My Tidal Wave Story…

Well, life is busy! I’m done at IWU for the summer, but I have very quickly filled my time with other things, mostly internship/church stuff. I’m excited for the summer though, a lot will be happening!

I was going to post another picture of a tornado I saw on my WeatherBug and I started thinking about how cool it would be to see a tornado (I know, I’m crazy). But then I remembered back in Summer, July 1992 when I was on Daytona Beach walking with a friend along the beach. We were just walking and talking and I heard a loud noise, looked at the ocean and saw this huge wave coming right at us! I said “Look at that wave!”, grabbed my friend by her hand and ran toward the boardwalk. The wave was right behind us and as we ran through the cars parked on the beach, the wave picked the cars up with it and the cars were smashing into each other and heading toward us. As we jumped up on the boardwalk, the wave crashed against the wall of the boardwalk. Crazy huh? It almost doesn’t sound real or like it’s out of a movie or something. It was pretty freaky though. I couldn’t find much about it on the internet, only a few articles, but apparently the wave was 18ft high and 250ft wide. Here’s the article I did find:


Very little has appeared in the scien-tific literature about the huge wave that crashed ashore at Daytona Beach, Florida, on July 3, 1992. Apparently, the scientific community is happy with the landslide explanation, but there may have been a different sort of disturbance.

First, the basic data:

“A wall of water as much as 18 feet high rose out of a calm sea and crashed ashore, smashing hundreds of vehicles parked on the beach and causing 75 minor injuries, officials and witnesses said.
“An undersea landslide apparently caused the 27-mile-long rogue wave late Friday night, a federal seismologist said yesterday.”

The seismologist cited, F. Baldwin from the U.S. Geological Survey, estimated that the wave was 18 feet high and 250 feet wide.

(Anonymous; “Rogue Wave Smashes into Beach,” Hawaii Tribune-Herald, July 5, 1992. Cr. H. DeKalb.)

Rumors of a falling object. The landslide theory sounds good, but there have been rumors that another phenomenon was involved. B. Stein, of Orlando, has reported the testimony of a boater, who was far offshore at the time:

“…the boater came forward with the information that, shortly before the time of the wave, he was in his boat about eight miles offshore. He watched as a distant object approached across the sky toward the ocean at a high rate of speed, and crossed the bow of his boat at an angle with a “whoosh” (his word). Shortly after, a giant swell made his 41-foot sailboat handle like a large surfboard. Various news sources state that the meteorite, as it is now being called, was anywhere from a meter to 10 feet across. The boater who wished to remain anonymous, gave the professors enough information so that they are hoping that the Navy will retrieve the object, which is presumed to be lying in about 70 feet of water off the Daytona Beach coastline, with plenty of coordinates for locating it.”
(Stein, Becky; “Daytona Beach MiniTidal wave,” Louisiana Mounds Society Newsletter, no. 52, p. 2, October 1, 1992.

Comment. With all the military and space-vehicle tracking equipment in the area, someone must know more about this event.

From Science Frontiers #84, NOV-DEC 1992. Β© 1992-2000 William R. Corliss


5 thoughts on “My Tidal Wave Story…

  1. Hey – I was on Daytona Beach that night too! The wave came out of nowhere and swept us down the beach towards the water, radio, sodas and all. Weird deal especially in light of recent events in SE Asia.

  2. I remember this event and thank you all for this input as very lttle more if any is available about it.

    For some reason I thought that the tidal wave was much taller.

    Any other tsunami eastcoast rememberances?



  3. I was there and my car was park on the beach and was damaged . It was a ford escort and I was able to drive mine off the beach ,but I remember one guy’s car went out to sea . My car was never the same afterwards with all kind of problems and I soon had to get rid of it .

    Now with what has happen in Asia it really makes me think back about that night and say oh my we were lucky it was not a bigger wave . I had not thought about that night much in year until this week.

    I live in Orlando and some guy on the TV was saying how rare Tsuami are in the Atlantic and basically saying it most likely would not happen here. When he said that I said to myself B.S because I was there when it did in fact happen in the Atlantic.

  4. I was working that night at the "Winners Circle" the bar at the base of the Pier, what a mess, and scary too. 3 feet of water rushed into the bar through the front doors and flooded the entire place. moving tables, chairs, everyting inside was pretty well damaged.

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