The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mon, 06 Dec 2010 17:14 UTC
It was a bird. It was a plane. Or maybe there was just something wrong with the video camera.
A DeKalb County man happened to have a camera rolling when what looks like a fireball floated in the sky overhead last week. Or maybe it was just an optical illusion created by a passing aircraft.
Charsign Raymond, of Clarkston, was visiting a friend's apartment just west of downtown Stone Mountain when his friend's wife happened to drive up.
"She ran in and said, 'Look, you've all got to see this," Raymond recalled.
Raymond, 39, had been playing with his video recorder, and he got out of the apartment in time to capture whatever it was in the sky.
It looks like a double-barreled ball of fire falling toward earth.
Raymond contacted the AJC last weekend with his find and later loaned a reporter his videotape so the AJC could publish it here.
On Monday, a reporter visited the site where Raymond shot the video. The apartment is off the intersection of Memorial Drive and James B. Rivers Memorial Drive. Raymond's camera was aimed at the southwestern sky.
The DeKalb County Police Department had no reports of fireballs hitting the county recently.
Mekka Parish, a police department spokeswoman, said she probably would have heard about it if one had.
"Interesting, but I didn't hear a rumor about something like that," she told the AJC on Monday.
This incident, which occurred at around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 28, is about as strange as the unexplained explosion that rocked Villa Rica west of Atlanta two days earlier.
People in three counties -- Carroll, Douglas and Haralson -- complained about hearing a loud boom around 9:45 p.m. on Nov. 26. Police officers and firefighters responded to the Mirror Lake neighborhood in Villa Rica, but found nothing -- not even smoke -- that would indicate something had exploded.
Authorities there later guessed that the noise had been a sonic boom, but the Federal Aviation Administration said there were no commercial aircraft fast enough to produce such a noise. An agency spokeswoman said that, as far as the FAA knew, military aircraft that could produce a sonic boom were not flying over the area.
After the AJC published an article about the explosion, readers contacted an AJC reporter to say that they'd seen a bright light in the sky around that time. A woman in Paulding County near the Douglas County line said it was a meteor about 10 times larger than any she'd ever seen.
But if a meteor explained that noise, what explained the noise that others heard two weeks earlier? Several readers said they'd heard a quieter explosion around Nov. 13.