[meteorite-list] NP Article, 01-1955 Homemade Bomb or Meteorite

MARK BOSTICK thebigcollector at msn.com
Fri Jan 31 01:48:25 EST 2003

Paper: The Bridgeport Post
City: Bridgeport, Ct
Date: Monday, January 24, 1955
Page: 15

Home-Made Bomb Or Meteorite, Fireball Explodes In His Home
     PHILADELPHIA - Jan. 24. - (AP) Wasit the first meteorite to reach earth
aflamo o was it a home-made bomb?  Whatever it was, William C.Cunningham,
52, will tell you it was mighty hot.
     He was standing in his bedroom in suburben Darby township yesterday
when he heard a crash of glass and turned and saw a fireball, about the size
of a grapefruit, bounce off an oil heater to the floor. Then it exploded.
     His first through was to throw the object out the window.  Cottingham
     "It was hot and heavy and as he threw it, it blazed up and seemed to
disintegrate.  Some of it landed on the bed and exploded again."
     Cunningham's right hand was burned almost to the bone.
     If the projectile had been blasted off a comet, two prominent
Philadelphia astronomers said, it would be the first in history to reach the
ground still aflame.
     Fire Marshal Francis J. Joseph of Delaware county said it might have
been a meteorite.  He tested it with a 1,700 degree flame from a propane
torch but the object only glowed.
     He got no reaction with a magnet.
      However, Dr. C. P. Olivier emeritus professor of astronomy at the
University of Pennsylvania,, and Dr. I. M. Levitt, director of Fels
Planetarium, both expressed doubt that it was a meteorite.
     Dr. Oliver said:
     "From everything that I have been told by the firemen and the fact that
the object came through the window at an angle instead of through the roof,
I believe it may have been a home-made bomb."
     Dr. Levitt said most meteorites burned themselves out before they hit
the ground and exploded when they were about 10 to 35 miles away from earth.

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