[meteorite-list] Bright Fireball Sighted Over China
Ron Baalke baalke at zagami.jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Dec 14 13:03:50 EST 2004
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-12/14/content_400107.htm Mass UFO spotted in Gansu Province China Daily December 14, 2004 Hundreds of people in northwest China's Gansu Province witnessed an unidentified flying object (UFO) Saturday night, and local police are searching for what may have dropped in the area. A woman shows a piece of meteorite dropped onto the earth after the nightly explosion in Gansu Province Saturday night. ufo [newsphoto] A woman shows a piece of meteorite dropped onto the earth after the nightly explosion in Gansu Province Saturday night. Witnesses in Gansu's capital Lanzhou said that a strange shining object swept through the sky at about 11:36 p.m. Saturday, following by earthshaking sounds like bombing. They also reported that an ensuing tremble was felt within 100 sq km from Lanzhou. One of them, a driver surnamed Zhang, said that he saw a shining ball with a three-meter-long trail flying from west to east and heard two thunders right after, when he was driving from Lanzhou city to neighboring Yongdeng county. The local public security department confirmed that they have received more than 700 reports on the case, some saying it was an earthquake, and others saying it was an aerolite falling. The department has sent policemen to search for possible fallen objects but found nothing so far. Liu Yanan, astronomy professor at the Northwest Normal University, said that it might be a meteoroid entering the earth's atmosphere. --------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-12/14/content_400144.htm Night sky lit up by possible meteor By Fu Jing China Daily December 14, 2004 The cause of the fireball seen streaking through the night sky on Saturday in Southwest China's Gansu Province has not yet been confirmed. A piece of magnet (singled out by white circle) sticks to a burnt rock, which a local Lanzhou villager said was the fireball lighting up the sky on Saturday night. "Rumbling, rumbling, rumbling, and then bang," said fireman Chen Yuanrong, from Lanzhou in the province, who admitted being left speechless by what he saw. The Gansu Provincial Seismology Bureau recorded that an explosion took place in the suburbs, some 60 kilometres from downtown Lanzhou. By press time, the strange burning object, or what remains of it, had not been found. Chen said he is among hundreds of Lanzhou residents who reportedly spotted the "strange object" sweeping through the sky at 11:36 pm on Saturday. It was accompanied by earth-shattering rumbles. "Nearly all of my fellow firemen heard the sounds, but I was lucky enough to see the bright object," Chen told China Daily yesterday. At about 11:20 pm, the rumbling began and lasted approximately 15 minutes. Lying on his bed and looking out of his dormitory window, Chen saw the object lighting up the sky, turning night into day. "Finally came the bang, but a long rumbling preceded it," Chen said. Xinhua News Agency reported that authorities are scouring the area for any debris that could have fallen from the sky. According to the Beijing-based China Times, many eyewitnesses reported seeing two trails of unusually bright light. A taxi driver told the paper he was in his car when everything suddenly became "as bright as day." When he pulled over, he saw a fireball with a long tail streaking across the sky, he said. Police, working on the theory that it was a meteorite, set out to investigate the matter, but they have found no concrete evidence. The local security department confirmed they had received more than 700 calls from people reporting the sighting. Some claimed it was an earthquake, and others assumed it was a falling aircraft. Liu Yanan, astronomy professor at the Northwest Normal University, said it might have been a meteorite entering the earth's atmosphere. Local media are eager to uncover the facts or obtain evidence that could contribute to a scientific explanation. The Lanzhou Morning News has even posted a reward of 5,000 yuan (US$602) for anyone offering a substantial lead. Zeng Dehua, a reporter from the Lanzhou Evening News, said he was closely following the UFO theory. But he added that local authorities and research organizations have shown little interest in finding where the object landed or what it is. A fire broke out on a farm near Lanzhou on Saturday night which was presumed to be caused by the fireball, and by press time Zeng, together with local police, was on his way to the site, a three-hour drive from Lanzhou.
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