[meteorite-list] Huge Fireball Seen Over Australia

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:31:09 2004
Message-ID: <200404010017.QAA04077_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Fireball crashes to earth in Queensland
The Age (Australia)
April 1, 2004

Residents of the outback town of Winton saw a flash "like 50,000
floodlights" as a huge fireball crashed to earth somewhere in
central Queensland late yesterday.

Authorities are trying to track down the source of a large
fireball seen in the sky over the state's north and central west.

Speculation has ranged from space junk to a meteorite.

"We only know it wasn't an aircraft," a spokesman for the
Australian Search and Rescue Organisation said.

But in Winton Elsa Nelms and her partner Graeme East had front
row seats for the spectacular light show, sitting on their
verandah at dusk talking business with a friend.

"Suddenly there was this flash, it's the only way I can
describe it - it was so bright it was a white flash and it lit
everything up," Ms Nelms said.

"It was like somebody had turned on 50,000 spotlights."

"We all looked up in the sky and there was a white smoke trail
coming from the north-east - like a firecracker smoke trail but
it was too high to even be an aircraft."

Ms Nelms said she had gone into her backyard to lock her dog in
a pen when the house shook.

"While I was putting him away there was a rumble like thunder a
long way away.

"I missed the action up in the house but my partner said the
eaves shook and the roof rattled."

She said the whole of Winton either saw or felt the event, with
phones ringing all over town and people coming out of their houses
to see what was going on.

"The neighbours came over and they were white-faced," she said.

Ms Nelms said she later spoke by phone to friends living 130km
outside Winton who had seen the flash but not felt the rumble.

"There's probably is a big hole somewhere - but had this fallen
on Winton we probably wouldn't be sitting here talking about it,"
Ms Nelms said.



Large fireball sighted over Qld
ABC Far North QLD
April 1, 2004

Authorities will this morning investigate scores of reports about
a large fireball seen in the sky over Queensland's north and
central west last night.

Sightings were reported from Cairns to Emerald at about seven
o'clock last night.

Residents at Springsure, south of Emerald have told police the
bright object slammed into the ground somewhere nearby shaking
homes and buildings.

Mike Barton from Australian Search and Rescue says the pilot of
a Virgin Blue passenger jet reported the object flying over him
at about 25,000 feet.

"There has been extensive reports from members of the public
throughout North Queensland all the way from Hinchinbrook
Island through to Winton, on what looks like some sort of
meteor space re-entry," he said.

"Particularly southwest, down around the Winton area that they
think it might have hit the ground because they can feel some
vibrations and hear noise."
Received on Wed 31 Mar 2004 07:17:46 PM PST

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