[meteorite-list] Fireball Over Pennsylvania (Part 1 of 2)

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:34 2004
Message-ID: <200107242110.OAA09952_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

For JPL internal use only.


Strange Sighting In The Sky
Newswatch 16 (Pennsylvania)
July 23, 2001

People from all across Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania are reporting a
ball of fire shooting across the sky. Several witnesses also report hearing
a loud "sonic boom" as the object flew by.

The same is being reported in neighboring states from Virginia to the
Canadian border. The reports are consistent with a meteor entering the


tracey boyer writes:
     Hi we saw your story interrupting the world news tonight. We live in
     Trevorton Northumberland co. We heard a distant boom and the house
     slightly shook we looked around but could locate the cause. A friend
     called from selinsgrove and she had the same experience. Just wanted to
     let you know we experienced something also Keep us in touch

John M. - Wellsboro PA writes:
     The "sonic boom" was heard and felt here at 6:30 PM. Shook our home -
     felt like an earthquake. Have heard a rumor it was plane crash. Cannot
     confirm that, though.

Lynn from Mill Hall writes:
     There was a loud boom followed by several smaller explosion sounds over
     a period of 8-10 seconds. It sounded and felt like something had hit my
     house. It was a noise I've never heard before. The house shook and
     everything rattled. My cats flew from their napping spots. My first
     thought was an earthquake.

Chad W writes:
     A loud boom and shaking of house windows could be felt in Lock Haven,

Michele and Tim Adams writes:
     I thought I would let you know that the explosion heard around 6:20 on
     Monday night, was heard here in Hillsgrove, Pa. It was very loud and
     sounded as if it was a hugh propane tank exploding. Our house shook for
     about 5 seconds when the explosion was heard! I looked around outside
     and didn't see anything. My husband and I then saw the special report
     on TV. WOW, a meteorite maybe. Well, I just wanted to update you about
     what we heard here in the small town of Hillsgrove (Sullivan County)
     Thanks, Michele And Tim Adams

Sidereal writes:
     We live in NE PA, about ten miles between Wyalusing and Towanda PA, and
     heard the "boom" at around 6:30 --- we have discussed this with
     neighbors and altho some had thought the sound to come from quarry
     blasting, others were perplexed by the rolling nature of the sound; one
     said that the sound was unlike anything he had heard before with an odd
     echo to it - at the time he'd been walkijng along a dirt road along a
     hillside above the Susquehanna River South of Wysox PA. Another witness
     of the sound, southeast of Wysox by about six miles, was outside doing
     work at the time, and heard the sound coming from a general northeast
     direction. He said he felt ground vibrations, and thought the boom was
     from a blast on a nearby hill. I would greatly appreciate if you would
     provide a complete transcript (and pictures if you have them) on the
     website here, of your upcoming news stories on this event. Our
     neighborhood is very interested in verifying the source of the sound,
     and if it was a meteor as so many witnesses seem to describe it, to
     know where it landed. Thank you.

Renée Spisak writes:
     The 'sonic boom' was heard in Corning, NY as well. Reports so far has
     said the boom has been heard in the Southern Tier of New York. Renée
     Spisak - Corning, NY

P in Lewisburg, PA writes:
     Congrats on your fast coverage of this story. It took the national news
     coverage almost 2 hours to get up to speed on our event. We heard and
     felt the "boom" and our house shook. We confirmed our event with others
     in the Lewisburg area. I hope we get to see pictures of "it" soon!

T writes:
     A little after 6 p.m., I saw a firey redish orange object appear in the
     sky moving from east to west & was gone as quick as it came. We live in
     the Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County.

Roxane Lyons writes:
     I live in Mifflinburg, I was standing in front of an open window when I
     saw a large ball of fire with a long tail following it. I did not hear
     a boom or a shake although a mile down the road they felt the shake. It
     was an awesome site!!!!!

Netty writes:
     I was in the pool when I heard a loud "BOOM" then ammediatly I thought
     it was thunder.The thing being it didn't really sound like
     thunder.(more like thunder and 10 car crashes all put together).I asked
     my family "what was the loud boom?" None of them knew!Then shortly
     after that I got a phone call from one of my friend, my friend asked me
     "did you see that mediorite?"A what?!? I said then got another beep so
     I answerd it, it was my other friend. "Did you hear about that
     mediorite?"No but I heard a boom and just thought it was thunder.Then
     my one friend said it went over their house, and yes they did see it!
     They said it was brighter then the sun. I believe my friend but what
     scares me is why didn't the discover it before it hit?

Michael in Phoenix AZ writes:
     why doesn't WNEP fly their chopper up there and find out? if it's a
     meteor, they'll let aircraft in the area, if it's 'military', they'll
     warn them to leave.

Andrew Lemmo writes:
     Hi i felt and heard the boom here in Lock Haven around 6:00PM. It felt
     like a mild earth quake and the windows were all rattling, i went over
     to feel them and they were trembling, never heard or felt anything like
     it before, would love to get more information or pictures of this
     event. Lock Haven, Pa

matt v writes:
     I am a lifeguard at the south williamsport pool, at about 6:20 during
     our swimming lessons for kids my student and I saw a long object moving
     east to west on a slight downward trajectory, maybe 15-25 degrees, it
     was a long object consistent with meteorites, it was a white ball with
     a tail of white yellow orange green and red. It was moving at a decent
     speed. I saw it in the sky for 4 or 5 seconds. it disappeared ,
     although it didnt go over the horizon or behind clouds, it just
     vanished, 5-10 minutes later, everyone heard a very loud explosion that
     sounded nothing like a sonic boom, more like a gas explosion. The boom
     radiated for 10 to 12 seconds. It shook me while I was in the water. I
     talked to many people who's neighbors and friends heard it too. Many
     said their houses and windows shook. I heard a report on the radio that
     it hit Wellsboro. But I am not sure if it was true. Matt- South
     Williamsport Pa

Emily writes:
     We heard rumors that something may have hit around Stoney Fork, Pa. We
     called our friend in Mansfield, her husband is with the Pa State
     Police. She said that they were sending the National Guard to

Muncy PA writes:
     Just imagine, we all heard the BOOM around simlar time frames. Could
     this be a taste of what's to come when Jesus comes back?

joyly - Juniata County writes:
     When I leaving my son's soccer practice at abotu 6:15 - 2 of the boys
     excitedly pointed to the sky and said a red ball fly across. The smoke
     stream remained but that was all that I saw. It was headed NW across
     Shade Mt near Richfield, PA when we saw it. I never thot any more about
     it until you reported the strange event.

Kevin & Tracey Brungard writes:
     McElhattan Pa ... We thought something at the local landfill not even
     1/4 mile away exploded. The loud continuous booms sounded that close to
     our house. We kept waiting for fire sirens or some signs of an
     explosion. But after several minutes passed and nothing we had already
     decided to watch the WNEP news broadcast at 11pm.

Carlos writes:
     a loud thunder like sound with after effects was heard and felt in

jj writes:
     we were playing a softabll game in old forge and a redish orange object
     shot throught over the field

[blank] writes:
     We heard it too, outside Montoursville, while eating dinner. Scared
     kids & dog & me. Sounded as if a gas main had erupted. Waiting to hear
     just WHAT it was!!

[blank] writes:
     My husband and daughter felt the house shake and a loud booming sound.
     Our neighbors said they saw a big round ball that was on fire and had
     spikes on it fly over our houses. We live in Rote which is in Clinton

Matt and Candy Bodkins writes:
     whatever it was sounded like something very large falling on our back
     porch, then shaking the entire house. We ran outside to see what it was
     and thought at first it was thunder, but it was a much deeper sound and
     kept going like fireworks for about 8 seconds. I thought it must have
     been a very large explosion near by. We had heard it was a plane crash,
     however, later told it was a meteor. Even heard of other such impacts
     nearby. Hopefully this gets full coverage tonight!! we are just outside
     of ElklandPa and it happened at 6:30pm, Monday July 23 2001

what the writes:
     The space shuttle was to make a landing tonight.
     [FROM WNEP: It wasn't the space shuttle or the ISS or the hubble. Their
     orbits weren't near us.]

Scott Karchner Jr. writes:
     I am 9-years old and live in Berwick. I was outside playing with my
     friends when I looked up and saw a big ball of fire. I thought a plane
     was on fire. When I told my mom, she didn't believe me until she heard
     it on the news and read it here.

Jason Roberts/ WXAC Radio, Reading, PA writes:
     Started receiving reports around 6 about the meteor. Called Hazleton
     Police and officer told me about his personal experience. Loud Boom,
     Bldg. Shook. Calls into Northumberland County Dispatch from most

C &J writes:
     We are from Lewisburg, heard a loud boom/crashing sound. We though the
     house was falling down until we found out all our neighbors heard the
     same thing. We were happy to hear about it on 16 just a few minutes
     after it happened. Keep up the good work

Eileen writes:
     Heard here in Bradford County between Troy and Towanda about 6:30 ish.
     Just as described - very large explosion, then rolling, echoing like
     noise. Faded like thunder. Have never heard anything like it!

Silverqn writes:
     I am presently in the MIRC channel/pennsylvania channel.. and am
     hearing all sorts of things from ppl all over the state. bronie points
     to this web site for being the only one with any information available.
     I live in Perry County Pa. and hear Nothing.

chris Sechrist writes:
     I live in linden in lycoming county and i was on the computer when the
     whole house felt like it was moving, i didn't know weather we went to
     war or what we searched outside for signs of a fallen tree or somethign
     but couldnt' explain it, i really got a good scare our of it and so did
     my dogs

(unknown) writes:
     We live around Lock Haven and we heard it i was at my neighbors and the
     windows started shaking i came home and my parents said that their
     friend told their parents that it was a meteor we dont know my pap seen
     a big ball of fire thought it could be a meteor!!!!!

Anonymous writes:
     I just recieved an email from a lady outside Lock Haven who reported to
     me that a meteorite had landed and was "quite large" and was on fire.
     This is in the area of Castanea. Whether this is true or not i have no
     idea but have no reason to doubt this report. From what i have been
     reading on here it seems there may have been more than one and there
     apears to have been some landings.

C-Dub writes:
     We were at a little league game and saw and heard it as well (in
     Wellsboro , Pa). It left a trail of smoke clouds that were puffy and
     made several sounds after the inital boom. I also heard it hit near
     Stoney Fork Pa.

Bob Jacobs writes:
     Originally from W-B. Now living in Wilmington, DE. Saw the meteor at
     about 6:20pm down here in Delaware. Bright streak of yellow-green
     color, lasted about 5-10 seconds. Didn't hear any boom this far south.
     Thanks for your coverage!

Jen writes:
     I was sitting infront of my computer checking emails and my whole house
     shook and it felt like someone was moving it. It sound like it was
     thundering outside and I walked outside and I looked around and I
     didn't see anything. I leave in Centre County and It shook everything.
     I thought I was the only one who felt my house shake but I guess there
     was plain of other people..

Rich writes:
     I heard the boom it went right over my house. We were eating dinner at
     the time and we thought we were going to fall over.And my Grandma lives
     just down the hill and she said her door's raddled. Let me know if
     there is any more informtion on it.

Ben K writes:
     I saw the meteor go across the sky. it was really bright. it hurt my
     eyes to look at it. i thought it was one of the most amazing things i
     have ever seen. then about 5-10 minutes after i saw it i heard the
     "sonic boom"

Mildred writes:
     I live in western Union County near Centre County.The whole house shook
     about six times (over 10 seconds)with varying degrees of boom and I
     thought my son was banging the house from outside. The neighbor went
     west towards Centre County because they saw a several balls of fire
     near the sun.

C&K Union County writes:
     My sister and I were driving home, when we saw a large ball of fire
     shoot across the sky in an arc shape going from East to West. It left a
     long vapor trail that lasted for over 20 minutes. We thought it was the
     rapture, so we hurried home to make sure Grandma and the children were
     still there. That's when they told us they heard a loud boom & felt the
     house shake.

Jason Markle ( Lock Haven) writes:
     I was outside in my yard when i saw a big ball of fire fly by, behind
     it was a streak of fire. i Thought it was a plane then i didn't see it
     so i thought i was seeing things then a little bit later i heard a boom
     and thought it was a plane going down. Then me an my dad walked to
     nearby Petty Park where there is open area where we thought something
     went down and there where some softball games going on and we talked to
     a guy who said they saw it fly by then they saw it burn out.

Richard from Sunbury, PA writes:
     While sitting on the deck by the pool, saw a bright orange ball with
     with orange tail, only seemed to last a few seconds then about a two
     minutes later a loud boom, never heard anything like it, that was
     around 6:20 pm

Terry writes:
     I live in Bloomsburg and, I think it is weird that one person can hear
     and feel this going on, and not to far away others hear nothing. I
     didn't hear or feel anything here. Please keep up the good coverage.

Just little ole me writes:
     My husband and i were just getting out of our car _at_6:30 and we heard a
     loud boom then it rumbled for about 20 sec. or so . We are from down
     town Lock Haven PA

CroNO writes:
     Yea, it happened here too, where I live heard a slight bam and my
     friend's house shook, they acted like it was normal, I even mentioned
     it they just went on like nothing happened at all, it wasn't as bad
     then as it is now, because now I know what it might be, its really cool
     until it kills someone...

melissa writes:
     i was standing outside my house in Norry when i heard this big boom, i
     thought that it was a firework at first but it was too early for that.
     then the ground began to shake below my feet and my house was beginning
     to shake as well. i could hear the loud noise trumble through the
     mountains and there on. It was kool until i found out what it was. well
     i just wanted to report my case of the mystery.

Hill--Jersey Shore,PA writes:
     Heard the the explosive sound and thought that maybe the gasline that
     is close to our are had exploded but the continued vibrating noise
     (like helicopter blades spinning) continued for some time...The boom
     shook our house, causing several doors to pop open, the horses charged
     across the field and my dogs hid.....the neighbors thought something
     had hit their mobile home..we all tried to find the cause but didn't
     see anything but the sound was very evident.

Mike from Jersey Shore writes:
     I seen the meteor in person and it was pretty neat. It was in the
     middle of a cornfield in Cogan Station. After we parked the car there
     (where there wasn't anyone else) within about 5 minutes there was 10
     dif. cars pulling up with a news crew and a camera guy that followed us
     around trying to get good shots. I just thought I would pass along the

barb from Linden writes:
     My daughter and myself heard a big blast and we thought the front of
     the house blew off. We went outside to see what it might be and nothing
     but the other neighbor's trying to figure it out also. Makes you think!

amanda writes:
     around 6:30 we heard a boom i thought someone was banging on the side
     of the house and then after a couple seconds it stopped. we had no idea
     what it could have been. we went to the store then and we heard rumors
     that it was a meteoroite that hit near here adn that it made world
     news! but i guess it can't be that important if they haven't really
     said anything more about it on tv. ~montoursvile,pa

brett writes:
     i was playing soccer in milto with a bunch of friends and someone
     yelled look and we saw saw a giant fireball in the sky. it was amazing.
     then a few minutes later we heard the loud boom.

Susan L. writes:
     Wow... I missed the entire event, but, I called my close friend in
     Muncy, Pa. at the time it happened, and she was all shock up. I live in
     Wallingford, I didn't hear it here. Please post story and pics on this
     website. Thank you.

scott w. from williamsport writes:
     i heard a loud bang and it shook my house i thought maybe a tractor
     trailer had ran into my house i had everyone out wondering what was
     going on. i was scared

Billie writes:
     I live in Hummelswharf Pa and I didn't hear or feel anything
     selinsgrove is like 5 minutes away don't you think I should have felt
     and heard something

Sara Laubscher writes:
     I am from Williamsport and About 6:15p.m., I heard a huge Boom which I
     thought was someone in my neighborhood setting dynamite off, woke my
     son up, and scared me. Heard on the scanner that it was a meteor that
     had landed in Wellsboro. What I not understand is why we were not
     informed of meteor showers.

amanda writes:
     around 6:30 we heard a boom i thought someone was banging on the side
     of the house and then after a couple seconds it stopped. we had no idea
     what it could have been. we went to the store then and we heard rumors
     that it was a meteoroite that hit near here adn that it made world
     news! but i guess it can't be that important if they haven't really
     said anything more about it on tv. ~montoursvile,pa

Mandy from Sch Haven writes:
     We were driving up the Gordon Nagle Trail at around 6:30 and saw a
     bright ball of flame, with a trail behind it falling down from the sky
     right in front of my car. We didn't know what it was.

GinaJo from Tucson AZ writes:
     I heard about it via my mother who called me from Scranton. She is
     awaiting the outcome of what it is. HOWEVER... I can't believe that it
     has taken this long for everyone to figure out what it was. I live in
     the desert and there are tons of unexplainable things...however...
     everything that goes "boom" or even resembles a "fireball"...is quickly
     resolved with something harmless. Keep us posted.


from Leroy area writes:
     i heard the boom around 6:30 and thought somthing exploded in my house.
     my house shook and the roof cracked.

Lee - Berwick writes:
     Why wasn't this object picked up by NASA or the FAA? What happen to
     early warnings? It seems obvious that something, most likely a
     meteorite(s), penetrated the earths atmosphere and there was no warning
     from the parties who are SUPPOSED to know what is going on in the air
     and space above the U.S. Is this what we have to look forward to for
     early warnings from them, with this being reported from the Canadian
     border to Virginia, maybe Mr. Bush should take a look at his cabinets
     that are in charge of airspace. Maybe he should call Ben Afleck and
     Bruce Willis.

Ty writes:
     I was at point brake paintball with a few of my friends and we heard
     the explosion and thought one of the co2 tanks had exploded, but I saw
     a flash a cuple seconds earlier. Hughesville Pa

mary writes:
     please post any information you can on this story because where we live
     we don't get channel 16. we heard two bangs almost back to back and it
     chock the ground and it did sound like what every it was, was still
     running and then it just stopped. we went to twon and everyone was
     standing out looking around trying to figure out what it was.

someone writes:
     Here is the thing, I heard the loud "boom" from this thing, whatever it
     was, and it did rattle the house and lasted for quite a while with the
     echo. However, there is no way for anyone to say that it didn't sound
     like a sonic boom, because if this thing was a meteor(ite), it would
     have been moving at approx. +20,000 mph (yes, that fast), and who on
     this planet can judge a break in the atmosphere of something large
     (possibly car sized)? And besides, if it were that big, till it hit
     Earth, it would have burned up to a small pebble (if it was that big at
     the end).

Rose writes:
     Went to Salladasburg area--found cornfield where "it" left a "vapor
     trail". Was later rumored to have found some fragments. Emergency
     personnel could or would not give us any information on what "it" was.
     Was a few hundred yards away and was notified by bullhorn to "Evacuate
     the area. It is contaminated." Am hoping that it was just a scare
     tactic!! My 9 year old son saw it flying thru the air--I am so happy
     for him!! He described it as a huge fireball with a rainbow colored
     tail. He didn't mention it until after we heard the booms and went
     outside and asked him if he saw anything.

Kalen writes:
     Much like the rest of you I heard a loud "boom" sound. My friend and I
     thought that it was thunder but, the sky was clear. We didn't hear of
     anything until your coverage of the story. Good job WNEP!

Bob from Williamsport writes:
     It is not unusual for meteors to bombard out planet daily. Out
     atmosphere is designed to deflect or destroy most all that enter. Some
     pieces are too large and sometimes land. This has been happening since
     the beginning existence. There is no need to panic or site this as
     another "sign" of things to come. This is a normal fact of life with
     this planet. The sound is also normal for the speed of an object
     traveling as fast as it was. Reminded me of when I was young and the
     military was testing faster than sound flights. We can all sleep as
     usual tonight and maybe someday experience this again. It is not to be
     a frightening experience but an exciting one to have been in the path
     and to whitness it firsthand.

Kalen writes:
     Much like the rest of you I heard a loud "boom" sound. My friend and I
     thought that it was thunder but, the sky was clear. We didn't hear of
     anything until your coverage of the story. Good job WNEP!

Jackie from Sunbury writes:
     I heard the boom and felt my house shake. My first thought was MY GAS
     GRILL.... When that wasn't the cause, I had my husband check on our son
     in the attic. He was OK and playing video games. The boom knocked over
     one of our 16 inch pedistal fans at the base of the stairs leading to
     the attic and moved some pictures on the wall. My husband thought
     someone ran into the house.

JC425 writes:
     i saw it! i was driving home from vacation, and saw a big ball of fire
     fall from teh sky near jersey shore

Linda Perry writes:
     Hi Linda Perry at Canton Pa in Bradford county. I seen nothing but I
     was sitting in my Kitchen with brother and all of a sudden a loud boom
     and then my chair shook. I was so scared that I ran outside and heard
     the rolling. It was very scarry. We heard a lot of rumors. I will never
     forget that loud boom.
Received on Tue 24 Jul 2001 05:10:56 PM PDT

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