July 31, 2002
The Cincinnati Post
No UFOs Sighted; `Flash'Likely a Meteor
Call off the Men In Black.
A brief but spectacular sky show overGreater Cincinnati, though not of this world, was almost certainly a meteor,not a UFO.
Reports of an early-morning flash onJuly 30, 2002 came in from as far away as Franklin County and the Indianapolisarea, but centered around Greater Cincinnati.
Witnesses said it occurred between 1a.m. and 2 a.m.
"It was the most awesome sight I willever see," said Steve Mason of Independence, Ky., who said he was doingsome midnight fishing with a cousin when a flash of light "lit up the entirecountryside white."
"We saw the rock enter the atmosphere,burning red, at about 1:30 in the morning. The rock looked like it wasabout three times the size of a 747, like something out of `The Flintstones.'"
Mason said he only had time to exclaim"Oh my God!" to his cousin "and then boom! It exploded, and then behindit came a trail of gold that looked like sparklers across the sky.
"When that faded, there was a whitestreak that looked like a jet trail in the full moon."
Jim Richardson, coordinator of the AmericanMeteor Society's Fireball Monitoring Program, said that the event "wasmost likely a meteoric fireball."
Richardson said most or all of the meteoritelikely was destroyed after it entered the atmosphere, based on what witnessessaw and heard — or didn't hear.
A sonic boom often, but not always,accompanies a meteorite of any size falling to earth, he said.
He said his organization received threereports from Ohio and one from Indiana about the sighting, saying it wasbrighter than the full moon and lasted two to five seconds.
One observer told the society that heand other night-shift workers at an Ivorydale factory saw a bluish-whiteflash, then looked up to see an object streak "west to east at a high rateof speed, leaving a trail behind it."
The worker said he'd seen a satellitein re-entry before "and it looked nothing like this."
An Indiana witness said it "lit up thesky with a very bright blue color" and left a glowing white trail behindit, making it look like "a huge tear drop."
The National Weather Service in Wilmingtonand Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton also received a number ofcalls about the sighting.
According to the American Meteor Society'sWeb site — http://www.amsmeteors.org — there were only a handful of fireballsightings in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana last year.
The only one within 200 miles of Cincinnatiwas on July 27, 2001, in Bellefontaine, about 30 miles north of Springfield.
Article copyright © 2002 by TheCincinnati Post.
Article Source: http://www.cincypost.com/2002/aug/10/meteor081002.html
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