[meteorite-list] NPA 03-24-1933: (Pasamonte) Meteor's Fall Described by Plane Pilots
From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun Oct 31 10:35:03 2004
Paper: Reno Gazette
City: Reno, Nevada
Date: Friday, March 24, 1933
Page: 1, continued on page 3
Meteor's Fall Described by Plane Pilots
Spectacular Sight Is Seen From Air Early This Morning
BY GEORGE W. SMITH
Associated Press Staff Writer
KANSAS CITY, March 24 - (AP) - The flash of a brilliant meteor across
the Texas-New Mexico skies this morning was described today by Bill Coyle,
airmail pilot, as it appeared to him from what he termed "a ringside seat
9500 feet above the earth."
"It was the most spectacular sight I even have witnessed," he said on
his arrival here. "I find it difficult to translate into words. The meteor
appeared out of the northeast traveling west by southwest. It was 5:15 a.m.,
mountain time and I was over Adrian, Texas, forty-five miles west of
"The meteor first gave the appearance of a large flood light being
turned on in the sky. It increased in brilliance with extreme rapidity. In
a second or so it grew too bright to look at.
AT SAME ALTITUDE
"At first I thought it was coming straight for me. We were about the
same altitude. In a moment I caught sight of its tail and could tell that it
was going north of me.
"Its line of flight was probably forty or fifty miles distance. At any
rate it was so close, I could see fiery fragments of the meteor whirling
away from it and dropping back into the tail.
"Before it struck or disintegrated the meteor had lost altitude and I
was looking down on its long, horizontal flight.
SIZE OF HANGER
"It appeared to be about the size of our Wichita hanger and shaped like
a ball. It left a deep red trail with a bluish tint which hung in the sky
until obliterated by daylight.
"Besides the pieces which appeared to exploded into the tail, others
exploded from the main mass and dropped to the ground so it was impossible
to tell whether the meteor gradually disintegrated or struck the ground.
"However, it ended from my view in what appeared to be the vicinity of
"GREAT BLUE LIGHT"
LOS ANGELES, March 24. - (AP) - Frank Williams, transcontinental
western air transport pilot arriving here, described his aerial view of the
meteor which this morning flashed through Southwest skies.
"At 5'10 mountain time this morning, I was fifty miles west of
Albuquerque, N.M. when suddenly the whole sky because illuminated," he said
"It seemed to turn the night into day as it some one had turned on a great
blue electric light.
SEPARATE INTO CLOUDS
"I turned and saw an object approaching with brilliance from the east.
It was an enormous mass of blue light. It had no tail but seemed to be
approaching me at a comparatively high altitude.
"This brilliance kept coming westward I should say for about eight or
ten seconds. Then suddenly it seemed to go apart. I would not call it
bursting. It just seemed to dim and separate into a couple of clouds. My
estimate was that the object was about three hundred miles away from me.
"One of the clouds was a very brilliant blue, as if within the center
were some brilliant strong light.
"The other cloud was flame colored, yellow colored. These were two
distinct clouds. In about fifteen minutes they seemed to merge with the
intense blue illumination in the center and the "flame colored light on the
"These clouds were in view for about half an hour, when they because
lost behind intervening clouds of the night sky."
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Received on Sun 31 Oct 2004 10:34:34 AM PST