The Gillette News Record
Wed, 25 Sep 2013 17:45 UTC
People from all parts of Campbell County can attest to witnessing the strange phenomenon that lasted only a few seconds.
Whendi Kiewel thought a plane was crashing right before her eyes as she drove her twin boys home from Rapid City, S.D. They were near Inyan Kara and the interstate exit for the Keyhole Reservoir when it happened.
"The sky just completely lit up. I couldn't figure out what it was," Kiewel said.
The sky was bright blue and it looked as though a massive shooting star was falling from the sky for about 30 seconds, Kiewel said. She, along with others, believe that the fireball was a meteorite.
"You could see it breaking apart and then it just kind of burned out," Kiewel said.
Many people heard a noise resembling loud thunder, but Kiewel and her sons only got to watch the show.
"I can't quit thinking about it," Kiewel said. "It was the most amazing thing."
Kiewel's friend, Jena Meader, was in her backyard on North Heptner Road on the Adon Highway when the unknown object lit up the sky. Meader was facing the other direction, but was still able to see the light.
"I could tell something illuminated big time behind me," Meader said.
She and her husband initially thought the noise was a train, but soon realized it was a sonic boom.
Candace Smith was driving in a different area of town, eight miles south of Gillette on Highway 59 when everything around her went bright.
"It was very much like daylight for a split second," Smith said.
Smith had no clue what had happened. She checked all of her mirrors and finally looked up through her windshield and saw fiery fragments moving across the sky.
"I figured it was a huge falling star," Smith said. "It was pitch black out, but you could see the entire road in front of you and the fields on each side."
The fragments were orange, Smith said, but she, like others, saw an unforgettable electric blue sky.
Reports of light flashes and a loud noise were came in from all over the region Monday night. Eleven people reported seeing a bright light in the sky on Monday on the American Meteor Society website.
The reports came from all over the state including Gillette, Eden, Ten Sleep, Thermopolis, Laramie, Hyattville, Ralston, Moose, Basin, Upton, an Yellowstone National Park.
People from Colorado, Montana and Utah also reported seeing the light.
There has been much speculation that the bright light and boom was a meteorite, but the cause is still under investigation.