and mangled them) before dissipating, dropping meat from a very high altitude.
2.) Vultures gorged themselves on dead horse meat and flew overheard. One threw up, which caused all the others to throw up, which is apparently a thing with vultures–I guess they have sensitive gag reflexes. I don't know if I believe this one. There would have to be a lot of vultures to make it "rain" meat so heavily for several minutes. Surely Mrs. Crouch would have noticed them when she went, "Hey, where is that nasty-ass meat coming from?" In addition, I'm not sure how vultures behave, but would they be flying in the middle of a weird storm like that? Surely they'd land and take shelter, right?
3.) This one was NOT a theory in the California meat-rain story, but it should have been, because it's just bat-shit insane enough to please me: Author William Livingston Alden stated that some planet out in the universe, heavily populated by animals, EXPLODED, creating a "cosmic meat belt" that ended up floating around in space. This "cosmic meat belt" ended up dropping through our atmosphere, just like meteorites do.