Thursday, September 22, 2005

"We Don't Know What It Is"

Fireball Off Florida Coast
Eerie glow lights up Fla. coast


     CAPE CANAVERAL - The fireball that streaked across the sky Tuesday evening, seen up and down Florida's East Coast, remained a mystery Wednesday.

     It was easier for many people to say what it wasn't, such as space junk, predictable pieces of rockets and such that burn up in the atmosphere.

     "U.S. Strategic Command did not track any objects for re-entry," spokesman Jeff Jones said from Nebraska.

     The North American Aerospace Defense Command also didn't track anything suspicious.

     "We don't know what it is, either," Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly said.

     Gary Halfhide was in Palm Bay when he saw the fireball. It looked like a burning metal object with a metallic-looking silvery glow behind it, he said, that lasted four or five seconds as it descended from a high altitude. "The front of it was just so bright," he said.

     Meg Griecomancini of Cocoa Beach saw it from Palm Bay, too, and said the color reminded her of a glow stick: "It was really pretty."

     Could it have been a super-secret spy plane or submarine missile? NASA and the Air Force said no Kennedy Space Center or local military operations could have put on such a show Tuesday.

     "It's quite the curiosity," spokesman Ken Warren said at Patrick Air Force Base.

     Joe Jordan of Port St. John, the Brevard County representative for the Mutual UFO Network, had received no reports to investigate. It "sounds like a pretty natural thing," he said.

     "We haven't had any aliens show up yet, anyway," said Brevard Community College planetarium Director Mark Howard.

     There was no obvious meteor shower to blame, with the Orionids coming up in late October. "It's probably just a random, sporadic meteor," Howard said.

     Still, something is in the air.

     Bill Morris of Suntree was working at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early Monday morning and saw a bright object zooming across the sky -- apparently another meteor. Maybe Earth is crossing the debris trail of a comet, he suggested.

     "It was streaking as it went, and all of a sudden it just flashed," he said, "and you heard a faint boom, and it just disappeared."

More . . .

Light in the sky may have been meteor . . .

Fire Ball Alarms Floridians


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