GERMANY Hailstones as large as walnuts, kumquats, and even grapefruit have been recorded, but all are pallid compared to some man-sized beauties that fell on Germany in 1930. Five glider pilots ran into bad weather high above the mountains and were forced to bail out.
But instead of free-falling, they were lifted by a violent updraft to the top of a cloud, where they acquired a thick coating of ice. Then they plunged earthward, the ice layer alternately melting and refreezing as they passed through successive layers of warm and cold air growing ever larger. All the chutes opened, and one of the men survived. But the others, frozen to death, hit the ground as human hailstones.