A mysterious green chemical descended on parts of Foggy Bottom last week, wounding flora and fauns, soiling automobile windshields, angering residents and baffling city health officials.
"It looked like a bad frost," said Jane Gillespie, an editor for Voice of America who lives at 6 Snows Ct. N.W. About half of the flowers in Gillespie's meticulous back yard garden wilted and died Tuesday and Wednesday, when the chemical apparently made its descent, she said.
Other residents reported their dogs and cats had become nauseated and stopped eating, presumably after eating grass or other food exposed to the mystery substance.
The city's Bureau of Occupational and Institutional Hygiene is studying samples of the substance. "But we're still drawing a blank - we're baffled," Dr. Herbert T. Wood, cheif of the agency, said yesterday.
Wood said the substance was a green liquid and seemed to have fallen from a considerable height. The roof of a 12-story building under construction near 25th and K streets NW was coated with the substance, Wood said.
"It's a green material - it's soluble in water and it's soluble in alcohol," he said. "When this stuff hit it was very fluid." But later, he aded, the substance thickened and turned more black than green.
The affected area is generally bounded by Rock Creek Parkway on the west. Pennsylvania Avenue on the north, G Street on the south and 23rd Street on the east.
"My dog got sick - he got nauseous," said Mike Love of 947 26th St. NW. Love said Barney, his West Highland terrier, had stopped eating for several days, and Barney's hair briefly turned from its normal off-white to blue or black.
Jerry Oaks of 953 26th St. NW said his dog and cat "just flat out won't eat. They still won't eat. I'm worried about my cat keeling over. I don't know what's keeping her alive. I even tried their specials."[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]will roll," a neighbor iterjected.
John Boursey of 940 25th St. NW got up yesterday to use his car for the first time in a week, and found it so dirty he decided to take it to a car wash. But when he got in the car, he said, he could not see through the windshield, which was covered with black spots.
Some residents speculated that the substance might be jet fuel or a pesticide, but Wood said thesee possibilities had been ruled out.
Tests will continue, Wood said. But "as of now, I have no idea whatsoever."