Meteor shower sparks flurry of phone calls to authorities

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    Meteor shower sparks flurry of phone calls to authorities
    April 24, 2005
    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- A meteor shower Sunday night sparked a flurry of frantic phone calls to police departments across New England from people who saw bright lights moving in the sky, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

    The meteor shower was seen as far north as Portland, Maine, and as far south as Long Island. Witnesses apparently mistook the meteor shower for a plane crashing near New London, Conn., the FAA's Holly Baker said.

    "We've checked all around. There are no aircraft unaccounted for," Baker said.

    The bright lights apparently came from the Lyrid meteor shower, which was scheduled to be visible to the naked eye between April 20 and April 25, said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

    "We're getting various descriptions of lights in the sky," he said. "Everything from green lights to planes going down."

    Around 8:30 p.m., the National Weather Service in Taunton started receiving dozens of phone calls from witnesses who saw a "huge fireball moving from west to east," said meteorologist Eleanor Vallier-Talbot.

    "We have no clue what it was. That's not our department," she said.

    Police and Coast Guard officials in Connecticut said there were reports of everything from meteors and missiles to multicolored objects in the sky from Windham in the eastern part of the state to Branford, along Long Island Sound near New Haven.

    Firefighters in Branford responded to several reports of a possible plane crash in Long Island Sound in the Thimble Island area. But a search did not turn up anything and was called off at about 8:50 p.m. after the Coast Guard learned of the meteor shower.

    "We got about a half-dozen calls on it, people seeing a large orange ball landing in Long Island Sound," said Branford Deputy Fire Chief Bill Pepe.

    Branford officials called Tweed-New Haven Airport to see if any planes were missing, but there were not. The Federal Aviation Administration was also notified.
     
  2. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Ive seen quite a few news reports over the years detailing similar events around the world. :) But nothing quite like the reaction to the Leonids shower in historical times: http://comets.amsmeteors.org/meteors/showers/leonidhis.html

    Reactions to the 1833 display are varied from the hysterics of the superstitious claiming Judgement Day was at hand, to the just plain excitement of the scientific, who estimated that a thousand meteors a minute emanated from the region of Leo. Newspapers of the time reveal that almost no one was left unaware of the spectacle, for if they were not awakened by the cries of excited neighbors, they were usually awakened by flashes of light cast into normally dark bedrooms by the fireballs.

    http://comets.amsmeteors.org/meteors/showers/leonidancient.html

    I saw the 1998 display of Leonid fireballs...an unforgettable sight.
     
  3. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #3
    The Lyrid meteor shower caused quite a stir in the Boston area. Sounds as though they weren't expecting such a large number per hour, apparently around 90. This rivaled the ones of the past.
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    darn i wish i would have gotten to see something like that, and i have heard things like this happen all the time with meteor showers..... must have been a sight
     
  5. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales

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