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Fireballs

Fireball 3

Giant fireball explodes off coast of Zamboanga, Philippines

For two days now, villagers and authorities in the west coast of Zamboanga remain baffled after a big ball of fire streaked from the southern skies at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, hitting the coastal water before exploding and illuminating nearby villages.

Senior Inspector Edilberto Alvarez, the police commander of Station 9, confirmed the mysterious phenomenon but could neither offer a clear explanation of the incident at Barangays La Paz and Talisayan.

Alvarez said a dull but loud explosion occurred later at the sea water fronting Barangay Talisayan.

"It was confusing because based on my own experience an improvised bomb if exploded would not create such bright and colorful light covering a massive area compared to that one... whatever it was," Alverez said.

The police official also dismissed the possibility that the ball of fire that exploded was man-made.

Comment: It's very unlikely that anything actually hit the water in this case. They would really know about it if a space rock hit either terra firma or the ocean!

A "dull but loud explosion" is consistent with a bolide exploding high in the atmosphere. Although, from a distance, they often appear to have 'fallen to the ground/sea', fireballs are generally so far up that the Earth's curvature will make them 'disappear over the horizon'.


Fireball 2

Are the increasing numbers of meteorites bringing life forms to Earth?

Russian Meteor Still
© AFP/Powered By Newslook
This video still image shows the smoke trail created by the meteor that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia on Feb. 15, 2013.
If it were not scientifically verified, it would be a great storyline for a sci-fi flick, but NASA says alien microbes are hitching rides on meteorites. Some experts are stating that debris from outer space will only be increasing in frequency as they impact Earth in the coming year.

A meteorite's size can range from small to extremely large. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, frictional, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting/falling star. They can range from extraterrestrial bodies that collide with Earth or an exceptionally bright, fireball-like meteor regardless of whether it ultimately impacts the surface.

NASA has launched a new website to share details of meteor explosion events as recorded by U.S. military sensors on secretive spacecraft, kicking off the project with new details of this past February's fireball over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The new "Fireball and Bolide Reports" website, overseen by NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, debuted Friday (March 1) with its first entry: a table with a chronological data summary of the Russian meteor explosion of Feb. 15 gleaned from U.S. Government sensor data. Scientists are calling the event a "superbolide," taken from the term "bolide" typically used for fireballs created by meteors.

Part of the worldwide interest in meteors hitting Earth stems from what is now verifiable evidence that alien lifeforms are coming along for the ride.

In 2010, Duane P. Snyder announced the discovery of the first and only known Ice Meteorite containing Extraterrestrial Life-forms. The Ice Meteorite's particle analysis, its gas analysis, and likely origin including photos of the life-forms found in the melt-water of the meteorite where also exhibited. Dr. Albert Schnieders of Tascon USA Inc, commented that they basically found nearly all elements up to 90u in the sample spherical particles tested.

Comment: To understand the implications of this article see also New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection


Eye 2

Snakes alive! Countless reports of snakes turning up in weird places

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As a SOTT editor, I like to keep an eye on what's going on in the animal kingdom. The big news in recent years on that score has, of course, been the high number of mass animal deaths. But has anyone else noticed the extraordinary number of stories about snakes in the news lately? I first noticed a spate of snake stories at the beginning of the summer, and over the last couple of months snakes have been turning up in close proximity to people, and in some highly unusual settings, at an alarming rate. There have also been some particularly horrifying reports of attacks and resulting fatalities by escaped pet pythons - on both children and domesticated animals alike.

It seems appropriate that 2013, according to the Chinese zodiac tradition, is the Year of the Snake!

The following is a quick run-down of some incidents worth highlighting, starting in May, which initially show a slow build-up of such stories, leading fairly rapidly to 'spikes' in reports, some of which we've carried on SOTT.

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Weird fireball falls from the sky in Yucatan, Mexico

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© Eduardo Cabrera
September, 22 - 2013. Sunday, 8:30 pm. At Ichmul, Chikindzonot city, south of Yucatan peninsula - Merida's state, in a poor community where live some remnants of mayas, the fall of a fireball that came from the sky, scared and still is scaring the dwellers of the place.

The locals were waiting to see a show of small circus in the center of the community, when they suddenly, all saw an object in flames falling at high speed.

Image
© Eduardo Cabrera

Fireball 5

Russian scientists report asteroid near-miss

Asteroid
© Moscow State University/MASTER/Vladimir Lipunov
Asteroid detected by Sternberg Astronomical Institute.
Moscow - A 15-meter (approximately 50 feet) asteroid, similar to the one that exploded above Russia in February, was detected hours before it nearly missed the Earth over the weekend, Russian scientists said.

Vladimir Lipunov of the Moscow State University and the Sternberg Astronomical Institute said on Sunday a network of telescopes operated by his team recorded a celestial body approaching the planet.

"[The asteroid] was discovered on Friday night by our station near Lake Baikal and nine hours later it flew within 11,300 kilometers of the Earth surface, below the orbit of geostationary satellites. It was about 15 meters in size," he said.

The scientists originally thought that it could be a man-made object, such as a spent rocket booster, but rejected the idea when they couldn't find a match in the space junk catalogue.

Lipunov said his team had notified the International Astronomical Union of their discovery, but it is yet to be confirmed.

A meteorite exploded on February 15 above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk. The meteorite weighed 10,000 tons prior to the explosion, according to expert estimates. About 1,500 people were injured in the blast, most of them by glass shattered by the shockwave.

Fireball 3

"I thought a plane hit": Another massive explosion obliterates house, this time in Connecticut - 17 September 2013

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© AP Photo/The Stamford Advocate, Lindsay Perry
A firefighter walks through the burning rubble of a six-bedroom house on Webbs Hill Road in Stamford, Conn. that exploded on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
Stamford, Connecticut - An explosion leveled a six-bedroom house on Tuesday, scattering debris hundreds of feet away, but nobody was inside and there were no serious injuries, authorities said.

The homeowner was outside near a pool house on the property in Stamford, about 35 miles northeast of New York City, at the time of the explosion, said the town's director of public safety, Ted Jankowski. The homeowner was alert and conscious when emergency crews arrived, and he was taken to a hospital for observation.

Next-door neighbor Charlene Heffernan said she heard the blast.

"I thought a plane hit my house," Heffernan told The Stamford Advocate. "I have never heard anything so loud. My house shook from the top down."

Mayor Michael Pavia said the cause of the blast was under investigation but authorities suspected gas was involved. He said a 500-gallon propane gas tank on site was under a controlled burn Tuesday afternoon.

Comment: Reported on the same day:

Massive explosion obliterates house in Ohio and kills 2- Debris scattered up to quarter-mile away, 17 September 2013


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Massive explosion obliterates house in Ohio and kills 2- Debris scattered up to quarter-mile away, 17 September 2013

Image
© AP Photo/The Blade, Dave Zapotosky
Firefighters douse hotspots following a house explosion Tuesday, Sept.17, 2013 in Stony Ridge, Ohio. Neighbors said the blast woke them up around 5 a.m. and that they saw flames at the ranch-style home near the village of Stony Ridge, about 15 miles south of Toledo. The explosion flattened the home and scattered pieces of it throughout the yard. The explosion left one person dead and three injured.
Stony Ridge, Ohio - An explosion leveled a home in northwest Ohio Tuesday morning, killing two people, injuring three and scattering debris up to a quarter-mile.

Investigators were looking into whether a leaking liquid propane tank near the home's attached garage sparked the blast, said Troy Township Fire Chief Randy Woodruff.

The tank was toppled over, and Woodruff said it was too soon to pinpoint the cause of the explosion.

Neighbors said the explosion woke them up around 5 a.m. and they saw flames at the ranch-style home near the village of Stony Ridge, about 15 miles south of Toledo.

One man died after being taken to a hospital, and the body of a woman was found in the rubble about six hours after the explosion.

When emergency responders arrived, four people were found outside the house, the Wood County Sheriff's Office said. Five people - all of them adults - lived in the home. Neighbors said they were a man, his wife, their two sons and a fiance.

Names of the victims were not released.

The explosion flattened the home and scattered pieces of it throughout the yard and across farm fields. Piles of insulation, mattresses, window screens and a door littered the yard. All that was left standing was a basketball hoop along the driveway.

Comment: Reported on the same day:

"I thought a plane hit": Another massive explosion obliterates house, this time in Connecticut - 17 September 2013


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U.S. sees another bright fireball on September 27

Meteor Sightings
© American Meteor Society
“Heat map” September 27, 2013 fireball sightings.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has reported at least 373 reports of another bright fireball - a very bright meteor, likely a small chunk of natural incoming space debris - over the U.S. last night (September 27, 2013). These reports followed a similar event over approximately the same area the day before (September 26).

The AMS called the coincidence of two bright fireballs, or bright meteors, spotted over approximately the same region on consecutive days "surprising." Witnesses from Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia reported a bright light moving across the night sky on September 27 at around 11:33 p.m. local time, according to the AMS.

Fireball might sound ominous, but it is just the word astronomers use to mean bright meteor. As seen from a whole-Earth perspective, fireballs are seen often. It's unusual to have two appear on consecutive nights over the same region, however.

Fireball 5

Friday night sky lights up with possible meteor over Ohio

The Columbus area was bathed in the eerie light of an apparent exploding meteor that streaked through the sky late Friday night.

A brilliant flash of light about 11:30 p.m. prompted some people to call Columbus police to ask about its origin while officers chatted about the event over their radios. Employees at WBNS-TV (Channel 10) said they couldn't keep up with the phone calls they were getting from people who had spotted the streaking light.

Dozens of people took to Twitter to report they had seen a brilliant meteor tracing across the night sky. "Like a shooting star, but 500x brighter," one person wrote.

"I saw it in Hilliard. Sky lit up like lightning and then saw the vapor trail change from blue to purple to orange for 20 to 30 seconds," wrote another.

Others reported that the meteor and its accompanying flash of light were seen over a wide area, including south of Columbus in Hocking and Ross counties.

There also were reports of it being seen in other states in the Midwest, the East and parts of Canada.

Fireball 2

Boom felt, bright light fills the sky over South Dakota

A surreal bright blue color illuminated the entire sky and was accompanied by a thunderous boom at about 9 p.m. Monday.

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."