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GEOPHYSICAL METEORS
CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

This www-page is devoted to the phenomenon, which can be called "geophysical meteors" (or "geometeors"). They are meteor-like luminous events, but of non-meteoroidal (i.e. terrestrial) origin. Just two centuries ago every meteor was thought to be of terrestrial origin, as "stones can not fall from the sky", and those few, who said about stones fallen from the sky considered as heretics.
Then it was discovered that stones can fall, and they are of extraterrestrial origin (meteorites). The previous dogma was quickly forgotten, so the pendulum has swung into the extreme opposite position, and a new dogma was born declaring that every fireball/meteor/bolide in the sky is of meteoroidal origin, and is caused by a chunk of extraterrestrial rock/ice, etc., or, at least, manmade space debris.
Just recently, the pendulum began to move to the equilibrium position. An article on the item appeared even in astronomical journal METEORITICS & PLANETARY SCIENCE (you can read the scanned article).
It seems that the Nature is used to keep the Truth in between!
The main problem with geophysical meteors (geometeors) is that, unlike the meteoroidal meteors (astrometeors), their physical mechanism is not known. We can just suppose that probably the origin has some resemblance with a ball-lightning. But the latter one is a problem for modern scientists too! Many scientists try to avoid the problem, just ignoring it, while groups (not very large) of enthusiasts work hard over it. Wish them success!
Let's return to geometeors. Several examples of them can be found in my tectonic Tunguska article. New ones are given below. But I will begin with discussion of their possible physical mechanisms.


2. POSSIBLE PHYSICAL MECHANISMS OF GEOMETEORS

Here I want to propose the simplest idea of the physical mechanism of geometeors. In my opinion geometeors are a result of a strong coupling between atmospheric and tectonic processes. In some of them "classic" atmospheric factors dominate, in other tectonic ones. The real physical mechanist is not known, but probably is is associted with electromagnetic/electric processes. Let me explain the probable origin of the electricity. We begin with the "atmospheric side". There are numerous stories of a "bolt from a blue"- type discharges, which points to a possibility of a very strong electric fields far away from a "bad weather". There is no conventional explanation for them still. I incline to think that there can be 2 main sources of the atmospheric electric fields: charged atmospheric aerosol layers caused by "pure" atmospheric processes, and the "tectonic" one, caused by emanation of aerosol from the ground and re-distribution of electric charge in the ground. As the first, "atmospheric" aspect of charge formation is less, or more known, I will detail the "tectonic" one.
I begin with famous French physicist F. Arago, who wrote that thunderstorms, and bad weather can be accompanied with subterranean disturbances. Arago gave many examples, as water in springs become muddy or "agitated", when a weather changes for the worse. Moreover, sometimes this behaviour is often a precursor of a thunderstorm. In other words, it means that atmospheric processes are strongly coupled with subterranean ones, at least sometimes. For example, a variation of atmospheric pressure changes loading to the earth's crust (ground), and can increase stress and emanation (degassing) from the ground. The emanated aerosol particles can change atmospheric conditions due to their electric charge, formation of water droplets around them, etc. In the most powerful way the influence of endogenic processes on atmospheric ones happens during increased tectonic activity, and is the most known in association with earthquakes, and partly considered in my tectonic Tunguska article. So here I just add that increased level of atmospheric aerosol, and of electric fields are measured before earthquakes. So during upsurge of tectonic activity the endogenic factor apparently is dominated over the atmospheric one. The most interesting aspect is an ejection of large electric charge of endogenic origin into the atmosphere. For example, before the Febr.4, 1975 Haicheng, China earthquake several groups of investigators measured telluric voltage as high as 10 V between two grounded electrodes with spacing 50 meters. Till now no theory can explain it, but anyway, it was one of the points, on which the earthquake was successfully predicted and many lifes were saved! In some "earthquake lights" events "boiled" sand or burnt rocks below the lights were discovered (very nice pictures of earthquakes lights and "their" burnt rocks preceding the 1999 Turkish earthquake can be seen here). It hints on a role of powerful electric currents, which can produce the effect due to their heating, or heating by secondary induced currents. And indeed, Japanese scientists, Yiri Enomoto and Zhong Zheng discovered ( see also "Geophysical Research Letters v.25, p.2721 (1998)) traces of electric current flowing through the surface (where "earthquake light" was seen during the Jan.17, 1995 Kobe earthquake) in order of 1000 A for about 10 seconds. In other words, the total electric charge transfered was in order of 10 000 Coulombs. A source of the currents is a mystery. Anyway, for a comparasion, the average charge of thundercloud is a couple dozens C. Even a small fraction of the charge can significantly alter the atmospheric conditions. So the earthquakes weather anomalies (described in the tectonic Tunguska article) are quite reasonable. On the other side, it is known that 'earthquake lights' have tendency to occur during cold front's passages.
Besides these factors, a powerful solar event, which can deposite charges and alter electric conductivity in the middle atmosphere (i.e. especially, probably solar proton event) can also contribute, but I incline to think that its direct influence is less important, than "interior" atmospheric and subterranean ones.
Thus we can see that the coupling between tectonic and atmospheric processes can produce atmospheric electric fields (or, anyway, the ball-lightning like formations, whatever their origin is).
Here I try to speculate how the mechanism can lead to geometeors. Please, imagine that due to combination of the above mentioned factors in some place on the ground or/and in atmospheric layer above it a large electric charges was formed (deposited), which also can alter air conductivity. In other words, it is something like a large electrified aerosol cloud.
In this case, in certain atmospheric conditions, various kinds of an electromagnetic phenomena can develop between surrounding area and the "cloud", as well as inside the "cloud". If the phenomena look like a rocket lightning, or fast-moving ball lightning, that will be a geophysical meteor, probably flying to/from the place. But again, it is just one of possible explanations, on which I don't insist. Moreover, I even don't have such a task to work out the physical mechanism. My task is to collect, summ up, and to analize data.

To check the possible relation geometeors with clouds, I investigated cloudiness (and airpressure) data around times of geometeor's events. Below is info, which I reported at the 5th International Conference on Cosmoparticle Physics "COSMION-2001", held in Russia in May 2001.
Here is a graph of cloudiness level averaged over 7 the most reliable geometeors events (a horizontal line marks days from a geometeor's appearence, a vertical one marks total cloudiness in %).

You can see, that in average a geometeor occurs at time of lacuna in cloudiness, often preceding large cloudiness upsurge (but it can take place during cloudiness disappearence too). It hints that a geometeor probably is associated with existence of finest aerosol particles in the atmosphere. The latter surrounds clouds (in space and time).
LATER UPDATE: And indeed recently some unexpected surroundings of clouds were detected! See this press-release by NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/twilightzone_particles.html

Similar graph for average sea level airpressure (below) points that a geometeor has a tendency to occur during upsurge of local airpressure. But the relation seems to be not very strong, and often a geometeor is associated with airpressure fall or rise. I hope that a meteorologist can get even much more details from the data.

By the way, a very remarkable thing is that the 1908 Tunguska event occured right in the same situation, which is one more argument for its geophysical origin! Here are Tunguska's cloudiness, and airpressure (more details in Tectonic Tunguska article).

Thus possibly a geometeor is a very specific form of electromagnetic phenomenon in the finest aerosol. Unlike a typical/classic discharge in a laboratory (well-known from school-days) between two electrodes, there is very important role of self-organization processes in finest atmospheric aerosol in geometeor formation.
This is just one of the proposed mechanisms, and I don't insist on it. Possibly there are other ones, the future will show.

Anyway, till now everything points that the most important aspect of the processes is a formation of energetic localized region in atmosphere, which points to some remarkable forms of self-organization (compare it with tornado formation).

Interestingly, that despite modern science till now can tell nothing about how the forms work, it is already possible to say, that modern science can expect their presence! Indeed, now it is already more or less established that self-organization is used to take place in none-stable none-equilibrium conditions of physical medium (including gas and solid body). And meteorological conditions favorable for geometeors (see below) indeed correspond to none-stable conditions of atmosphere, whereas the favorable "tectonic" conditions correspond to instabilities in subteranean medium!

I would like to add a couple of probably unusual thoughts, "food for thinking". Couldn't the high level of self-organization realizing in atmosphere somehow be induced by tectonic processes? Maybe there is something like a law of conservation of [nega]entropy?...
And one more. We (human beings) are also a kind of "self-organization". And it leads to such interesting ideas as: 1) the meteorological instabilities, as well as the subterranean ones must influence on a human body (reverse influence also must take place in some degree...); 2) as geometeors are very "sophisticated" form of self-organization, there must be some connection of geometeors and human beings (and why we are better than "they" are?)...
Who knows, maybe future will change our viewpoint on "what is life"?... As the questions are far outside our modern science frontiers, I am leaving them with just some "food for thoughts" ( hint1, and hint2).

An intriguing aspect of geometeors is that there are rather strong evidences, that, at least, sometimes they can transport some substance ("geometeorites"). I think that geometeorites in many cases are what is often called 'meteors wrong' (one of the most famous were Igast objects, some other examples of 'pseudometeorites' can be read here, for example: http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/bookman/meteorites/pseud.HTM). It is one of their most puzzling properties. It is known, that sometimes a lightning can throw away a heavy rock for many meters. Moreover, some scientists think that a ball lightning can transport some substance too (this idea was especially popular a century ago, as many facts point to it. Here you can read one example: the April 9, 1879 Chicago event (demands DJVU-plug-in, or see below). And sometimes many terrestrial things fall from a clear sky. But a high-speed geometeor transporting some terrestrial substance is very exciting!
What forces could be responsible for the tornado-like actions? Indeed sometimes geometeors are accompanied with localized gusts of wind (it is interesting to mention that sometimes lightning strikes can be mysteriously accompanied with gusts of hot air [see NATURE,v236,p.413]). Maybe a possible hint or even a key is in this intriguing electrostatic "invisible wall" phenomenon?

Nowadays geometeors are on the modern science frontier, or maybe even a little beyond it. As soon as we explain ball-lightning, probably we will have a large progress in understanding geometeors. Anyway, based on their empirical rules/theory I publically (i.e. by posting the info in internet etc.) made several (about 5) predictions in "meteorite fall" events about "non-discovery of meteorites" - and all of them were confirmed! Of course, I was a little bit lucky, as due to sparsely data and often second-hands accounts a possibility of a mistake is rather large, but anyway, the domination of correct predictions of the geometeor's interpretation is remarkable already, when the theory is just in a germ state!
Anyway, as Chinese say, a long road begins with the first step, and I hope that this input can be this first step. Everybody is welcome to step forward!


3. POSSIBLE, PROBABLE, AND EVIDENT CASES OF GEOPHYSICAL METEORS

A lot of info on the events, which are probably geophysical meteors can be discovered in UFO www-sites, newspaper articles, etc.. Unfortunately, their descriptions often are not good for any solid conclusions. Anyway, in many cases the geophysical origin is very probable, and sometimes even evident. Please, pay attention that some links below are opened in new browser's windows.

This www-page becomes too large as well as the number of associated files. So I have present most of info in linked big files.

  • Possible earthquake lights associated with the Dec.17,2009 earthquake in Nebraska.
  • Thanks to Christine Rosinski for pointing me to this event.
    Here is from http://spaceweather.com (taken on Dec.18,2009):

    Info about the fireball (taken on Dec.18,2009 from http://spaceweather.com/glossary/fireballreports_16dec09.htm?PHPSESSID=8mm23gjcjv5kiioi0tc3b55ea1 ):

    It is interesting that there is a report of a blue bright fireball at 21.10 CST with persistent train from Jefferson City (Missouri ). The event lasted for 5 seconds and was seen to the west from obserber. The city is situated (N38.50164032, W92.15556335 ) to the south-east from the earthquake epicenter.
    From http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/fireball_log2009.html :

    Date	Local Time	Time Zone	Name	City	State or Province	Dir/Alt (Start/End)	Magnitude	Duration (Seconds)	Color	Persistent Train	Terminal Burst	Sounds	Comments
    680	Dec 16	2110	CST	Darren Peters	Jefferson City	Missouri	W	-27	5	Blue	Y	-	-	-
    
    According to weather data, the sky was clear at Jefferson City (Missouri ) at that time.

    Here are some details of the earthquake (from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2009qhaf.php ) taken on Dec.18, 2009:

    So could the luminous event be earthquake lights? Due to sparse data I am open-minded. Some facts contra:
    - the reported time of the fireball was some minutes after the earthquake, which make the 'earthquake-lights' idea less likely.

    Some facts pro:
    Some accounts says that the fireball was seen during overcast sky which hints that the fireball must be below clouds which is extremly unlikely for a meteoroidal bolide.
    - This account:

    points that there was at least one luminous event which preceeded (or coincided) the earthquake.

    Much detailed and solid accounts are needed for more or less solid conclusion.

  • Probable earthquake lights associated with the Jan.9,2009 earthquake in California.

  • On 3.49Z, January 9, 2009 an earthquake (M=4.5, depth 14 km) occured in California (34.107, -117.304).
    Here is from 'The Desert Sun' newspaper ( http://www.mydesert.com/article/20090108/NEWS0805/90108045/0/LIFESTYLES02 ):

  • The February, 2008 'inflaming' fireball in Argentine.

  • Here is from http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/2008/02/argentina-firestarting-bolide.html

    And here is some follow-up from http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/2008/02/argentina-more-on-alleged-firestarting.html

    And here is some background discussion from UFO-viewpoint.

    http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/2008/02/argentina-background-on-firestarting.html

    Unfortunately as I don't get exact time of the event, I have to leave it 'as is'.

  • The March of 2007 event near the town of Cacoal, Brazil.

  • The event occured near the Brazilian town of Cacoal ( 11.5 deg. S, 61.4 deg. W ). Unfortunately all the info I discovered was just in Portuguese, which I can't read. Its electronic translation produces sometimes strange text in English. It looks like exact date of the event is not known. The event has produced some damage on the ground. Despite initial speculations of "meteorite", the event was classified as a ball-lightning by Brazilian researchers.
    I place here electronic translation (from Portuguese) of some articles I discovered (attempts to place also original Portuguese texts failed as my computer transforms some Portuguese letters into Russian ones).
    Here are just texts, and here is a text with some pictures as pdf-file, where also some other similar Brazilian events are mentioned. A meteorite which burnt a cottage in Germany (October 2006)

  • A meteorite which burnt a cottage in Germany (October 2006)

  • Unfortunately allmost all info is in German which I can't read (and electronic translation is often confusing).
    The info in German is here:
    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/weltall/0,1518,443782,00.html
    http://www.wdr.de/themen/panorama/brand03/troisdorf__meteorit/index.jhtml?rubrikenstyle=panorama

    Some info in English is in this post: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2006/10/28/meteorite-burns-a-german-cottage/#comment-22858

  • Green fireballs appeared again in Australia (May 16, 2006) and scientific research assigns some of them to ball-lightnings!

  • Here is the text of the ABC news story of Dec. 1, 2010

    Another news report:

    Here is the text of the BBC news story of Dec. 1, 2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11877842

    Here is the abstract of the mentioned work ( http://eprints.qut.edu.au/38939/ ): Here I add one original news story from 2006:

    My comments: Here I don't comment on the 'comet produced ball-lightning' idea. Similar ideas appeared from time to time. In my opinion in the Australian 2006 event it would be more plausible to propose that all the green objects were ball-lightning-like, i.e. geophysical fireballs (meteors), than to say that a green 'cometary-origin' fireball produced another green fireball but of 'geophysical nature'.
    Anyway in my opinion this research is a step forward to understanding that some 'meteors' are geophysical origin! By the way there was a swarn of unexplained green fireballs in the south-western USA in the late 1940s-early 1950s. The Australian research could help better understand them.
    Here I just add some total cloudiness data from nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov . As it can be seen the event occured near the (slow advancing) cloudiness's border.

    00Z, May 16

    06Z, May 16

    12Z, May 16

  • The March 6, 2006 "burning meteorite" event near the town of San Antonio de Jesus, Brazil.

  • The event resembles the 1999 event in Brazil and the 2001 event in Jordan (see both events nearby). Unfortunately, most of the news stories (as, for example, http://noticias.terra.com.br/brasil/interna/0,,OI908174-EI306,00.html ) were just in Portugeese, which I can read just through electronic translation. Fortunately some researchers from Brazil (special thanks to Mr Wilton Carvalho) helped with the data. You can see some pictures of the event kindly sent by Mr Wilton Carvalho here in pdf-file.

    The event took place near the Brazilian town of Santo Antonio de Jesus ( 13.0S, 39.3W) about 22.20 UTC on March 6, 2006.
    Here is a summary of the witness's accounts based on the abovementioned sources.

    Some families in the region met the dawn without a sleep with fear of what they had seen. An immense fireball crossed the sky. After it fell a fire reached at least 30 meters of height. Initially, the residents thought that a small airplane had fallen in the region, provoking the fire that burnt part of the vegetation.
    After searching the area, military policemen had evidenced that the accident had been provoked for the fall of a meteorite.
    "The impact was so great that trees had been broken and five holes had appeared in the ground", said lieutenant David Borges, who commanded the operation. The fall area is in dense bush.
    The agricultora Paulina de Jesus, who saw the fire during the fall of the meteorite, said to the policy that she was very scared. "Vi with clarity an immense fire ball crossing the sky, close to my house. When it fell, everything was very fast, and soon the fire reached at least 30 meters of height."
    Two astronomers of the Antares Observatory (from the not-far-away town of Feira de Santana) had searched the area for the meteorite, but has found no any meteorites. According to some accounts the fireball splitted/divided into two. One of them had fallen over trees and bushes and started a large fire at once. The other one kept flying and disapeared over a hill, leaving behind the site where the first fireball had fallen.

    Now let's look at the associated cloudiness data.
    Below are GOES-12 satellite infrared (band 4) pictures for the region (taken from www.class.noaa.gov) centered at the fall point.

    9.45Z, March 6

    13.15Z, March 6

    17.45Z, March 6

    18.45Z, March 6

    19.15Z, March 6

    19.45Z, March 6

    20.15Z, March 6

    20.45Z, March 6

    21.15Z, March 6

    21.45Z, March 6

    22.15Z, March 6

    22.45Z, March 6

    23.15Z, March 6

    23.45Z, March 6

    00.45Z, March 7

    01.15Z, March 7

    01.45Z, March 7

    02.15Z, March 7

    03.45Z, March 7

    07.15Z, March 7

    10.15Z, March 7

    It can be seen that a border of a large cloud's formation was just to the west of the area of the event at about the time of the event.

  • The June 25, 2005 "glowing meteorite" event in Fairbury, NE, USA.
  • From:

    And here is the follow-up:

    The exact time and day of the event, as it was checked later was 01.30 local time (6.30 UTC) on June 25, 2005. Coordinates of Fairbury are 40.14N, 97.18W.

    Here is a couple of the regional maps


    Local weather from the nearest meteo-station is here for: June 24, and June 25
    GOES-12 satellite infrared (~ 10 micron - band 4) pictures (taken from www.class.noaa.gov) show that the event occured when the place was near a border of a cloud's field. Below are the pictures centered at the place and taken at about:

    20.40 Z, June 24

    00.45 Z, June 25

    03.31 Z, June 25

    04.31 Z, June 25

    05.31 Z, June 25

    05.45 Z, June 25

    06.15 Z, June 25

    06.31 Z, June 25

    06.45 Z, June 25

    07.01 Z, June 25

    07.15 Z, June 25

    07.31 Z, June 25

    08.31 Z, June 25

    09.31 Z, June 25

    12.45 Z, June 25

    15.25 Z, June 25

  • The April 19, 2005 inflaming fireball event in Iran.

  • Here is from an e-mail which I have got from Iranian researcher Iman Naderi and reproduce here with his permission. He attached 3 associated pictures

    On my request Iman Naderi also sent me some meteorological data.

    The weather report of the event day is follow:
    
    Location                 HVAZ (20Km)  HUSHTAR (10Km) SHO'EY'BIEH
    Date                       19.Apr      19.Apr        19.Apr
    Time                       7:30am      7:30am        6:30am
    Air pressure(hPa)          1011.7      1006.0          ---
    emperature(dry)(Deg. C)    19.2        21.0          13.4
    Temperature(wet)(Deg. C)   13.2        13.0          12.2
    Cloudy                     0%          0%            25%
    Humidity                   46%         34%           87%
    

    Here are my comments. First, it is nice to know that Iranian researchers got interested in such phenomena. By the way, this also shows that such phenomena may be not rare.
    Please pay attention that in the West the town is used to be known as Shooshtar (32.04 N, 48.86E). Here is some more weather info for nearby towns:
    Ahwaz (31.3 N, 48.7 E)
    Ali-Goodarz (32.4 N, 49.7 E)
    Masjed-Soleyman (32.0 N, 49.3 E)
    Safi-Abad Dezful (32.3 N, 48.4 E)

    Below is cloudiness in the region averaged for
    18-24 Z, April 18
    0-6 Z, April 19
    6-12 Z, April 19
    12-18 Z, April 19

    As can be seen, the cloudiness gradually raised after the event, but I can't say that the upsurge was strong. Possibly the most important is that the event took place at the time of high relative humidity. If so, this could explain why reported "not-bad weather" events (see also the Babol event of Jan.2, 2004) in Iran happened in the very early morning, as local temperature often has a minimum at that time, and so relative humidity is often the highest.

  • The September 14-15, 2004 fireball's events in Argentina.
  • The event is under investigation, so here is just preliminary info. The main event occured on September 14, 2004 about 20.30 local time (= 23.30 Z). The forest-fall is 54.7S, 68.4W, near a town of Ushuaia (54.8 S, 68.3W), which is on the the southern tip of Argentina.

    Here is from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m17-013.shtml

    And here is from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m22-018.shtml

    And from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m22-019.shtml

    And here is from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m22-001.shtml

    And here are several pictures of the area taken from http://www.infobae.com/notas/nota.php?Idx=141808&IdxSeccion=100459

    and a couple of larger pictures from http://www.botellaalmar.com.ar/detalle_nota.php?Id=270&tipo=4
    Picture1 Picture2
    It looks like the area of damaged trees shown is larger than reported 150 square meters, but it is hard to judge from the pictures.

    And here is from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m23-002.shtml

    And here is some development from http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2004/sep/m27-014.shtml

    Let's check whether meteorological situation was favourable for geophysical meteors. Here is averaged and smoothed total (including all heights) cloudiness for
    18-24 Z September 14
    0-6 Z September 15
    The pictures show that the cloudiness decreased after the event, which points to favourable conditions for geometeor's appearence.
    I can't say that the meteorological situation was very favourable, as the drop of the cloudiness was not as sharp as in some other cases of geometeors, however it is remarkable that the place of the event was in a local [spatial] minimum of cloudiness after the event.
    Data from Ushuaia meteorological station confirms the cloudiness decrease and reveals such details as that the event took place during the cloudiness's decline (in pdf-format and so demands free Adobe Acrobat Reader):
    for September 14
    for September 15
    for September 16

    So, what it could be?
    From the limited data I have, for me the next explanations are the most probable:

    - The forest-fall was not related with the fireball and was caused "just by wind". As it is seen in the data of the Ushuaia meteo-station, there was a wind blowing from NNW to SSE at about the time of the event. This is in agreement that the trees put down from N to S. But the problem is that the wind registered was too weak to produce such a damage and that the damage was very localized. So it should be proposed that there were some very strong and very localized streams inside the wind. A shortcoming of the latter proposal is that the meteo-station did not reported strong gusts of the wind, which are to be expected in such case, and moreover such wind would produce many similar forest-falls in the region. With the limited info I have, it looks like this was not.
    So while such a possibility can't be ruled out completely (with the limited info I have at least), it makes the idea not very likely (while a possibility of a solitary/rare strong localized downdraft like so called "burst swath" etc. should be checked by a meteorologist).

    - The forest-fall was related with the fireball. The only practical realization of this idea is a geophysical meteor. In reality this explanation is not very far from the wind's one, and overcomes shortcoming of the latter. Indeed, as observational data shows, a geophysical meteor could be related with localized gusts of wind. It this case, probably both phenomena are manifestations of some poorly understood processes in the atmosphere.
    By the way, it is important to mention that a ball-lightning could cut out trees (sometimes without any visible traces of a burn).

    What to do?
    - I think that it would be important to calculate a trajectory of the fireball from the witness'accounts to check whether it is in agreement with the forest-fall position. If it is in the agreement, it could be a crucial argument in favour of the geometeor explanation.
    - Also the aerial survey of the forest-fall and the region is very desirable to understand details of the forest-fall, as well as presence or absence other similar forest-fall in the region.
    - It would be reasonable to check conditions of the trees damaged to estimate the wind speed which could do the damage.
    - It would be plausible if an experinced meteorologist check whether meteorological sitiation was favourable for the downdrafts (as "burst swath", etc.).
    Hoping that this could help to find the answer.

  • The July 4, 2004 Florida "lightning-meteorite" event.

  • The event took place near the town of Casseberry and Longwood, Florida, USA (see maps below)

    Here is from http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2004-July/142363.html

    News-story appeared soon afterwards (http://www.wesh.com/news/3537421/detail.html):

    Analysis of meteorological data (see here) shows that meteorological situation was favourable for geophysical meteors.
    It would be interesting to check seismic station's data (whether some seismic disturbance was detected), and data of a lightning detection network.

  • The February 2, 2004 Peruvian geometeor event.

  • The event took place near the town of Aplao (16.07S, 72.5W) at about 17.30 UTC on February 2, 2004.

    Here is electronic (a little bit cleaned up) translation from Russian into English from Russian news-agency http://www.newsinfo.ru/?a=radio&sa=view_new&id=48229&y=x

    I try to obtain all possible info.
    First, please look at the position of area on the maps below:

    Below is info I was able to collect in the Peruvian mass-media. As the later is in Spanish, I translated it into English electronically by http://babelfish.altavista.com/.
    Please, pay attention, that in some of the info also an appearence of a large hole/crater in the ground is mentioned. The latter one took place in the near-by (to the place of the Febr.2 event) province of Peru on January 31, and later the crater's appearence was determined to be of karst-like origin.
    Also I marked some interesting places of the info by bold letters.

    Let's consider two probable explanations of the event:

    1) It was a large iron (or stony-iron, at least) meteorite. Arguments against this are:
    - just a very large meteorite could produce M=3.8 earthquake (for a comparasion: several kt-of-TNT-sized surface explosions are to produce such earthquakes with football-field crater left). Such giant meteoroid would produce various numerous manifestations, which were not reported.
    - the earthquake signal does not conform with an impact. This argument alone is enough to rule out the meteorite fall;

    2) It was a geometeor, which in this case can be called as an earthquake light. Indeed, as it can be seen here geophysical situation was very favourable for a geometeor.

    So all known info points to a geophysical meteor.

  • The January 2, 2004 Babol, Iran geometeor event and more.

  • The event took place near the town of Babol (36.53N, 52.7E) at about 2 am UTC on January 2, 2004. And here is some mass-media follow-up: Babol is 268 km far from Tehran. The northern and central parts of the town are located in the plain and the southern part is mountainous.
    There are two maps of the region below.

    Soon I got an e-mail from Mr.Pouria Nazemi (Jam-e-Jam Daily Science Journalist www.jamejamdaily.net, Nojum Magazine News Editor www.nojum.net, Tel: +98 (021) 737 97 44, P.O.Box:16535-479 , Tehran,Iran). Pouria helps me a lot to obtain info on the event.
    According to the Pouria's info (e-mailed on January 3, 2004), at about 5:30 Friday morning (2 a.m UTC) a great explosion happened in the big house in the Moalem kelay in north of Babol. There are 9 people live in this home and one of them waked up before this event. She said that she had seen a very bright white light IN and out of house and she had heard an increasing sound and then a great shake happened. Other people in the house and other neighborhoods woke up in panic and thought that an earthquake happened. The people felt this shake in a radius of 1 Km from the house and many glasses were broke in a few 100 meters around. In the house there are some sign as if a great source of heat acted, but every gas lines and electric instruments are good and don't have any problem. Also no fire happened.
    Some people saw a great fire ball that passing sky from top to the house.
    It is very important that source of explosion must be in the house because of direction of destroyed instruments to out of home. One of Nojum reporters that visited the place said that it is like that you put an unlimited energy in the room and closed all the doors and this energy would like to free itself. This reporter is an active amateur astronomer and recorded and photographed all meteor showers.
    Another important thing, according to Pouria, that the reporter can't found ANY EVIDENCE OF METEORE REMINDS OR IT'S CRATER. There is no hole on the roof or walls. Also it wasn't from normal explosion like gas or oil or other things like this ( there is no fire reported).
    Pouria also e-mailed me photos from this place which his friend Iman Naderi took on January 3 (thanks to Iman Naderi for his permission to use them here!). You can see the photos below. Naderi went there with the order of government for searching the place.
    Finaly Iman, Pouria and me compiled the following preliminary brief description of the event (below), based on witness' accounts.



    And a map of the damage in the house (e-mailed me on Jan.4 by Pouria) is below.

    The description of the event is in an agreement with an idea that it was a geometeor event. And indeed geophysical circumstances were favourable for geometeor's appearence.

    And here is some follow-up (possibly is still here: http://www.nojum.net/news/newse.asp?newsid=34 ):

    Here I would like to add some comments on other mentioned in the press-release events (thanks to Pouria Nazemi and Mohaddesseh Azimlu for additional info).

    The May 23, 2003 event took place at about 36.5 N and 51.3 E at about 11.30 UTC (=Z) Comparing averaged and smoothed cloudiness maps for 6-12 Z and 12-18 Z clearly shows that the event took place during upsurge of cloudiness, and the "weather worsening". The latter is especially well-seen on the precipitation (rain) rate maps for 6-12 Z, 12-18 Z and 18-24 Z.
    A neighbouring region can be seen on NOAA POES satellite infrared pictures taken at appr. 9.50 Z, 12.00 Z, 13.40 Z,
    The "damaging" fireball was indeed a sign of a bad weather!

    Now about the January 21 Meshkin Shahr (or Meshgin Shahr), which took place at 38.4N; 47.67E at about 18 UTC (see a map below).

    Formally it was not a geometeor, as it was not seen fast moving. Possibly we could call it as a "classic ball-lightning". Anyway, as term "fast" isn't well-defined, let's check cloudiness. Cloudiness is below on infrared images of METEOSAT-5 satellite:
    16.00 Z, 17.00 Z, 18.00 Z, 19.00 Z, 20.00 Z,
    It looks like in this case also the event took place when diffused edges of cloud cover passed over the place of the event.

  • The July 15, 2003 Elma geometeor event.

  • [As investigation in going on, I hope to update the item]
    To understand where the event was, just look at the Elma in these maps below.

    Or more detailed here.

    And now about what happened. Here is THE DAILY WORLD article (WA, USA) ( http://www.thedailyworld.com/daily/2003/Jul-15-Tue-2003/news/news1.html ) on the item:

    Below is an initial report of the KOMO TV, Seattle, WA, USA, with associated picture ( http://www.komotv.com/stories/26061.htm ): Soon afterwords the story was updated: And what was written by THE DAILY WORLD a couple days after the event ( http://www.thedailyworld.com/daily/2003/Jul-17-Thu-2003/news/news1.html ): Below I sum up all the info I have. It looks like a few minutes after 7 a.m. GMT July 15, 2003 a fireball was seen in the region of Washington State, travelling from the south to the north. Probably over Elma, a fragment separated from the fireball, and hit the ground producing what looks like the dust cloud. In the direction of the dust cloud some (apparently fallen from the sky) hot remnants were discovered of terresrial origin right after the event.
    Several possible interpretations can be put forward. Here we consider 3 possible explanations:

    1) The fireball was extraterrestrial/meteoroidal origin, which flew away, and the remnants discovered have nothing to do with the fireball (they were accidental artefacts of some industrial/human activity, etc.).
    This interpretation has several large problems:
    a) What kind of the alleged acitivity could produce the numerous hot rocks spread in the area?
    b) As the small rocks were so hot that they even burnt skin, so the alleged activity must seized immediatedly before the event, which occured after local midnight.
    c)As I know, some rocks hit a set of aluminum bleachers and made small dents. Other rocks hit the asphalt walkway and melted. And one even was embedded into a telephone pole.
    I can not imagine any possible industrial/human activity, which could explain this - and what about you?

    2)It was a hoax. It is "the last chance" explanation, which is often being put forward, when there are problems with other explanations. In the Elma event, taking into account the above-mentioned, I can not imagine, how great number of people must be involved. I consider this very unlikely. Anyway, if anybody has any real evidences of the "plot", he must state them, otherwise, the "hoax-explanation" is not worth to consider.

    3) It was a geometeor. Or in other words - a large ball-lightning like object (which I prefer to call a "geophysical meteor" or "geometeor"). Also if the discovered "remnants" weren't of local origin, so it is possible that they were carried by the geometeor. In the latter case we could call it as "geometeorite" (see also below).
    Just a few remarks supporting the idea:
    - The largest confirmed case (a photo) of a ball-lightning was about 100 meters in diameter.
    - During the January 18, 1994 Spanish geophysical bolide (see above), which was surely non-meteoroidal, its altitude was as high as at least 25 km, and its speed was several km/s.
    - Ball-lightnings are known sometimes to divide into several parts.
    - Currently the origin of the deposited "remnants" is not known. They could be of local origin or from somewhere outside. Anyway, a possibility of a ball-lightning depositing some substance was confirmed by outstanding French astronomer Camille Flammarion (after whom a Moon crater was named). Unfortunately, most of modern experts pay a little attention to this aspect of a ball-lightning.

    Here we are a little beyond our modern science frontiers. Just a few cases of such events are documented in published scientific literature (but many more in this www-page), so a scientist must has some brevity to talk about this, as a conservative part of scientific society doesn't like "these ball-lightnings and other anomalies"...

    So, let's check the possibility of a geometeor/geometeorite. As we found out, an empirical rule shows that geometeors have a tendency to occur in relation with instabilities in atmosphere, including cloudiness formation/dissipation (and in boundary regions of a cloud's field). Let's check how it went in the Elma event. The associated meteorological info is here, and you can check yourself that the event occured when a "wet" air-stream was passing over the region, accompanied with variations of cloudiness. Also at the time of the event a dense cloud cover to the south from the event's area was swiftly fading away, and has disappeared almost completely in a couple of hours.
    So the meteorological situation was favourable for appearence of a geometeor, and the geometeor/geometeorite interpretation looks rather plausible.
    Also it is possible to add that there is an increased level of tectonic activity in the region, where weak earthquakes occur from time to time.

    Let's now try to answer on a question - what is the origin of the "meteorite" remnants (rocks) discovered? First possibility could be that a fragment (or fragments) of the fireball, which separated from the main fireball hit the ground in Elma and 'sprayed' some local substance.
    Another possibility is that is was a geometeorite, so the substance was transported by the fireball. If the fireball was indeed flying from rather far away, and as it was reported flying from the south to the north. So in this case, the substance could be taken somewhere to the south from Elma (and the cloudiness activity was larger in the bound). There is a volcanic province in this bound.
    Results of the chemicalt analysis could help to choose between these possibilities. And of course, something else cannot be excluded, as we are 'beyond our science frontiers'.

    So, it looks like currently (with the info on the event I was able to obtain till now) the geometeorite explanation is the best one (at least, others are worse...).

  • The March 15, 2003 Venafro event in Italy.

  • Here is from the Italian UFO Newsflash No.388 ( http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2003/mar/m25-001.shtml ): Mr Giuseppe Stilo ( CISU - Progetto CRASHCAT Pinerolo, Turin, Italy) kindly informed me about a time of the event - about 21.00 Italian one (i.e. about 20.00 GMT), and that the object said to have fallen on Mount Corno (a place in Venafro county, in the province of Isernia, in the Molise region, southern Italy).
    Later Mr Stillo also kindly sent me photocopies of newspaper and other reports on the event. Some of them I was able to trace in internet, and translated from Italian into English using on-line translator http://babelfish.altavista.com/.
    Below is the stuff.

    http://lnx.venafrocitta.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=282

    http://lnx.venafrocitta.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=299 http://www.repubblica.it/news/ired/ultimora/rep_nazionale_n_348169.html http://www.altromolise.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1655 http://www.altromolise.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1668 http://www.altromolise.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1689 http://www.altromolise.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1698 http://www.altromolise.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1749 http://it.news.yahoo.com/030318/180/27i91.html

    Despite that sometimes the translation is hard to understand, the general picture of the event is evident. Interestingly, that it resembles the April 18, 2001 event in Jordan (see below).

    The town of Venafro is appr. 41.5 N and 14.0 E (see MapBlast maps below).


    The story resembles a 'classic' geometeor! So let's check meteorological data. And indeed, the event occurred during a period of weather worsening (you could read details here). Thus currently all the info I have pointed to a geophysical meteor. It looks like these two proposed by Italians explanations - that it was a lightning and it was a meteor (meteorite) are both correct - it was a geometeor!

  • The February 14, 2003 earthquake lights event in Russia.

  • Remarkably, that this event was confused by some astronomers with a meteorite fall! You can read mass-media reports in Russian and the associated geohysical situation here.

  • The May 26, 2002 'purple' fireball pictured in Turkey.

  • Here is its photo and the text taken from http://www.100megsfree4.com/farshores/ufo02tur.htm (and a larger photo from an Erol Erkmen e-mail).

    Several days afterwards Prof.Dr. Mehmet Emin Ozel of the Turkish Astronomical Observatory confirmed reality of the story to me.
    Looking at the pictures, it is already clear that the luminous body could not have been a meteoroidal bolide, as it was below rather low clouds. Also absence of any trail and unusual color points against meteoroidal fireball. And it resembles a geometeor.
    According to www.tuvpo.com the event took place about 5.25 pm (apparently local) time, and I have checked weather, and indeed, it was very favourable for a geometeor. You could check this yourself, looking at meteorological data from The Weather Underground, Inc. here. You can see that an appearence of the fireball coincided with strong worsening of the weather. So evidently it was just an usual geometeor!
    Anyway, the event is so remarkable, that I would like to get its details very much!

  • The February 23, 2002 event in Maryland, USA.

  • Below is from February 28, 2002 BALTIMORE SUN ( http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-te.md.meteor28feb28.story?coll=bal%2Dlocal%2Dheadlines ): And here is how the story has ended (from http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.rock01mar01.story?coll=bal%2Dlocal%2Dheadlines ) The event took place at 2.10 Z February 24, 2002 in 39.1 N, 76.5 W. Some aspects of the "meteor" description hints at geometeor. Also it occured during fading away cloudiness. When I looked at airpressure data I have got, there was one more hint to a geometeor. Below is the data from KBWI meteostation (39.2 N, 76.7 W) for February 24:
    KBWI 232354Z 01004KT 10SM SCT200 06/M09 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP205 T00561089 10089 20056 53018
      
    KBWI 240054Z VRB05KT 10SM SCT200 05/M09 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP206 T00501094  
      
    KBWI 240154Z 00000KT 10SM SCT200 02/M09 A3016 RMK AO2 SLP215 T00221089  
      
    KBWI 240354Z 32004KT 10SM BKN200 M02/M08 A3016 RMK AO2 SLP214 T10171078 
      
    KBWI 240454Z 24003KT 10SM SCT200 M02/M08 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP217 T10171078 400891039   
      
    KBWI 240554Z 00000KT 10SM CLR M02/M09 A3016 RMK AO2 SLP215 T10221089 10056 21033 56001  
      
    KBWI 240654Z 00000KT 10SM CLR M03/M08 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP216 T10331078
      
    KBWI 240754Z 32004KT 10SM CLR M04/M08 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP217 T10391083
      
    KBWI 240854Z 00000KT 10SM CLR M04/M08 A3019 RMK AO2 SLP226 T10391083 53010  
      
    KBWI 240954Z 00000KT 10SM CLR M04/M08 A3021 RMK AO2 SLP231 T10391083
      
    KBWI 241054Z 32003KT 10SM CLR M05/M08 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP238 T10501083
      
    KBWI 241154Z 34003KT 10SM FEW200 M05/M08 A3025 RMK AO2 SLP246 T10501083 11022 21067 53020   
      
    KBWI 241254Z 33003KT 10SM CLR M01/M06 A3027 RMK AO2 SLP251 T10111056
      
    KBWI 241354Z 02004KT 10SM CLR 03/M07 A3028 RMK AO2 SLP256 T00331072 
      
    KBWI 241454Z VRB04KT 10SM CLR 05/M09 A3028 RMK AO2 SLP256 T00501094 51010   
      
    KBWI 241554Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 06/M11 A3028 RMK AO2 SLP256 T00611111 
      
    KBWI 241654Z 08005KT 10SM CLR 07/M12 A3027 RMK AO2 SLP252 T00721117 
      
    KBWI 241754Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 08/M12 A3025 RMK AO2 SLP244 T00831122 10089 21050 58011   
      
    KBWI 241854Z VRB04KT 10SM CLR 10/M13 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP241 T01001133 
      
    KBWI 241954Z 08008KT 10SM CLR 11/M11 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP238 T01111111 
      
    KBWI 242054Z 07006KT 10SM FEW200 11/M11 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP240 T01061106 55004
      
    KBWI 242154Z 12006KT 10SM FEW200 10/M10 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP238 T01001100  
      
    KBWI 242254Z 13005KT 10SM FEW200 08/M11 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP242 T00831106  
    
    A remarkable rather sharp upsurge of airpressure, which is sometimes associated with a geometeor is seen.

    Of course, it could not be rejected completely that the discovered meteorite was a hoax/joke, or something similar, but anyway, I think the event is worth to be mentioned as a possible geometeor.

  • The February 15, 2002 event in Sweden.

  • The text below a text and a picture from Swedish newspaper ( http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/story/0,2789,133658,00.html ) translated in http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2002-March/009843.html: So the event took place [apparently] at 5 Z, February 15, 2002. The Sveg is at 62.0 N, 14.2 E. Here is averaged and smoothed cloudiness data for 0-6 Z February 15, 18-24 Z February 15. There was a strong upsurge of cloudiness after the event.
    Also there is important to mention, that it seems that some shallow weak earthquakes occur in the area from time to time. Here they are:

    Bulletin of the
    International Seismological Centre
    Database Access Program

    The American Geophysical Union has added the ISC to the list of data centres that can be included in reference lists of AGU journals. The ISC may be cited as both the institutional author of the Bulletin and the source from which the data can be retrieved. A citation should show how the data were retrieved and, if they are from a short time span, the Bulletin issues in which the data were originally published. The format of these references can be seen at http://www.isc.ac.uk/Cite/cite.html

    Please note that the end date has been modified: Requested date 02-04-2000 24:00:00 -> 03-04-2000 00:00:00

    The search will be for events between 01-01-1990 00:00:00 and 03-04-2000 00:00:00 of all hypocentre data: Location within latitude 62 to 64 and longitude 13 to 14.2 or of unknown depth. or with no magnitude. or hypocenters with an undefined number of phases. or hypocenters with an undefined number of amplitudes.

    Description DATA_TYPE EVENT IMS1.0 ISC Bulletin for the time period 01-01-1990 00:00:00 to 03-04-2000 00:00:00, 5 events were found. Event 97731 Sweden Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1995/06/09 00:29:58.50 63.5400 14.2200 0.0 4 uk EIDC 224960 1995/06/09 00:30:02.10 63.4540 14.1730 0.1 uk BER 224961 1995/06/09 00:29:57.84 0.77 0.54 63.4730 14.5002 9.4 7.9 90 0.0F 8 8 107 2.00 7.00 m i uk ISC 224962 Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mL 3.2 3 EIDC 224960 Event 97928 Sweden Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1995/06/10 02:59:59.80 63.3900 14.1800 0.0 4 uk EIDC 225397 1995/06/10 03:00:01.40 63.4260 13.9940 0.1 uk BER 225398 1995/06/10 02:59:58.09 0.78 1.10 63.5045 14.3365 9.7 7.9 90 0.0F 8 8 109 1.00 8.00 m i uk ISC 225399 Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mL 3.2 3 EIDC 225397 Event 98536 Sweden Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1995/06/13 19:59:59.60 63.4100 14.1400 0.0 4 uk EIDC 226784 1995/06/13 19:59:58.54 1.01 0.76 63.4360 14.3696 13.9 9.8 90 0.0F 5 5 110 2.00 15.00 m i uk ISC 226785 Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mL 3.2 2 EIDC 226784 Event 81372 Sweden Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1995/10/27 12:50:40.20 63.5500 13.6000 0.0 4 uk EIDC 187591 1995/10/27 12:50:34.43 1.15 1.17 63.7935 13.0863 11.3 12.6 90 0.0F 6 6 149 3.00 8.00 m i uk ISC 187592 Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mL 2.3 2 EIDC 187591 Event 966769 Sweden Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1996/05/30 18:37:53.90 63.4800 14.1700 0.0 3 uk EIDC 2084491 1996/05/30 18:37:56.70 63.5680 12.9640 0.0 uk BER 2084492 1996/05/30 18:37:51.33 1.09 1.25 63.5981 13.3682 14.9 8.8 90 0.0F 6 6 143 1.00 8.00 m i uk ISC 2084493 Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mL 2.4 3 EIDC 2084491 md 2.4 BER 2084492 STOP Summary of data from the query: the number of events = 5 the number of hypocentres = 13 the number of magnitudes = 6 the number of phases = 77 from 33 readings
    The shallowness of the earthquakes admits that some of them could be mine-blasts, but the night occurence some of them makes this unlikely.

    Recently I got info from Sweden stating that no "meteorites" were discovered in the crater.

  • The February 1, 2002 'dive attack' giant ball-lightning in Australia.

  • A remarkable aspect of this event is that it was pictured on a still film.

  • The November 30, 2001 event in Spain.

  • The text below is an on-line translation from Spanish into English from http://tierra.rediris.es/merge/castellon.html : And here is translation from http://www.spmn.uji.es/ESP/noveda21.html :

    According to the info above, the event took place in 40 N, 0 E at about 16.50 Z. November 30, 2001. Here are infrared satellite pictures for the area: 16 Z, November 30, and the same for 16 Z, December 1, and 18 Z, December 1. You can see appearence of an interesting cloud's formation and (jet's contrails?) on the latter photoes.
    An alternative could be an ice-block fall, but it probably would to produce some sounds, while the witness heard nothing. But the choice between these two possibilities is open.

  • The August 22, 2001 'sounds&lights' event in Maine.

  • The event took place about 2.30 Z August 23. Here is from Aug.24, 2001 issue of SUN-JOURNAL (http://www.sunjournal.com/story.asp?slg=082401rumble) On August 24 BOSTON GLOBE posted (http://www.boston.com/dailynews/236/region/No_explanations_for_eerie_ligh:.shtml) Associated Press article on the event, which closely resembles the above-given.
    And here is the continuation (http://www.sunjournal.com/story.asp?slg=082501mystery) from Aug.25 SUN-JOURNAL: The descriptions of the event hardly conform with jets overflights. Later several witness's accounts appeared, thanks to help of Mark LaFlamme, and especially of Christine Rosinski, who also interviewed several witnesses.
    I also got e-mail, in which a person stated that he is aware of a military jet low-altitude overflight. While the latter one can not be excluded, some of witness's accounts don't conform with a jet overflight. Here they are:

    Name: Linda Atkins; location: Litchfield, Maine (44.1 N; 70.0 W).
    Linda stated that on the evening of August 22, 2001, at about 10:30 pm she awoke very startled by a loud rumbling, vibrating noise that shook the house with the intensity of what she described to be like a freight train passing over her. The loud vibrating sound felt like it was about 20 feet above her house and the sound was heard to be coming from a wide area all around her and not from a specific direction.
    The duration of the sound was approximately 15 seconds, when it suddenly stopped and approximately 10 seconds later there was a similiar deep rumbling vibrating noise of shorter duration and of lesser intensity that was heard from a southeast direction as if above a field southeast of her house.
    Linda also stated that two bright flashes of white light were observed at the same time as the first loud rumbling vibrating noise and the flashes appeared to light up the sky from her north facing window. The duration of the flashes were short, approximately 2 seconds long and she said similar to what heat lightning looks like. There were no flashes of light observed with the second loud noise. The sky was clear at the time and stars were easily observable.

    And here is another account:
    Name: Dana Merrill; location: Greene, Maine (44.2 N; 70.1 W).
    Dana Merrill of Greene, Maine stated that on the evening of August 22, 2001, at about 10:30 pm, Dana and his wife heard a very loud rumbling vibrating noise, which shook the trailer that they live in and at first thought that it must have been a loud freight train, except that the loud sound came from directly above them and felt low in origin. The total duration of the first sound seemed to last about 30 seconds during which Dana and his wife ran outside to see what could be the cause and observed at the same time as the loud noise, what appeared to be a white beam of light that was spread out at the width of about 60 feet and was low and lit up the sky as a white blinding light. Then the light streaked upward within a few seconds and became approximately 2 feet wide, then it got as small and circular as a "hockey puck" as it continued to move up. The last thing that Dana observed of the light was a blinking, and then observed red, green and blue lights before the light went completely out and at the same time the loud vibrating noise stopped abruptly. A couple of seconds later, the second loud rumbling noise started up with the same intensity with no flashes of light observed and then the noise abruptly stopped. The total duration of the white light that was observed was approximately 30 seconds in from the time it was first seen until it disappeared.
    The weather was warm to start out with but became cooler at the time that the noise was heard and the light was observed. There was no interference with electrical equipment noted.

    Here are meteorological conditions of the event. On maps of 23 Z August 22, 3 Z August 23, 2 Z August 24 it is well-seen that the event took place after a rather powerful cloudiness dissipation, and before another cloudiness upsurge less than 24 hours later, i.e. as geometeors are used to do.
    And one more interesting aspect. The event coincided with commencement of strong mist/fog in the region of Maine. You can see you this from meteorological reports of KLEW meteorological station (44.0 N; 70.3 W), which is situated in the area of the event.
    It is interesting that the mist/fog reported by KLEW was one of the most densest, or maybe even the most densest, as other Maine's meteorological stations have reported much weaker mist/fog, as a rule.
    In the area of the event relative humidity raised to about 94% and more. And it is known from laboratory experiments that in the narrow relative humidity meanings 95-97% often rather long-living (and relatively cool) plasma formations appear during experiments.
    Anyway, are the geophysical lights "plasma" or not (we don't know their physical mechanism and can just propose "plasma"), they have a tendency to appear after cloudiness fading away, before another cloudiness upsurge (maybe it is caused by the above-mentioned relation with relative humidity). The Maine lights appeared after a cloudiness fading away and right at the time of the another "cloudiness" ("low" cloudiness in the form of mist and fog) appearence.
    Below is a list of earthquakes detected in the area since 1990. It is seen, that the area has some level of tectonic activity.

    Search parameters are:
    catalog=CNSS 
    start_time=1990/01/01,00:00:00 
    end_time=2001/10/20,00:00:00 
    minimum_latitude=43.5 
    maximum_latitude=44.5 
    minimum_longitude=-70.5 
    maximum_longitude=-69.5 
    minimum_magnitude=0.0 
    maximum_magnitude=10 
    event_type=E 
    include events with no magnitude 
    Date       Time             Lat       Lon  Depth   Mag Magt  Nst Gap  Clo  RMS  SRC   Event ID
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1995/02/12 16:44:31.15  44.2670  -70.2500   5.00  2.80   un    3          0.00  WES 199502124047
    1995/02/17 01:13:16.20  44.1730  -70.2360   8.00  2.70   un    8          0.00  WES 199502174003
    1999/02/26 03:38:43.00  44.4800  -69.5200   3.20  3.80  Mlg    8          0.00  WES 199902261013
    2000/01/03 21:05:50.00  44.3100  -70.1700   9.70  3.50  Mlg   10          0.00  WES 200001034032
    

    The jet-like sounds accompanied a fireball were associated with still not-completely-understood explosion near Russian town of Sasovo in 1991. Despite that there was no complete consensus in scientific community on "what it was", majority of scientific publications (and a mine among them) point to probably poorly understood manifestation of tectonic processes.
    I would like to get first-hands accounts of the Maine event. Anyway, now it is possible to say that the geophysical situation was favourable for geometeors: meteorological situation and presence of tectonic faults in the ground (as earthquakes occur in the area from time to time).
    Interestingly, that there was another bright light in the region just 3 days earlier. Here is from American Meteor Society www-site (http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/fireball_log.html):

    Thus, the data I have hint to a geophysical event, but it could not rule out the possibility of some military airplane's training in the region). More accounts are welcome!

  • The July 31, 2001 "lightning slag" event in Arizona.

  • I don't want to comment this remarkable story. I can advise just to peruse and think. The first article is from THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC of Aug.2, 2001: And the second one is from TUCSON CITIZEN, Aug.3, 2001: And finally, again from THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC:

  • The July 17, 2001 'volcanic' fireball event in Florida.

  • This is a remarkable event taken from WPBF www-site http://www.thewpbfchannel.com/wpb/news/stories/news-87964520010718-220746.html which may have some residue left: And here is from FILER'S FILES N 30, July 22, 2001: Here is meteorological data from a local meteostation KPBI (26.7 N; 80.1 W ), which is very close to the place of the event (apparently to Palm Beach 26.7 N, 80.0 W).
    A look at cloudiness maps shows that the event took place before a strong upsurge of cloudiness level (and after another one), as a typical geometeor is used to do. Just look yourself at the meteorological maps at 23 Z July 17, 02 Z July 18, 05 Z July 18, 08 Z July 18, 11 Z July 18, 14 Z July 18, 17 Z July 18, 20 Z July 18, 23 Z July 18.
    In other words, it is very probable that it was a geometeor, so the discovered remnants maybe its. If so, their investigation is of large scientific importance.

  • The July 14, 2001 New Jersey flying lights.

  • And here is more:

    On the Sunday (July 22, 2001) issue of STAR LEDGER (NJ) the following letter was published

    But many other witnesses and people, who saw video of the lights reject the airplane explanation. Moreover appeared-later data makes the airplane explanation rather unlikely. Here is from www.nidsci.org/news/newjersey_contents.html :

    You can look at the table (as pdf-file).
    The table features several remarkable aspects, which make the airplane explanation (including ultralight's one) very inlikely:
    -some targets were of short duration;
    -some targets had such high speeds as ~600 kts, while others just 40 kts, and some were even stationary;
    -some targets varied their speed considerably (for example, from 60 kts to 200 kts).

    So let's check a geophysical interpretation.
    Here are weather conditions of the KEWR meteorological station (40 degr.41 min. N; 74 degr.10 min. W) based in the area of the lights.
    You can see that the lights were associated with air-pressure variations. At least once a weather map shows a trough at these times.
    From the cloudiness aspect, the event was associated with rather fast dissipating phase of cloudiness in the area. Here is smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 0-6 Z, July 15, and for 6-12 Z, July 15.
    In other words, the weather conditions were favourable for geophysical meteors.

    And one more interesting thing: Here are results of investigation of local seismicity:

    Date       Time             Lat       Lon  Depth   Mag Magt  Nst Gap  Clo  RMS  SRC   Event ID
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1992/01/09 08:50:45.22  40.3630  -74.3410   7.90  3.10   un   12          0.00  PAL 199201094015
    1997/01/01 10:50:16.93  41.0090  -73.8578   6.22  1.00   Mc   11 226    4 0.10  LD              
    1997/03/11 18:31:46.43  40.4093  -74.6278   5.00  0.00   Mc   16 185   69 0.15  LD              
    1997/06/27 20:58:25.01  40.9423  -74.5097   2.17  1.55   Mc   10 304    9 0.10  LD              
    1997/07/15 17:29:48.87  40.4100  -74.5420   5.00  2.30   Mc   13 290   85 0.18  LD              
    1997/10/21 01:10:41.23  41.0032  -74.0863  14.34  0.50   Mc    8 184   14 0.14  LD              
    1997/10/24 03:32:29.78  40.7645  -74.0690   7.03  0.50   Mc    9 276   30 0.17  LD              
    1998/06/20 12:54:06.80  40.9565  -74.3490   7.08  1.20   Mc    8 253   12 0.66  LD              
    1998/08/12 19:30:54.82  41.0100  -73.9285  -0.28  0.00   Mc    9 161    2 0.43  LD              
    1998/10/08 08:50:59.32  41.0422  -74.3313   2.25  0.00   Mc    5 160   11 0.04  LD              
    1998/10/08 16:49:00.28  41.0787  -74.3275   1.75  0.00   Mc    6 156   11 0.04  LD              
    1998/10/09 15:16:01.74  41.0925  -74.3450   3.65  0.00   Mc    9 169   12 0.12  LD              
    1999/01/12 05:45:14.73  40.8722  -74.1763   7.02  1.40   Mc   10 249   27 0.17  LD              
    1999/08/10 19:18:36.69  41.1430  -73.9218   5.72  0.00   Mc    6 150   10 0.09  LD              
    2000/02/16 17:42:13.92  41.0350  -74.3332   0.00  0.00   Mc    6 165   11 0.04  LD              
    2001/01/17 12:34:22.59  40.7765  -73.9543   7.36  2.40   Mc   16 272   26 0.23  LD              
    2001/01/19 15:04:42.83  40.7752  -73.9563   5.20  1.20   Mc   11 272   26 0.31  LD              
    2001/01/25 17:25:40.78  40.9850  -74.3160   0.00                                D               
    2001/03/02 20:19:15.89  40.8930  -74.3720   0.00                                LD              
    2001/04/02 22:14:17.91  40.9320  -74.4870   0.00                                LD              
    2001/04/03 17:14:26.13  41.1790  -73.9420   0.00                                LD              
    2001/04/04 14:00:03.73  40.9950  -74.2610   0.00                                D               
    2001/04/06 14:59:19.78  40.5810  -74.5630   0.00                                LD              
    2001/04/06 18:32:43.65  41.0230  -74.6300   0.00                                LD              
    2001/05/25 17:55:02.79  41.1090  -73.9310   0.00                                D               
    2001/05/31 15:15:01.25  40.8660  -74.2640   0.00                                D               
    2001/06/07 19:31:47.82  41.0140  -74.4570   0.00                                LD              
    2001/06/15 17:37:09.57  40.9600  -74.5410   0.00                                LD              
    2001/06/26 15:19:50.40  41.1760  -74.5710   0.00                                D               
    2001/07/14 20:08:29.39  40.9600  -74.3700   7.00                                LD              
    

    You see that about 6-8 hours before the sightings of the lights an earthquake was registered, which hints at some level of tectonic activity in the area.

  • The July 6, 2001 NNE event in Hartsville, Tennessee.

  • I am unaware about any reports on a fireball associated with this event occured at about 3.45pm Z July 6, 2001 in Hartsville, TN (36.4 N, 86.2 W), so probably more correct is to call it NNE (but if the reports exist, we could call it as a geometeor). Let me explain why.
    Here is from http://www.1090wjkm.com/

    Below I show hints that the event was probably NNE.
    Let's begin with geological conditions. Search for earthquakes in the area gives the following result:

    Search parameters are:
    catalog=CNSS
    start_time=1990/01/01,00:00:00
    end_time=2001/07/12,00:00:00
    minimum_latitude=35.0
    maximum_latitude=37.0
    minimum_longitude=-87.0
    maximum_longitude=-85.0
    minimum_magnitude=0.0
    maximum_magnitude=10
    event_type=E
    include events with no magnitude

    Date       Time             Lat       Lon  Depth   Mag Magt  Nst Gap  Clo  RMS  SRC   Event ID
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1990/06/16 23:00:00.30  35.4340  -85.2050  16.60  1.40   Mc   13 107   30 0.20  SE              
    1990/08/16 10:20:40.30  35.4320  -85.1520  22.50  1.50   Mc   12 159   26 0.20  SE              
    1991/11/21 05:09:42.80  35.2980  -85.5350  10.70  2.00   Mc   16  86   29 0.20  SE              
    1991/11/25 20:15:51.90  35.4580  -85.0080   6.60  2.30   Mc    9  94   23 0.20  SE              
    1991/12/10 22:09:53.70  35.5420  -85.1930  10.50  2.50   Mc   18  65   38 0.20  SE              
    1992/03/30 09:20:30.20  35.5160  -85.0820  18.50  0.50   Mc   11 204   32 0.10  SE              
    1992/08/01 09:19:45.50  35.3720  -85.2120  12.60  0.30   Mc    5 291   58 0.10  SE              
    1992/12/14 08:55:02.00  35.1220  -85.5480   7.40  1.50   Mc    9 129   32 0.10  SE              
    1993/01/15 02:02:50.90  35.0390  -85.0250   8.10  3.10  Mlg   34 136   24 0.30  SE              
    1993/01/15 05:45:17.00  35.1040  -85.0820   2.70  1.70   Mc    8 201   19 0.20  SE              
    1993/01/28 06:12:43.80  36.1530  -86.5710   6.40  1.80   Mc   15 100   51 0.30  SE              
    1993/06/07 10:35:06.00  35.0300  -85.5170  12.60  1.60   Mc   17 122   41 0.20  SE              
    1993/12/29 02:48:54.40  35.0640  -85.4460  18.80  1.60   Mc   16 182   40 0.10  SE              
    1994/02/19 08:12:49.80  35.4710  -85.1210  18.50  1.30   Mc   10  89   36 0.10  SE              
    1994/08/29 07:10:17.30  35.0620  -85.4500  13.90  0.70   Mc    8 173   49 0.10  SE              
    1994/09/25 05:54:54.20  35.6100  -86.7360  14.80  1.30   Mc   10 121   64 0.30  SE              
    1997/06/04 23:07:30.60  35.4970  -85.1140  23.80  2.40   Mc   25  83   71 0.30  SE              
    1997/07/27 08:52:08.90  35.0860  -85.1360  10.10  1.80   Mc   16 169   68 0.30  SE              
    1997/09/17 03:40:24.10  35.6010  -86.4230   1.50  1.70   Mc   11  96   43 0.20  SE              
    1997/09/29 19:46:54.90  35.4750  -85.0760   4.70  1.50   Mc   15 165   74 0.30  SE              
    1997/10/14 06:16:23.40  35.4630  -85.1700   6.40  1.70   Mc   20 164   65 0.20  SE              
    1997/11/23 13:02:43.60  35.5720  -86.0350   0.00  1.50   Mc   10 128   35 0.80  SE              
    1997/12/08 06:36:48.30  35.8830  -86.3400   0.00  2.60   Mc   25  87   21 0.50  SE              
    1997/12/24 01:35:49.40  35.4930  -85.1250   6.50  1.60   Mc   11 162   70 0.30  SE              
    1998/02/02 07:05:33.10  35.1230  -85.7540   6.70  1.80   Mc   16 230   19 0.40  SE              
    1998/02/12 07:28:02.80  35.4960  -85.0120   2.10  1.70   Mc    8 172   79 0.20  SE              
    1998/03/12 10:45:24.60  35.4650  -85.1790  29.70  1.70   Mc   16 130   65 0.30  SE              
    1998/04/03 01:25:35.50  35.2470  -86.1900   6.30  1.80   Mc   18 108   31 0.20  SE              
    1998/04/15 00:20:18.50  35.8440  -86.6040   0.00  1.70   Mc   15 128   45 0.50  SE              
    1998/04/26 06:02:27.40  35.5520  -85.2190   3.10  2.20   Mc   25 108   65 0.40  SE              
    1998/05/17 15:12:28.70  36.1370  -86.0090  10.60  1.60   Mc   10 159   29 0.20  SE              
    1998/05/31 10:43:19.90  36.0060  -86.6250   1.90  1.90   Mc   13  98   48 0.30  SE              
    1998/06/19 01:02:58.60  35.1800  -85.3200  14.90  1.90   Mc   11 186   49 0.10  SE              
    1998/07/03 13:06:49.50  35.2700  -85.1000  12.10  1.60   Mc   11 123   68 0.20  SE              
    1998/07/12 22:06:41.70  35.1630  -85.7950   5.00  1.70   Mc    7 276   13 0.10  SE              
    1998/11/13 22:28:48.60  35.4000  -85.2110  14.00  1.70   Mc   19 110   33 0.30  SE              
    1999/01/18 17:02:52.20  35.2810  -85.2790  21.70  1.70   Mc   15 109   30 0.20  SE              
    1999/02/03 16:13:04.50  35.0520  -86.5010   9.10  1.90   Mc   12 147   28 0.20  SE              
    1999/05/28 12:11:57.90  35.1630  -85.5710   7.90  1.40   Mc   10 136   28 0.20  SE              
    1999/06/28 01:53:03.90  35.3430  -85.0720  10.00  1.10   Mc   13  95   17 0.30  SE              
    1999/09/02 21:48:49.70  35.1820  -85.3950  15.80  1.70   Mc   17 137   34 0.40  SE              
    

    You see that there were a couple weak earthquakes not far the place of the event, pointing on tectonic fault, and on some level of tectonic activity in the area.
    By the way, nuclear waste storage could affect the latter (and increase soil's electric conductivity favourable for "grounding" atmospheric discharges) due to possible underground leakage, water pumping and some other technical activity.
    Anyway, some types of geophysical activity reveal themselves in TN on those days. Here is a story posted by WKRN News2, Nashville / TN - July 9, 2001 by Christi Lowe: And here is a remarkable follow-up from The Review Appeal & Brentwood Journal (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=2130094&BRD=950&PAG=461&dept_id=162488&rfi=6)

    Please, pay attention that Franklin (35.9 N; 86.9 W) is less than 100 km from Hartsville.
    Investigation of another aspect of NNE (the meteorological one) shows that meteorological conditions were favourable for NNE. Meteorological maps shows slow-moving atmospheric cold front in the region at about the time of the event. Just look at the map for 16 Z (the front position is given for 15 Z).
    It is very important that the event took place right after disappearience of strong cloud's cover over the place (see meteodata below). Moreover, the data demonstrates, that the event took place at the time of the air-pressure maximum, i.e the same, as the Tunguska event, and geometeors in general! Here is meteorological data for a meteostation in the Nashville area (36.1 N, 86.7 W), not far from the place of the event.

    KBNA 052353Z VRB03KT 10SM FEW050 23/19 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP152 60001 T02330189 10278 20217 55007
    KBNA 060053Z 00000KT 10SM FEW090 23/19 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP150 T02280194
    KBNA 060153Z 00000KT 10SM FEW120 23/19 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP156 T02280194
    KBNA 060253Z 20003KT 10SM FEW120 22/19 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP164 T02170194 53014
    KBNA 060353Z 22003KT 8SM FEW015 SCT150 21/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP171 T02110206
    KBNA 060453Z 19003KT 7SM BKN012 21/20 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP173 T02060200
    KBNA 060553Z 19004KT 7SM OVC010 21/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP171 T02060206 10233 20206 402780194 50005
    KBNA 060653Z 23005KT 8SM OVC012 21/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP170 T02110206
    KBNA 060753Z 22003KT 7SM OVC012 21/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP170 T02110206
    KBNA 060853Z 31004KT 7SM OVC014 22/21 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP171 T02170211 53001
    KBNA 060953Z 35003KT 6SM BR FEW015 21/21 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP173 T02060206
    KBNA 061053Z 00000KT 1/4SM R02L/1000V1600FT FG OVC003 20/20 A3007 RMK AO2 TWR VIS 3/4 SLP176 VIS SE 1/2 T02000200
    KBNA 061153Z 00000KT 1/8SM R02L/0800V1200FT FG VV001 19/19 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP184 70036 T01940194 10217 20194 53012
    KBNA 061253Z 04003KT 1/2SM R02L/P6000FT BR OVC003 20/20 A3010 RMK AO2 SFC VIS 1 CIG 002V006 SLP189 T02000200
    KBNA 061353Z 00000KT 2 1/2SM BR FEW007 OVC011 22/21 A3012 RMK AO2 SFC VIS 3 SLP195 T02220206
    KBNA 061453Z VRB04KT 6SM HZ FEW013 24/21 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP200 T02390211 53016
    KBNA 061553Z 23003KT 8SM FEW020 26/21 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP200 T02560206
    KBNA 061653Z 06003KT 10SM FEW025 27/18 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP196 T02720183
    KBNA 061753Z VRB04KT 10SM FEW035 28/18 A3012 RMK AO2 SLP192 T02830183 10289 20194 58007
    KBNA 061853Z 33007KT 10SM FEW045 29/18 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP184 T02940178
    KBNA 061953Z VRB05KT 10SM SCT050 29/17 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP182 T02940172
    KBNA 062053Z 02004KT 10SM SCT050 SCT200 29/18 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP180 T02940178 56013
    KBNA 062153Z 02007KT 10SM FEW050 SCT200 29/16 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP174 T02940161
    KBNA 062253Z 01008KT 10SM FEW050 BKN200 29/16 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP174 T02940161

    And one interesting aspect taken from http://julieking.htmlplanet.com/custom4.html

    There was an interesting follow-up of the event, which I don't comment (thanks to Elias for pointing me to it). From http://www.ecologynews.com/cuenews31.html

  • The May 28, 2001 low-flying fireball over Puerto Rico.

  • Info on this event I discovered in UFO UpDates Mailing List for June 3, 2001.
    Here it is below in shortened form Here is meteorological data from Weather Underground Co. www-site. Times are probably local.

    It is seen that the fireball appeared after fading away of large cloud's formation and before slight cloudiness upsurge. This hints that probably it was caused by self-organization phenomena in finest atmospheric aerosol, as I mentioned earlier. In other words, probably pure meteorological processes were responsible for the fireball. But on the other side, of course, role of endogenic processes can not be ruled out completely, as shallow weak earthquakes occur in the place from time to time.

  • The April 18, 2001 burning fireball event in Jordan.

  • The event occured in 32.43 N; 35.71 E at about 16 UT, 18 April. After I have read the above-given AFP report, I posted in METEOROBS emailing list that the event more resembles a geophysical event, than a meteoritic one, but the description is very brief for any solid conclusion. And soon confirmation of the geophysical interpretation appeared! Here it is in JAS www-site (or its copy here).

    Geophysical data reveals several interesting features.
    First, weak shallow earthquakes occur from time-to-time in the area of the event, pointing on increased level of tectonic activity in there. Especially on April 25 an earthquake took place not far from the impact place. Below are results of search for similar or stronger earthquakes through catalog of the Seismology Division of the Geophysical Institute of Israel in the area +-0.4 degrees around the impact site for the last decade. The results speak for themself.

      Table of seismic data adhering to search criteria (4 events):
     
    Between dates : 01 /05 /1991 To: 01 /05 /2001 
    From long: 35.41 E To long: 36.01 E From lat: 32.13 N To lat: 32.73N 
    From ML: 3.3 To ML: 8.0 
    From MSK: 0
     

     
     
     ID 
    Date
    Origin
    Time
    Lat
    Long
        X 
        Y 
    Km
    ML
    Mb
    Mm
    MSK
    Type
          Region 
     1.  2001-04-25  01:37:37  32.72  35.64  208.7  236.2  6  3.3  0  3.2  0    Kineret
     2.  1999-06-02  02:11:52  32.4  35.41  187.6  200.7  10  3.7  4.2  0  0    Samaria
     3.  1995-08-08  00:15:52  32.41  35.55  201.2  202  14  3.5  0  3.6  3  F  Gilad
     4.  1992-07-29  05:30:47  32.36  35.49  195.9  195.9  13  3.4  0  0  0    Samaria
    Origin Time is in Universal time (GMT) 
    Lat,Long- Geographic coordinate.
    x,y - Israel coordinate.
    Km - Focal depth in Km 
    ML Local Magnitude, 
    Mb - Body wave magnitude 
    Mm (estimated), - Moment magnitude (using SP) 
    MSK - Maximum observed Seismic intensity in Israel (MSK scale) 
    Type
             PE - Possibly an explosion, 
             F - Felt, 
             FS- Felt strongly 
     
    Also remarkably that on April 29, 2001 also a shallow (depth 5 km), but more powerful earthquake (M=4) took place at 33.9 N; 35.9 E, i.e. to the north of the impact place.
    The data points that apparently tectonic processes played important role in the event.

    Anyway, let's look at the meteorological situation.
    Here is meteorological data for Amman and Ben-Gurion Int. Airport from The Weather Underground Inc. (apparently times are local? = UT+3 hours). Please pay attention that the latter data sometimes looks a little bit strange (garbled?).

    Here is averaged and smoothed surface temperature's map of the region for 12 Z, and 18 Z.
    Infrared [METEOSAT] satellite picture at 16 UT shows some (low?) clouds in the region. And indeed NOAA (POES) satellite's radiometer data show some areas with temperature of about 0 C in the area of the event pointing that some relatively low clouds were in the region.
    Here are for a comparasion pictures taken by NOAA (POES) satellite:
    at 10.57z April 18 in visible spectrum/band,
    at 10.57z April 18 in far infrared band (channel 4),
    at 13.18z April 18 in far infrared band (channel 4),
    at 14.03z April 18 in far infrared band (channel 4),
    at 14.58z April 18 in far infrared band (channel 4),
    at 16.17z April 18 in the infrared channel 4,
    at 16.17z April 18 in another infrared channel 5,
    The event occured during fading away cloudiness's phase in the region.

    I am searching for more detailed geophysical data on the event.
    Also it would be very interesting to know, did the fireball deposit any substance?
    On May 10, 2002, I got e-mail from Dr. Claude Perron (Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Mineralogie, Paris, France), who analysed the event soil samples. He wrote that the samples seem to be combustion residues (carbon) and ashes (calcium and potassium carbonate), together with local stones. What caused the fire, he has no idea. but he added that it is certainly not a meteorite.

  • The April 1, 2001 Alberta, Canada "cratering"event.

  • Here is from www.prairie-post.com/news/072001-1.html The event took place about 20 km to the south of town of Etzikom, Alberta, Canada, i.e. about 49.4 N, and 111.1 W at about 10.30pm (apparently) local time.
    Eywitness accounts on the event are rather sparsely. Some data says about descending light, another about raising light, and other about stationary light on ground level lasting for an hour. The 3-meters-wide "crater" also is very remarkable.
    The fact that the event took place in a 'lacuna' of cloudiness also hints that is was associated with a geophysical meteor. You can check it yourself:
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 6-12 UT, April 1
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 12-18 UT, April 1
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 18-24 UT, April 1
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 0-6 UT, April 2
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 6-12 UT, April 2
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 12-18 UT, April 2
    smoothed and averaged cloudiness for 18-24 UT, April 2

    Also below is a result for earthquakes search in the area, which hint, that there are some minor tectonic activity in it.

    Search parameters are:

    Date       Time             Lat       Lon  Depth   Mag Magt  Nst Gap  Clo  RMS  SRC   Event ID
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1978/08/30 16:33:21.20  48.4900 -111.4850   5.00  3.50   un    8          0.00  NEI 197808304007
    1979/08/09 17:12:55.40  48.4870 -111.4660   5.00  3.80   un    8          0.00  NEI 197908094015
    1982/07/12 18:11:26.20  48.2570 -111.6120   1.20  2.80   Mc   12 318  173 0.23  MB              
    1989/07/15 06:00:17.10  48.7350 -111.8970  10.00  2.80   Mc    5 342  219 0.21  MB              
    1994/08/16 11:03:41.72  48.4890 -111.3330   5.00  4.20   un   23          0.73  NEI 199408164027
    1998/04/11 22:28:18.40  48.9150 -111.8350  12.40  2.60   Mc   18 264  153 0.37  MB              
    1999/05/31 08:02:46.00  49.2360 -111.9730  10.00  2.70   Mc    9 304  214 0.32  MB              
    2000/10/19 18:08:02.00  48.2340 -111.7170   1.80  2.00   Mc   13 286  147 0.20  MB              
    

    But, of course, despite the hints at a geometeor, more data is needed for final conclusion on the origin of the event.

  • The December 26, 2000 NSW, Australia fireball(s).

  • This event took place to the SE of Canberra, and made news for a few days.
    First I didn't suppose to place it here, as probable geophysical meteor, because I had/have too little data on it, but after I read that accompanied weak seismic tremors continued for 3 hours, I decided that it is worth to post it.
    I still try to obtain additional info on the event. Anyway, here are articles on the event: So it can't not be excluded that one of the fires was man-made.
    And here is from SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Unfortunately, I fail to obtain more or less detailed meteorological data (maybe readers could help?). But the sparsely data I got is in agreement with geometeor's interpretation of the event. Here it is from The Weather Underground Inc. (times are local AEDT=UT+11 h.) for Canberra (35.3 S; 149.2 E).
    Please, pay attention to associated sharp fall of air temperature caused by a cold airmass invasion.

    NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center interpolated data for December 26, 2000 0 UT, 6 UT, and 12 UT partly fill the above-mentioned lacuna in meteodata and shows strong variations of atmospheric pressure in the area.
    Cloudiness level gradually increased during and after the event (see smoothed cloudiness data for December 26 0-6 UT, 6-12 UT, and 12-18 UT).

    And here is some a remarkable witness's account from UFO ROUNDUP v.6, No.1 (2001). of the the Dec.26 "UFO overflight": "Ten flaming tails, moving horizontally, very high speed. Strange flying objects were seen by dozens of people across the continent last night (December 26). It was as if they were flying straight into an invisible wall, and beyond the wall they were no longer in the third dimension."

    There is an interesting article printed in THE BAY POST/SOUTHERN STAR, Dec.29, 2000.

    The last article is important from 2 positions, at least: a) it confirms that the event had a rather long duration; b) it was more that in one area.
    Also this new information about the Karatha fireball allows us to make a test for our geophysical meteor idea, i.e that they have some favourable meteorological conditions. So let's check meteorological conditions at that time. Chris Graham e-mailed me that he thinks the Karatha (=Karathawalla: 29.1S; 115.7E) fireball observation ("flaming ball about the size of a house" disappearing over the horizon) was about 8 pm local time, which corresponds 12 Z (as West Australia didn't move to WDT, and was WST).
    Here is the most important for geometeors factor: associated upsurge of cloudiness's level. Comparing the cloudiness levels on Dec.26 for 0-6 Z, 6-12 Z, and 12-18 Z, an appearence of intense cloud formation, which then dispersed is clearly seen.
    The development of the cloud formation is well-seen even on small satellite pictures ( 00.32 Z, 03.32 Z, 06.32 Z, 09.32 Z, 12.33 Z, 15.32 Z ).
    A remarkable aspect of the Karatha fireball event is that the fireball appearence approximately coincided with a peak the cloudiness upsurge in the area, i.e. delay time between the fireball appearence and the cloudiness upsurge was zero, while in some other events it reached up to ~24 hours.
    The geophysical meteors idea seems to work!

  • The December 4, 2000 Salisbury igniting fireball.

  • This event in a town of Salisbury (43.4 N; 71.7 W) made news for a few days.
    Here is from CONCORD MONITOR: Here is from FOSTERS DAILY DEMOCRAT: Here is from http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc120800.html Here is from www.msnbc.com/local/mul/m2678.asp Here is again from CONCORD MONITOR: When I read the Dec.5 article, I began to suspect strongly that it was not a meteorite, but a geometeor. The arguments were that small mereoroids neither ignite the ground, nor fall luminous. But geometeors do.
    And the Dec.6 article practically confirms the geometeor's idea.
    Here is a picture of the "fall site" kindly sent to me by Russ Kempton.

    In this area weak earthquakes occur from time to time. This point to some level of the local tectonic activity (I underline, that it does not mean that the fireball was to be associated with an earthquake).

    Meteorological conditions were very favourable for geometeors. Here is the data for Laconia (43.5 N; 71.5 W), which is not far from Salisbury taken from The Weather Underground Inc.. Times are EST.
    More aspects are seen from the data. The first one is that there was a fall of airpressure at the time of the event. And the second one is that there was significant increase in cloudiness level on the next day after the event.
    The latter one is well-seen on two NOAA satellite pictures (compare: 21.36 UT, Dec.4, and 9.58 UT, Dec.5).
    But the most impressive the cloudiness development is seen at GOES-8 pictures ( 22.15 UT, Dec.4, and 1015 UT, Dec.5, i.e. just 12 hours later).

    According to the reports, the geometeor was probably of rather low energy, and the only thing it was able - to ignite/burn some litter.

  • The May(?), 1842 geometeorite in Buffalo, USA.

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2002-August/013705.html

  • The December 17, 1852 event in English Channel

  • Info on this event was sent me by Mr. Steve Hutcheon.

  • The April 9, 1879 thunderstorm's geometeorite in Chicago.

  • Probably such titles of newspaper's articles are of some interest to read: GLEANINGS FROM THE MAILS; CHICAGO CELESTIAL VISITOR; THE BOLT OF FIRE THAT FELL ON; THURSDAY - SIMULTAINEOUS STROKE OF LIGHTNING THAT BROKE MUCH GLASS. I am very grateful to Bob Kobres, who sent me the info. Probably here we have a good example of so called "thunderstones", which are almost completely ignored by modern scientific community. Anyway, here it is:

    From the Chicago Tribune, April 10, 1879

    And from the Chicago Tribune, April 11, 1879: Soon afterwards an article was published "The supposed meteorite of Chicago." (American Journal of Science, s.3, 18 (1879)) in which it was stated that the discovered fragments/slag: "...has shown that they possess none of the characters of true meteorites."

  • The July, 1886 probable geometeor in USA.

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2002-August/014315.html (with a minor correction later of a mistype in the post by Mark Bostick) And indeed, it is hard to expect that any meteorite could be recovered in this event.

  • The July, 1896 Mexican "rain-calling meteorite".

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-June/024376.html No such meteorites are known. It is hard to judge about reality of the story, but if it is real, the associated weather worsening is very remarkable.

  • The March 9, 1897 geometeorite in USA.

  • Here is from NEW YORK TIMES, March 11, 1897 (thanks to C. Rosinski for obtaining the copy and re-typing it) The description strongly hints that the explosion was at almost ground level, which hardly conforms with a meteorite fall. Also, no such meteorite is presented in meteorite catalogs, despite that the "meteorite" was in hands literally...

  • The September 13, 1899 probable geometeorite in USA.

  • Here is from www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2004-March/047868.html

    I think that I don't need to comment this.

  • The November 1902 fireballs events in Australia.

  • Charles Fort wrote about it the following: Here I add from NATURE (February 12, 1903, p.344): "At Boort, great fireballs fell in the street, throwing up sparks as they exploded. The whole air appeared to be on fire;...At Longdale a house was set on set by a fireball."
    Geophysical (meteorological) situation clearly demonstrates association of the fireballs with worsening weather. Also, apparently, these events are good example, how aerosol can lead to geophysical meteors (fireballs).
    There are some hints that similar, but lesser scaled events took place in the Western Australia in early January 2000.
    Interestingly, that besides the fireballs, one more remarkable event, probably another form of a "classic" NNE took place at that time, which "pulverized" a human body (see the scanned article "A Mysterious explosion" from SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, Nov.15, 1902, p.11, c.5 - thanks to Australian scientist Robert Goler for scanning and sending it). I am also very grateful to all people in Australia, who kindly responded on my requestes and sent me info on the event.
    There are several interesting articles on the fireballs, which Robert Goler kindly sent me: from MELBOURNE LEADER, Nov.15, 1902, p.26 ( part 1, and part 2), MELBOURNE LEADER, November 22, 1902, p.25, SYDNEY DAILY TELEGRAPH, November 14, 1902, p.5, c.8.
    Remarkably, how correctly scientists of that time determined the origin of the fireballs! I incline to think that some of the modern scientists would be puzzled with the fireballs...

  • The April 24, 1903 devastating fireball event in Australia.

  • Steve Hutcheon kindly point me to this www-page: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4941914 . So here it is:

  • The 1904 "meteorite" fall on US farm.

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-July/025412.html The descriptions makes a meteorite fall very unlikely. And it looks like a typical ball-lightning. An interesting aspect is the alleged "metallic" substance of the "meteorite". It is hard to judge whether it was caused by melting of some tools/equipment at the farm, or transported by the high speed ball-lightning itself. In the latter case we could call it as a geometeorite.

  • The October 22, 1909 meteor-like ball-lightning in USA.

  • This interesting event occured in Connecticut. Here is from WILLIMANTIC CHRONICLE 22 Oct 1909 (taken from www.project1947.com/fig/1909a.htm): WAS IT A METEOR THAT STRUCK STORRS?
    Terrific Explosion Heard and Big Ball of Fire Seen Early This Morning -- House Damaged.

    Willimantic people heard a heavy peal of thunder, accompanying which was a sharp of lightning, at 12:35 o'clock this morning. There was only this one report but at Storrs it was so terrific as to wake nearly everybody up, many people getting up to see what happened. Mr. Beebe, the store-keeper at Storrs, says the report was like a great explosion and according to him some of the people at Storrs believe a meteor exploded although no pieces of anything like a meteor have been found. There are several big holes in the ground, however, that may have been made by the pieces of the meteor, if that is what it was, burying themselves.
    F. C. Guenther, clerk at the agricultural college, and Frank McLean, the football coach, happened to be up during the storm and when the explosion occurred they looked out and saw what looked like a huge ball of fire descending. This struck a telegraph pole near Mr. Beebe's store, splintering and twisting the pole, and then entering F. M. Chadwick's house, going in near the ground and working up towards the roof, tearing off base-board, breaking glass, making holes in ceilings and passing out over a door, but not setting the house on fire.
    Dr. R. C. White was at Storrs today and said that whatever caused the damage was some terrific force. There are four or five big holes in the ground, all within a radius of 25 or 30 feet. It may have been a meteor that struck Storrs, and then again it may have been just lightning. And on the next day in WILLIMANTIC CHRONICLE 23 Oct 1909:

    However from our modern knowledge, it is clearly seen that it could not have been a meteorite. And effects, including the damage are typical for an energetic ball-lightning. Another similar example is below (Sept.21, 1927 event).

  • The February, 1910 "comet" electrifizing a ship.

  • Here is from http://www.waterufo.net/1067-1946/1067-1946-text1.htm#0223261910

    For more ship-sea stories see also the November 28, 1979 "almost hitting a yacht" event.

  • A ship nearly hit by a "meteorite" in 1912.
  • Here is a scan from 'The New York Times' 1912, Feb 27, page 1 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9905E1D6173CE633A25754C2A9649C946396D6CF
    the 1912 event

    Earlier this event was placed on this www-page dated as 1916 (see below). Apparently the NEW-YORK TIMES date (1912, Febr. 24) is more correct. Thanks to Mr. Steve Hutcheon for pointing me to the 1912 source.

    -------
    Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-July/025484.html


    -------

    The description makes a meteorite fall unlikely. But it resembles other ship-sea stories (see the November 28, 1979 "almost hitting a yacht" event).

  • The US town struck by a meteor in 1916.

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-July/025483.html As I know, none of the associated "meteorites" are discovered.

  • The May 11, 1922 "meteorite fall" in USA.

  • Below is a little bit adapted (and with a date mistype correction) from a meteorite-list news group http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2002-August/013463.html I can just add to this meteorite-list post, that hardly any meteorite could be found in there indeed.

  • The 1925 recurrencing fireballs in USA

  • Here is (with minor improvements) a post at http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-July/024860.html by Mark Bostick with his final comments at the end: I think that the text above speaks for itself, that I don't need to comment it.

  • The September 21, 1927 meteor-like ball-lightning in USA.

  • Below is a MADISON NEWSPAPER article (Sept.21, 1927, p.7): As expected from the description, no such meteorite is known.

  • The December 21, 1928 killing fireball in USA.

  • Here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-February/018260.html As expected from the description, there is no any such meteorite in meteorite's collections/annals.

  • The green fireballs in late 1940s in southern USA.

  • It is known that in some places sometimes sudden swarms of so called 'green fireballs' (due to it specific green color) occur.
    In 1946 there was an outburst of the green fireballs in the Baltic Sea region. In late 1940s they bombarded southern USA. Famous astronomer, Lincoln La Paz investigated them and came to conclusion that they were some strange new type of phenomena!
    Here are some links to historical aspects of the story:
    http://user.cs.tu-berlin.de/~thomasg/gf.htm;
    http://www.ufx.org/gfb/chron.htm.
    As at that time the green meteor investigation was classified, due to their appearences not far from Los Alamos nuclear facilities, a little was published in scientific literature on them. Rare exceptions were: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, December 1951, p.42; SCIENCE DIGEST, May 1952, p.65.
    In general the late 1940s green meteors were brilliant green, sometimes beginning and ending with red or orange flashes. They seemed to have average speed of about 12 km/s at heights 10-16 km. On two occasions vertical changes of course were noted.
    Regarding that outburst, I would like to attract attention that in early 1950s several earthquakes struck the region. Maybe the green meteors were precursors?
    Probably, that in some way similar flap occured in January-February 1998 almost in the same area (see abstract by D. Free).
    In this www-page there are other examples of "green meteors".

  • The March 21, 1950 geometeorite in Mongolia.

  • Here is from www.meteoritesales.com/met_k.htm The corresponding Z-time of the event is apparently 18 Z, March 20. Investigation of meteorological data shows that the event was associated with cloudiness increase. Compare smoothed and the averaged total cloudiness data for a period 12-18 Z, March 20, and the same for 18-24 Z, March 20.

  • The Dec.17, 1977 iron geometeorite in Iowa.

  • Here is from an article 'When UFO land' by Jim Wilson in May, 2001 issue of POPULAR MECHANICS magazine: And here is with some more details from: http://members.theglobe.com/Mary226/top_secret/UFOZ_GOVERNMENT.HTML\ While the possibility of unsuccessful 'Terminator' return into the past in a time-machine can not be completely ruled out, for the author a geometeor/geometeorite explanations looks more attractive...
    Let check, meteorological data for Council Bluffs (41.2 N; 95.9 W). 7.45 pm (apparently) local time, i.e. CST corresponds to 1.45 Z, Dec.18. Indeed it was overcast on that evening, but at the time of the event the cloudiness was swiftly dissipating (compare smoothed and averaged for 6 hours interval cloudiness data for 18-24 Z, Dec.17, 0-6 Z, Dec.18, and 6-12 Z, Dec.18. And it is good for a geometeorite explanation! And it would be even much better, if there was follow-up of a strong cloudiness upsurge in ~< 24 hours. And indeed it took place! Look at the cloudiness data for data for 12-18 Z, Dec.18, data for 18-24 Z, Dec.18, data for 0-6 Z, Dec.19.
    Regarding a possible input of an endogenic factor, it's role is uncertain. The only hint I have is that on March 31, 1993 a weak earthquake occured at 40.32 N; 95.65 W., pointing to a possibility of some tectonic actvity in the area.
    It is interesting, where did the fireball "steal" the metal? Or maybe it was already at the place and the fireball just melted it?

  • The June 30, 1978 geometeorite near Krasnoturansk, Russia

  • This remarkable event (exactly 70 years after Tunguska!) occurred at 3 am hours local time about 15 km to the east of small town of Krasnoturansk (south of the Krasnoyarsk disctrict/region) [Dmitriev E.V.//TEKHNIKA-MOLODYOZHI, N 5, p.13 (2001) (in Russ.)]. A bright fireball was seen. After that many fragments of slaggy mass were discovered. Dmitriev discovered numerous traces of electric micro-discharges in them.
    It is interesting how an eyewitness in the settlement Prichulymskii described the fireball [Bronsten V.A.,et. al.: Katalog electrophonnykh bolidov//in AKTUAL'NYE VOPROSY METEORITIKI V SIBIRI, Novosibirsk, Nauka, p.158 (1988) (in Russ.)]: The event took place appr. 54 N, 92 E. The corresponding Z-time of the event is 20 Z, June 29. Investigation of meteorological data shows that the event was associated with cloudiness increase. Compare smoothed and the averaged total cloudiness data for a period 12-18 Z, June 29, and the same for 18-24 Z, June 29, and 0-6 Z, June 30.

  • The November 28, 1979 "almost hitting a yacht" geometeor and more.
  • There are reports about some luminous body near a ship. Here is a post in CCNet of Jan.3, 2002 ( http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc010302.html ): And here is my follow up to the post in CCNet of Jan.7, 2002 ( http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc010702.html ): After posting that, I decided to check meteorological data for the Yuliya Papazova's event. On p.126 of Russian edition of the book it is written that the event took place on Nov.28, 1979 at about 3 am, when a wind got calm. Unfortunately, geographical coordinates were not given. But from my phone talk with Doncho Papazov in early March 2002 (who was on the yacht, and is a co-author of the book), and the book info, the coordinates can be evaluated as 9.5 S, and about 139 W (Doncho said that they were within 200 miles of the Marquesas islands). If the time given is the local one (which is the most probably), it corresponds to about noon Z.
    Here are meteorological conditions of the event. Even on the smoothed and averaged cloudiness's maps for 6-12 Z November 28, and 18-24 Z November 28, a cloudiness's upsurge is well-seen, i.e. as expected in association with a geometeor appearence.

    The next event describes what probably occurs if being directly hit by such fireball. Here is from http://www.meteoritearticles.com/znp05081895.html


    The following "Tunguska days" story is taken from http://www.explorenorth.com/library/weekly/more/bl-nomeash.htm

    There is an interesting story in W. Corliss "STRANGE PHENOMENA" (vol. G-2, p.72) citating NATURE April 23, 1891 (p.590)

    And here is from http://www.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2004-March/047787.html

    For more sea-ship stories see also the February, 1910 "comet" electrifizing a ship event, and the 1916 "nearly hitting a ship" event.

  • The May 5, 1981 giant fireball explosion seen by a Soviet cosmonaut.

  • On that day the Soviet cosmonaut (on SALYUT 6 spacestation) saw a giant fireball explosion somewhere near the southern extremity of Africa. The cosmonaut marked it and drew a sketch in the spacestation log-book. In open press the detailed info appeared just in 1992. In the cosmonaut's opinion it was not a meteorite explosion. And indeed, published details of the event don't conform with a meteorite. There are also other reports about strange flashes seen by cosmonauts in the atmosphere.

  • The October 31, 1981 "slag-meteorite" in USA.

  • Here is from http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2004-October/145150.html

    And here is the end of the story (from http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2004-October/145151.html )

    Indeed, this is how such stories end, and become quickly forgotten!

  • The January 29, 1986 geometeorite in the town of Dal'negorsk, Russia
  • . Possibly it is still the most investigated such event. The following description is based on the research by Dvuzshil`ny V.V. (a member of the commission on meteorites Acad. of Sci. USSR), Sal`nikov V.N. et al..
    At 19.55 local time (09.55 UT) a red fireball was seen over the town of Dal`negorsk (appr. 44.5 N; 135.5 E), Russian Far East. It flew silently parallel to the ground surface with the speed of 15 m/s leaving no wake neither trail. After the fireball have passed the town, it 'dived' to the slope of the small mountain (the height 611m), then jumped up and down 6 times above the mountain surface. It was accompanied with a very bright light persisted for an hour. One eyewitness said that after it, the fireball took off and flew away.
    The 'impact' site was researched 2 days after. The fireball destroyed about 2-3 cub. m of the rock. The site was covered with singed pieces of the rock with small metallic spherules sprinkled. At the edge of the site there was a burnt tree-stump.
    Three main types of remnants were found at the site. Pb-spherules (about 60 g.), Fe-spherules (about 15 g.) and 'sponge'.
    The Pb-spherules consisted of Pb with a small percentage of other elements like rare-Earth ones. Dimensions - upto 4 mm.
    The Fe-spherules were 2-4 mm in diametre and consisted of Fe with C and O and a small percentage of Cr, Co, W. The Fe-spherules were magnetized.
    'Sponge' was a glass-like substance covered with a lot of 'holes'. Silicon 'threads' about 17 microns width with a gold 'thread' inside were discovered. The 'sponge' probably was remnants of rocks and the tree-stump in general.
    The singed pieces of the rock were dehydrated and enriched in oxides of various metals. The silicon contents was slightly lowered.
    The trajectory of the fireball was parallel of 2 faults and the 'impact' site was in the intersection of several faults.
    In the evening (20.30 local time) of Febr. 8, 1986 two fireballs were seen near this mountain. They flew around the mountain 4 times and then flew away.
    On the evening (about 22.40 local time) of Nov. 28, 1987 totally 32 fireballs flew over the Russian Far East region. Four of them flew over the mountain, three ones were above the town of Dal`negorsk and five ones illuminated environs.
    First I would like to say that in the region some weak earthquakes occur from time to time. And here is the meteorological situation for the Jan.29, 1986 event.
    Several hours after the event cloudiness have increased. It is clearly seen on smoothed cloudiness's data averaged for the following time intervals:
    6-12 UT, 12-18 UT, 18-24 UT.
    Moreover, it is seen on the sea level smoothed airpressure data for 6 UT, and 12 UT Jan.29, that there was an upsurge of airpressure.
    Remarkably, that the Febr.8, 1986 event also occured during an upsurge of airpressure (compare data for 6 UT and 12 UT Febr.8).
    And finally, the Nov.28, 1987 event also occurred during a sharp upsurge of airpressure ( 12 UT and 18 UT Nov. 28).

  • The May 24, 1988 Gombori, USSR event.

  • Unfortunately, description of this remarkable event (associated with a large forest-fall), which is given in the Georgian UFO www-site is not very distinctive, but there are some hints on geometeor-connection.
    Later I discovered some details of the event in Russian.

  • The January 14, 1993 geophysical meteor in Poland.
  • The information on this event was sent the author by Dr Ceplecha Z. from Astronomical Institute Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. A lot of materials on this event also could be found in the Polish "Przeglad Geofizycny", Vol. XL, (1995), No. 4, pp. 335-407 (Komitet Geofizyki Polskej Akademii Nauk).
    A bolide was seen (and a sky was very bright) followed by a huge electric discharge and also some seismographic records. The event happened in Poland near Cracow (Babia Skala, Jerzmanowice). A good part of the "Babia Skala" limestone crag was thrown to distances of over 200 m, and the largest piece was of more than 100 kg (80 m apart from the stroke). Sinuous or zigzagging furrows radiating away and bifurcating were carved in the grass-cover soil surface within 50 m from the detachment point on the crag. Electric wiring in the village was melted.
    This event was connected with three discharges, which were practically straight-line discharges. The first one was the largest (at 17h 58min 53.9s UT, timing from the seismic records), and proved to be about 17 degrees (+- 10 degrees) inclined to horizon, very shallow. It started at a height of 2.05 km (+-065 km), longitude 19,693 +-0.014 deg, latitude 50.183 +-0.004 deg, and terminated exactly at longitude 19.756 deg, latitude 50.207, height 0.48 km. It was 5.5 +-1.2 km long. The second discharge happened at 18h 00min 16.4s UT and the third one at 18h 01min 43.3s UT.
    I can add that the site of the event is the site where weak small-focus-depth earthquakes happen from time-to-time and a cold front (which was passing the area) is also favourable for 'earthquake lights' activity.

  • The January 18, 1994 Spanish geophysical bolide.
  • Information is published in the "Meteoritics and Planetaty Science" (v.33, p.57 (1998)) article by Docobo J.A., Spalding R.E., Ceplecha Z. et al. (you can read the scanned article here).
    In the clear dawn of January 18, 1994 a bit before 7h 15min UT many people in Santiago de Compostela witnessed a very bright luminous object crossing the sky in a descending trajectory (according to some reports, at a certain point of the trajectory the descent changed to a sharp fall). It was described as a fireball with a small red-orange tail with apparent angular size. A surface crater in Cando (8.864 deg. W, 42.843 deg. N) with dimensions 29 m by 13 m and 1.5 deep was later discovered near the projected "impact" point of the luminous object. At this side, in addition to the topsoil, full-grown pine trees more than 20 meters high were thrown downhill over 90 m away. No meteorites were discovered.
    I can say, that meteorological conditions were favourable for geometeors. There was an airpressure upsurge (compare smoothed data for sea level airpressure for January 18 6 UT, and 12 UT). Also cloudiness level increased several hours after the event. You can see it in smoothed and averaged cloudiness's data for the following time intervals: January 18 0-6 UT, 6-12 UT, 18-24 UT, and Jan.19 0-6 UT.

  • Australian "anomalous" fireballs in 1990s.

  • Dr. Harry Mason investigates strange fireballs in Australia since mid 1990s. Some of them I have mentioned in my tectonic Tunguska article. Due to their descriptions, I think that, at least, many of them are geometeors. The latest Australian events (as well as the earliest ones) are posted seperately.

  • The Aug.25, 1995 Windsor, Canada fireball event.

  • Also you can see photoes of the fireball. Due to its circumstances, the event resembles a geometeor. Here is a daily weather summary from The Weather Underground, Inc. www-site (the only meteorological data I have):
    Windsor, Canada
    Observed: August 25,1995
    Mean Temperature 19.2° C
    Max Temperature 23.5° C
    Min Temperature 15.9° C
    Cooling Degree Days 2
    Growing Degree Days 7 (base 60°F)
    Dewpoint 13.9° C
    Precipitation 0.0 cm
    Snow Depth N/A
    Sea Level Pressure 1020.9 hPa
    Standard Pressure 998.3 hPa
    Visibility 24.1 km
    Wind Speed 15.6 kph
    Max Wind Speed 25.9 kph
    Gust Speed 40.7 kph
    Events Rain 
    Observed: August 26,1995
    Mean Temperature 21.9° C
    Max Temperature 29.0° C
    Min Temperature 15.9° C
    Cooling Degree Days 7
    Growing Degree Days 12 (base 60°F)
    Dewpoint 15.9° C
    Precipitation 0.0 cm
    Snow Depth N/A
    Sea Level Pressure 1017.4 hPa
    Standard Pressure 994.9 hPa
    Visibility 24.1 km
    Wind Speed 4.1 kph
    Max Wind Speed 10.7 kph
    Gust Speed N/A
    Events  

    It is seen, that there was an atmospheric pressure drop from August 25 to August 26. Wind and rain on August 25 are also remarkable.

  • The Sept.15, 1995 Piaui, Brazil fireball/crater event.

  • Paulo R. Frota, a Brazilian physicist, who investigated the event wrote to me in 1999 that the event occurred on Saturday, September 15th, around 7:30 pm. People living within 12 km from the site spotted a blue fireball in the dark sky, even in Teresina, that fell causing a loud noise. Many thought it was a plane crash. The event occurred next to Almacegas Farm, in the city of Parnarama (state of Maranh–o), 16 km from the city, which is 90 km south of Teresina, Capital of Piaui. A more precise location (GPS) 5 degrees, 50 minutes, 37 seconds (South); 43 degrees 7 minutes and 29 seconds (West),. Although the crater was said to be 12 m deep and 6 m wide, this is an aproximation. The first people to arrive there, hunters, on Sunday morning, say that the walls, as well as the bottom of the crater were damp, which can be a natural effect, due to the soil of the site, and the fact that it was near Parnaiba river, a few kms. There was no earth, it had gone, that is, was compacted. Since the rain season was coming and the excavations were conducted in a precarious way, without instruments such as a metal detector, and were suspended after about 4 meters. The vegetation was not burned and there was no impact ledge. It was like something went down sliding on the crater, as a great deployment of heat had occurred, as if the clay tended to vitrify. The crater is very large, without protuberant borders, its walls are wrinkled as when water is thrown on clay, which suggests a mass of ice - a raster of a comet - melting immediately and freeing its energy in the impact.
    This was that P. Frota wrote to me. In my opinion, details of the event completely rule out an icy comet explanation.
    Also cloudiness upsurge after the event (compare cloudiness levels for September 15, 18-24 UT, and September 16, 0-6 UT) is favourable for a geometeor.

  • The August 22, 1996 video detection of anomalous fireball.

  • From: CNN Interactive's Sci-Tech Area
    http://cnn.com/TECH/9612/17/mystery.ball.ap/index.html
    It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a mystery ball!
    December 17, 1996 Here is an abstract by Dr D.A. Morss of Creighton Univ. at the American Geophysical Union Fall 1998 Meeting: Please, pay attention that the speed and altitude of the fireball were estimated in suggestion that it was in the thunderstorm area 750 km away. If it was closer, its speed and altitude would be lesser.

  • The Oct.3-4, 1996 swarms of fireballs in the south-west of USA.

  • Now let's look at scientific publications. One of the principal was by D. Revelle at al. in 1997. In there it is written that during the evening of October 3, 1996, at least 6 bright fireballs were observed over the western USA with reports from California to Lousiana.
    Also in total, October 3-5, 1996 events included multiple reports from California (the brightest event had an explosion epicenter near Little Lake in Kern Country, north of Bakersfield), two reports from New Mexico, one from Louisiana, and yet another bolide seen from Cincinnati, Ohio, and also possibly observed in Marion, Indiana where 2 bright meteors were also seen. There was also an event in Oregon and several other bolides seen in California during this period as well. Both of the New Mexico events were reported on October 4th, very near the time of the brightest New Mexico event at about 02.01 Z. The first one was reported as going from NW to SE as seen from Santa Fe. Ten to fifteen seconds later after this first New Mexico meteor, the bright bolide videotaped from El Paso appeared going from SW to NE. The brightest California bolide was also widely seen. The bolide was heading to the NNE.
    Because of the large numbers of reports, Revelle et al. did a systematic search of the infrasonic signals from 00 Z to 06 Z Oct.4, 1996 from infrasound detectors situated in Nevada (36.7 N, 116.0 W), St. George (37.0 N, 113.6 W), Los Alamos (35.9 N, 106.3 W), Pinedale (42.8 N, 109.6 W).
    Several signals registered at least, on two detectors, and corresponding to some of the reported bolides were discovered, and even of possible of another event that may have occurred some 3.5 hours before the brightest bolide over California. Also at 01.40 Z an event was registered, apparently not far from the St. George detector, and the Pinedale detector, which pointed to the vicinity of Salt Lake City, Utah.
    In addition there were also registrations by a single detector, but they weren't counted, despite that some of the them were rather interesting. For example, Los Alamos infrasound detector got a possible detection of signals from one of the two bolides sighted over New Mexico at 02.01 Z, Oct.4. Although the azimuth and its change with time appeared correct for the event, there was no corresponding infrasonic propagation time delay, with the time of the infrasound arrivals at the LA detector being almost exactly the time of the appearence of the fireball that was videotaped from El Paso, Texas.

    Dr. A. J. Bedard Jr, NOAA/ERL/Environmental Technology Laboratory wrote (taken from http://www.etl.noaa.gov/technology/infrasound/infrasonic.html) that on October 3-4, 1996 during about a 21 hour interval they detected 53 signals, they infer to have originated over the continental United States. Other observing periods detected shock like signals moving over head (e.g. 12 in less than an hour in one case) during times of no known meteor swarm.

    And here seems to be the final word on the event from some of its investigators.

    In other words, they had to admit that the most plausible explanation is a swarm of cosmic debris which aimingly has targeted the region of USA for about around a clock... No comments...

    From descriptions and a photo of the Oct.3-4 event it is clear that it doesn't resembled meteoroidal bolides. So even the advocates of meteoroidal explanation had to recognize its problems (see the link above). I would like to attract attention to the meteorological conditions at that time.
    Meteorological conditions were following. At that time a very broad and strong high pressure cold front moving fastly to the south-east into the central part of USA from Canada reached central New Mexico and Texas. Simultaneously a strong band of showers was moving ahead of it [ReVelle D. et al.,1997].
    And let's look at cloudiness data, especially in the area of the most confirmed "bolides" activity, i.e. in in California (36.1 N, 117.6 W; 03.44 Z, Oct.4). Santa Fe - El Paso region (02.01 Z, Oct.4), and vicinity of Salt Lake city, Utah (01.40 Z, Oct.4). Let's also check the area, where according to the above-mentioned investigators the bolide has disintegrated/fallen. The latter is seen on map from the link above shows obervations of a bolide[s?] seen in New Mexico and Texas.
    Here is averaged ans smoothed cloudiness data for:
    for 12-18 Z, October 3,1996
    for 18-24 Z, October 3,1996
    for 0-6 Z, October 4,1996
    for 6-12 Z, October 4,1996
    for 12-18 Z, October 4,1996
    for 18-24 Z, October 4,1996
    for 0-6 Z, October 5,1996
    You can see that in the California area a stronge upsurge of cloudiness commenced a few hours after the event. In both New Mexico areas cloudiness also peaked a few hours after the event. In the calculated by meteorite experts area of the "New Mexico meteorite fall", the event was approximately coincided (or a little bit preceded) with a peak of cloudiness.
    Let's look at other areas of reported fireballs:
    for 12-18 Z, October 3,1996
    for 18-24 Z, October 3,1996
    for 0-6 Z, October 4,1996
    for 6-12 Z, October 4,1996
    for 12-18 Z, October 4,1996
    for 18-24 Z, October 4,1996
    You can see that in all reported areas of the fireballs, there was a cloudiness upsurge within 24 hours (often even much faster) after the fireball's appearences.
    And the infrasound event in Utah occured when cloudiness sharply dropped in the area, with still a powerful cloudiness field nearby.
    By the way, the above-mentioned absence of infrasound delay time is in agreement with some accounts on geometeors, which stated that sound delay was too small (sometimes a hundred times smaller) than expected from the sound propagation from the object.

  • The Dec.9, 1997 Greenland and the 1996 Kaluga fireballs.

  • The Greenland fireball event (Dec.9, 8.16 UT; 62.9 N, 50.1 W) was widely discussed in INTERNET, mass-media, and in astronomical magazines, assigned to a very large meteorite fall. So I advise you, to look at the interesting NASA-page devoted to the event, at first (if the www-site is not active, then I preserved it as a pdf-file).
    Two Danish expeditions found neither any fragments, nor even any microparticles of the hypothetical meteorite, despite that its "impact area" was announced to be well pin-pointed. Despite that one of the leading Danish investigators, T. Risbo said (before the final results of the search became known, of course): "If something has come down into the snow cover, we have it" [EOS Trans. AGU, v. 79, N.37, Sept.15, 1998, p.438].

    And, at last, more than 3 years after the event a remarkable article has appeared in METEORITICS & PLANETARY SCIENCE, v.36 (April 2001), p.549 (you can read the scanned version here). Its abstract is below.

    In the text below you can read why a half a year before the expeditions I have predicted the expeditions's result. The text is from PROCEEDINGS 6TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON BALL LIGHTNING, held August 23-25, 1999 in Antwerp, Belgium, Univ. of Antwerp, ed. G. Dijkhuis, pp.38-41 (1999) (with a couple misprints corrected).
    Also there is in the text a description of another similar event: the 1996 Kaluga fireball.

    EVIDENCES FOR GEOPHYSICAL ORIGIN OF THE 1997 GREENLAND FIREBALL EVENT
    Andrei Yu. Ol'khovatov

    In the morning of Dec.9, 1997, a large fireball was seen over a large area of southwest Greenland. It was interpreted as a meteoroidal bolide followed by a probable meteorite fall [1].
    I got some information about the event from my first visit to the H. Pedersen Web home-page ( http://www.astro.ku.dk/~holger) in the middle of January, 1998. After reading the witness's accounts, I came to the conclusion that it could hardly be a meteoroidal bolide, but apparently a geophysical phenomenon; later the conclusion was supported by further information posted at the H. Pedersen Web-site.
    In January 1998 I informed several event's researchers that the event was probably of geophysical origin. But at that time, just R. Spalding, Sandia Nat. Lab., admitted such a possibility. Recently my opinion on the event has been presented in mass-media [2]. No "Greenland meteorite" remnants were discovered by the Danish search expedition in summer 1998. Moreover, even some Danish researchers have to mention some "unusual" features of the "meteorite fall"[1].
    Here are some evidences against a meteoroidal origin, and in favour of a geophysical origin:
    - The descriptions of the event by eyewitnesses don't conform with a meteoroidal origin. The best example is the description of many bright fireballs swiftly falling after the "bolide explosion". Detailed analysis reveals that it doesn't conform with the physics of meteoroid flight, but recalls some ball-lightning's explosions. Another indication is the strange "millepede" formation of the fireball's trail.
    - There is a report that several hours after the event a smell of "burnt earth" was felt on a tiny island over which the fireball flew at about 35 km height.
    - Violent sounds and then shaking of houses (and apparently trembling of the ground) have been reported in Fiskenaesset (60 km from the "impact place"). This was followed some minutes later by wind effects of short duration in an otherwise quiet weather. A strong wind with a very sharp onset took place about 10 min. after the event in Nuuk, about 200 km away from the "impact place".
    - The appearance of the meteor just at 70 km height [1] contradicts the physics of meteoroid phenomena.
    - The US satellite data and videotape hint at an important role of electric phenomena in the event [3].
    There are many more details in the description of the event which are against a meteoroid entry and conform with the geophysical interpretation.
    The latter one states that it was not a meteoroid entry, but a geophysical phenomenon, many examples of which are known [4-10]. Geophysical circumstances of the Greenland event also favor the geophysical origin:
    - It took place during a weather break to bad weather.
    - It occurred during an upsurge of solar activity.
    - It happened during a 10-days-long epoch of the Earth's rotation angular velocity's drop, whose minimum was on December 9.
    - And one more remarkable thing. The fireball "impact area" is rich in iron deposits, and the above-land trajectory was over the line of granite and diorite intrusions marked with faulting and mountains' ridge. The fireball's final explosions took place over tops of the ridge's mountains (hills).

    ...

    In [5-7] such type of events have been called NNE (None-local Natural Explosion). Usually NNEs happen in connection (prior to, at the time of, or after) earthquakes. It leads to the conclusion that they are of endogenic (tectonic) origin. Apparently they are arranged in large volumes (of rock, soil, etc.) and one of their most remarkable features is explosion with effects usually not localized in the vicinity of the epicenter.
    In typical cases, NNE look like the appearance of a luminous body (sometimes it could be dark and probably even invisible) which travels to some site (or originates at the site). Then it explodes (NNE itself takes place). When the event takes place in connection with a distinct earthquake, we can describe NNE as an explosion of a powerful kind of "earthquake lights". Also, as in the case of "earthquake lights", meteorological factors seem to play an important role in NNE's formation. In the absence of a significant earthquake, NNEs probably can be considered as explosions of ball-lightnings of tectonic origin. Some of them look like "geophysical meteors".
    Please, pay attention that a meteorological explanation would transfer NNE into "ordinary" (i.e. meteorological) ball-lightning. By the way, clustering of some atmospheric electricity phenomena, such as lightnings, to ore deposits and tectonic faults is known. So, in some way, NNE is in-between ordinary (meteorological) ball-lightning and the "earthquake lights" ball-lightning, and can be considered as a result of poorly understood coupling between the atmospheric and endogenic processes.
    Till now we know little about NNE's physical mechanism. In the author's opinion, self-organization processes play a key role in NNE [5-8].
    In [5-8], NNE's preliminary features were given. Now it is possible to state that:
    - NNEs cluster towards geological inhomogeneity, heterogeneity and discontinuity (tectonic faults, circular structures, intrusions, ore deposits, etc.).
    - They used to be associated with meteorological phenomena: often happen on an eve of weather breaks to bad weather.
    The next 2 features are highly suspected, but still must be confirmed.
    - Often NNEs occur not exactly in areas of increased seismicity, but close to them. The author has the impression that there must be some "stock" of the "NNE-capability" in the ground, and it is "exhausted" in the place of high seismic activity.
    - NNEs tend to happen at the time of increased solar activity.
    Below, another probable example of an NNE is given. It took place on October 7, 1996, about 300-350 km to the south-west from Moscow. In general the event can be described as follows. At about 22.43 Moscow time (19.43 UT), local residents saw a bright fireball, which flew from the north to the south approaching the ground. When it was very close to the ground, a bright flash followed. After a short time - a loud thunder. The position of the "end point" is about 53.7 degr. N and 34.6 degr. E. This event was interpreted in mass-media as a very large meteorite fall. Many expeditions came to search but failed. But witness's accounts that have been collected allowed me to put forward the idea (reported by mass-media [9]) that it was an NNE, not a meteorite. Here are the evidences.
    - The majority of the witnesses give the time delay between seeing the fireball and the thunder 1-2 orders less than expected from a meteoroid passage (3 min). By the way, it resembles the 1996 Honduran event [6].
    - The fireball has almost reached (or maybe even has fallen on) the ground. Moreover, there was practically no trail, nor fragmentation! For a meteoroid, such behaviour is very unlikely (just under rare specific conditions).
    - While "far witnesses'" accounts are in rather good agreement among each other in general, there is great disagreement between eyewitnesses near the "end" point. Some of them gave the flight direction opposite to the "far" witnesses. Other aspects of the event also differ significantly.
    - From the town of Lyudinovo (20 km to the north of the "end" point), witnesses reported about a bluish-like skyglow on the southern part of the sky, which lasted for about an hour (rough estimation) after the fireball.
    - Residents near the "end" point reported strange noiseless lights, which flew around the "end" point for 2 nights after the event.
    Unfortunately, little is known about local weather still.
    Geological circumstances are the following.
    - The "end" point is an area of an intersection of several tectonic faults.
    - The fireball trajectory was over one of the above-mentioned tectonic faults.
    About 50 minutes before the event, the nearest seismostation, which was about 200 km from the "end" point, registered a local earthquake at about the same distance from the station. It had a magnitude 1.6-2.0, which is rather rare and large for this region.
    The author thinks that some portion of fireball reports are in reality these "geophysical meteors". Probably the best known example (besides the 1908 Tunguska fireball) is the famous and unexplained Febr.9, 1913, fireball procession [10].
    REFERENCES
    1. Gibbs W.// Sci. Amer., November, 1998, p.72.
    2. Ol'khovatov A.// Kommersant, May 15, 1999, p.9 (in Russ.)
    3. Richard Spalding, Sandia Nat. Lab., USA; personal communication.
    4. Docobo J., Spalding R., Ceplecha Z., et al. // Meteoritics & Planetary Science, v.33, p.57 (1998).
    5. Ol'khovatov A.Yu.// Proc. 5-th Intern. Symp. Ball Lightning, Aug.26-29, 1997, Tsugawa-town, Niigata, Japan, p.20.
    6. Ol'khovatov A.Yu.// at Web-site http://www.geocities.com/ CapeCanaveral/Cockpit/3240.
    7. Ol'khovatov A.Yu.//Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth (Engl. transl.), v.31, No 5, p.452 (1995).
    8. Ol'khovatov A.Yu.//Mif of Tungusskom meteorite. Moscow, ITAR-TASS-Ass."Ekologiya Nepoznannogo", 128p. (1997) (in Russ.)
    9. Velikanova M.//Moskovskii komsololets, May 8, 1999, p.6 (in Russ.).
    10. Mebane A.D.// Science, v.118, p.725 (1953).
    -----------
    UPDATES
    At first I would like to point, that, as I have discovered later, I was confused by someone, regarding the time difference between UT and Moscow time on Oct.7, 1996. Correct UT time of the Oct.7, 1996 Kaluga fireball event was 18.43 UT. This means that earthquake was registered about 10 minutes after the event. It hints that possibly (or probably?) the fireball preceded small local earthquake. But there is also another possibility, that the seismic signal was originated (coincided) with the fireball. The latter leads to a speed of the seismic disturbance in order of 0.3 km/s. It hints that either the low speed of disturbance was caused by its propagating in loose soil (sand, etc.), or, which is more likely, that it was caused by air waves (acoustic disturbance). But, even in these cases, it doesn't support meteoroid interpretation. Let me detail. At least hundreds tonns of TNT-equivalent explosion at about 0.1 km height or less needs to produce similar earthquake. It is very hard to conform with other aspects (aeroballistic, witnesses) of hypothesized meteoroid. But there is a good conform with brontides. And it was like in the 1908 Tunguska event - see my Tunguska www-article).
    Moreover, NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center data on cloudiness level favours for the geometeor interpretation. Compare cloudiness levels for the area on 1996, October 7, 12-18 UT, and for October 8, 6-12 UT. It is clearly seen that after the event increase of cloudiness took place in the area.

    And here you can see cloudiness behaviour at the time of the Greenland fireball. Data clearly shows strong upsurge of the cloudiness after the event (compare data for December 9, 0-6 UT, 6-12 UT, 12-18 UT, 18-24 UT)).

  • The Oct.9, 1999 Brazilian fireball event.

  • Unfortunately, the data is very short for any solid conclusion. You can see photoes and read details (in Portuguese), including an interview with its researchers - geologists here.

  • The Nov.16, 1999 MidWest USA fireball(s).

  • If you look at the [USA] National UFO Reporting Center 'UFO' witnesses data, you can see, that possibly there were at least several fireballs over the vast region in a time span for up to about 1-1.5 hours (like in the 1908 Tunguska event - see my Tunguska www-article). Maybe you can still see a video of one of the fireballs here. Many witnesses reported about the whole "fireball train" of many fireballs. Duration of flight (up to about 2 minutes, at least), as seen by individual observers, is much larger than for a typical meteoroidal bolide. For example, Tom Burns (director of the Ohio Wesleyan University's Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio) said in THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH's article "Heavens always Hold Surprises" (Nov.28, 1999) that the observatory recorded the fireball for 1 min. 16 sec.(!) There was also a report that a "fragment of the meteor" fell on the ground and caused 9-meters "burning hole".
    Geophysical situation also seems was favorable for geophysical meteors. I mean that the event (as Tunguska) took place a few days after powerful outburst of solar activity. And moreover, as Tunguska (and some others), the event probably was associated with changing from a very long period of 'extremely good weather' (drought, to be exact) to a bad weather. On Nov.18-19, 1999 light precipitation (rain and snow), accompanied by high winds, dotted the Midwest.
    On my request Charlie Plyler searched ELFRAD data, and discovered strong electromagnetic noise with frequences from less than 1 Hz to 50 Hz, at least, and propably higher. There was a remarkable peak at 17 Hz. The disturbance commenced in about 19:04.5 EDT on Nov.16 and lasted for about 2 minutes.
    It is very important to investigate the event due to a lot of its data. It should not be forgotten, as many others 'unexplained'.

    UPDATE OF Febr.14,2014. A couple days ago I got e-mail from Mr. Benjamin Garfield who wrote that he was an eyewithess of the event.
    Here with his kind permission I am posting his account (combined from his several e-mails):

    His account strictly points that the fireball seen was near the ground very close to him : '...see the sparks as they hit the tree limbs and scatter with bouncing motion then fall to the ground. ....'

  • The Dec.5, 1999 Alabama fireball event.

  • Here I explain why I decided that it could not be a meteoroid (meteorite):
    - Part of witnesses reported different trajectory(es) hinting that possibly there were additional smaller fireball(s) too (for example, there is a report of a rising fireball). Moreover, a similar, but probably less powerful fireball was seen in the area on Dec.3.
    - Part of witnesses reported green color, associated with the event, which is very rare for real meteoroids.
    - To produce powerful sound heard dozen miles away, a meteorite must be at heights below about 50 km (and some witnesses reported a boom in about 1 minute after the flash/fireball). But if so, it hardly could be seen in Florida (as reported) due to strong aerobraking.
    - Some witnesses reported about strong trembling of the ground, and part of them underlined, that it was not a air-shock wave. Such strong and selective(!) trembling of the ground is strange for meteorite interpretation, as just superpowerful meteoroid at rather low height could generate such strong seism. And if so, the seism would be more or less uniform over large area, and, anyway, must be registered by seismostations as rather large earthquake. But there were no any large earthquake.
    On my request Charlie Plyler searched ELFRAD data, but, unfortunately, due to strong interference, no conclusion was possible.
    There are much more arguments against meteorite, but already these ones demonstrates that the meteorite interpretation does not conform with real facts.
    On March 16, 2000 USAF released data about their satellites detection of the event. Infrared sensors aboard DOD satellites detected "the impact of a meteoroid" at 10:17:58 UTC. The object was first detected at about N 33.1 W 85.9, at an altitude of approximately 74 km. It was traveling on a path from just east of north to just west of south, at an angle of about 55 from the horizontal. It was last tracked at an altitude of approximately 23 km N 33.0, W 86.1.
    Remarkably that any "ground shaking" is hardly possible for such high-altitude meteoroid, or it must be registered by local seismographs.
    If it was not a meteoroid (meteorite), what it was? Of course the simplest way of answering is "UFO", i.e. Unindentified Flying Object: everything from misinterpreted bird to "aliens spaceship". Are there any arguments for a geophysical meteor (geometeor)? It seems they are:
    - the event took place during a period of worsening of the local weather, which is in accordance with expected from geometeor.
    - The localized seismic phenomena point to their connection with local endogenic processes.
    - The occurence of another, this time stationary bright fireball "second sun" (duration half an hour(!), at least) in Shelby Country on Dec.8 also favors the relationship with the local endogenic processes.
    I want to add that in a literature there are a lot of reports about strange flashes, fireballs, etc., associated with clouds, especially with 'thunderstorm-type' clouds, but often without thunderstorm itself.
    Meanwhile, the story continues.
    A new report on fireball came from Alabama! This time it was slow moving and evidently at small height. According to the witness's accounts I have, it had no resemblance with a meteoroidal meteor. So I immediately have searched for meteorological data, and discovered that indeed the fireball is associated with a meteorological anomaly: sharp air-pressure drop!
    But this is not the end of the story!
    About the same time another fireball fell in the southern Louisiana (about 300 km to the west of the Alabamian one), causing a bush-fire! And it was also associated with the sharp pressure fall!
    Remarkably, that similar event occured in this region of Louisiana on April 5, 1800. That night an "object" appeared in the south-west, past over Baton Rouge, and disappeared on the north-east for about a quarter of a minute. It seems to be at altitude of 200 yards, "large-house" sized. It was crimson-red, luminous, but without sparks. When passing right over head of a witness, the light on the surface of the earth was little short of the effect of sun-beams, and at the same time, looking another way, the stars were visible. In passing, a considerable degree of heat was felt, but no "electric sensation". Immediately after it disappeared in the north-east, a violent rushing noise was heard, as if the object "was bearing down the forest before it". And in a few seconds a tremendous crash was heard, similar to the "largest piece of ordnance", causing very sensible earthquake. In the place, where the object fell, a considerable portion of the surface of the earth was found "broken up", and every vegetable burnt or greatly scorched.
    In just appeared Filer's Files No.52 by George Filer, devoted to various UFO-related affairs, I discovered four reports about UFOs on the evening of Dec.26, 1999. Evidently there was a small upsurge of UFOs in USA on that day! I decided to check their possible relation with meteorological conditions. And indeed, as the two above-mentioned fireballs, they all were associated with the sharp drop of air pressure!
    Another remarkable thing is the M=2.9 earthquake occured in the north-eastern Alabama on Jan.2, 2000 pointing on increased tectonic activity.
    On my request Charlie Plyler searched ELFRAD data, and discovered strong electromagnetic anomaly commencing about 18.57 CST, Dec.26. The anomaly recorded, shows 4 sharp EMPs followed by an electromagnetic signal which consisted of energy concentrated in two bands: 10 Hertz and 17 Hertz. This was a very strong signal which was detected by ELFRAD East-West antenna array. The North-South array barely detected the signal. Usually ELFRAD receive higher amplitude signals on the North-South array.

    And probably finally on the Dec.5, 1999 Alabama event - there was an interesting article on it in EOS Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union in 2003 ( Acrobat Reader pdf-version of the article is here).

  • The Dec.7,1999 Guyra, Australia event.

  • It was interpreted as a meteorite fall digging a deep hole in a water dam (see here), but not much people see accompanied luminous events (position: 30.1 S; 151.7 E). In my opinion it was hardly a meteorite, and much more resembles earthquake lights, moreover, a local seismometer has registered a rather strong (for a small meteorite fall) disturbance. If so, it could be an example of "digging and burning" geometeor. Unfortunately, the hole was not dug still, so the problem is opened.
    Update: As I have found out, the diggings were conducted at last, and no any meteorite were discovered, as I expected early!
    Some details. The result of the diggings were published in NEWCASTLE HERALD newspaper Oct.6, 2000, p.3. The article is "Guyra's meteorite: nothing but a load of hot air" by Jason Bartlett. Here is a brief retell. Here I would like to add my comment.
    I am very glad that the opinion that the event was not astronomical, but terrestrial origin has won, at last. Regarding the concrete physical mechanism of the event, I think that the gas eruption was not a source, but sooner a result of the event. Here are my arguments. It is not clear where 10...15 cubic metres of gas could be deposited before the event. The volume is rather large to form a kind of hill of the dam surface, which would be discovered very early. The 6 m/s speed of gas eruption is too slow to form such a large area of flattened reeds. And of course, is could hardly scorch the reeds. Moreover, according to article "UFO Indentified As a Meteor" by Stephen Brook in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper (unfortunately, I lost the publication date, but probably it was a few days after the event), a magnitude of accompanied earthquake was 2. A surface explosion at least of several tons of TNT can produce such earthquake. And, finally, just the gas eruption can hardly explain various luminous phenomena reported.
    Geophysical circumstances of the event were favorable for geometeor's appearence. There was an upsurge of atmospheric pressure in the region of the event. Here are smoothed sea level atmospheric pressure for December 7: 0 UT, and 18 UT. Cloudiness level also strongly increased after the event. Just compare smoothed data for December 7, 8, and 9. Also in August 1992 an earthquake with magnitude 3.3 occured just about 10 miles from the place of the event, hinting at some level of tectonic activity in the area.
    That's why from the beginning I incline to think that it was an earthquake related geophysical meteor (or meteors), probably electromagnetic origin. The hole discovered resembles those made by lightning strikes. And the hole's appearence could liberate the gas trapped underground. 

  • The Dec.20, 1999 Scandinavian fireball.

  • It was seen by numerous eyewitnesses from Norway to Germany, flying appr. from the north to the south at very low (for meteoroidal meteors and even space-debris) height, and probably speed. These facts point to a geometeor. After initial flash of interest to him, it was quickly forgotten, as many other "unexplained".
    P.S. On my request Michael J.D. Linden-Vornle (of Tycho Brahe Planetarium) e-mailed me on June 19, 2000 that the latest altitude estimation is 70-80 km. If the latter is correct, it could be a meteoroidal fireball, but remarkably, that earlier statements were 20-40 km, and some investigators argued that it was too low for a meteor...

  • The April 28, 2000 Washington-British Columbia fireball at 22:07 PDT.

  • According to analysis of [US] National UFO Reporting Center, it did not resembled a [meteoroidal] meteor, as its altitude was less than 1.5 km, and it did not look as a "meteor". I completely agree with this opinion. Also I have checked weather conditions in Seattle area, and found that the fireball occured during a sharp upsurge of atmospheric pressure, which is favorable for geometeors.
    One of the most difficult aspects in geometeor's investigations is to separate a geometeor from a meteoroidal meteor. In many cases they look rather similar, and moreover, witness's accounts often are not very distinct. So we have to say "probably" in many cases, and, of course, mistakes are possible. But in this event the extremely low altitude completely rules out a meteoroidal meteor. Here are meteorological data for the area from the Weather Underground, Inc. (times are local).

    Looking at the meteorological maps (Unisys Corp.) of 00 UT, April 29 (the fireball was seen at 5:07 UT, April 29), 12 UT, April 29, and 00 UT, April 30, a high pressure atmospheric air area can be seen advancing to and through the region. Cloudiness was swiftly disappearing during the event.

  • The May 6, 2000 fireball near collision with an airplane just north of Waterbury, Connecticut.

  • A bright fireball slowly flew past the airplane, which was flying at about 2 km altitude. The fireball low altitude and its low speed rule out that it was a meteoroidal bolide. Moreover, its description doesn't resemble a meteoroid. At that time (i.e 01:17 UT, May 7) an atmospheric front, and a trough were in the region (see a meteorological map for 00 UT, May 7). You can compare it with the maps for 12 UT, May 6, and 12 UT, May 7.
    You can read about other examples of "flying lights" in that area here.

  • The August 1, 2000 Kumarina, Australia event.

  • . Here is what Australian geologist/geophysicist Harry Mason have posted: I completely agree with H. Mason and others that the event doesn't resemble a meteoroidal meteor, and resembled a geometeor.

  • The August 9, 2000 Californian "earthquake lights" meteors.

  • . If in many above-given events a main role was played apparently by meteorological factors, here is an example, where subterranean (tectonic) factor apparently dominates. Here is what American investigator Cinde Costello sent me: Here is what Cinde has sent me. I want just to remark, that the earthquake was rather shallow (9 km), so it is possible that the sounds reported were caused by the earthquake (probably by its P-waves).
    And a liitle bit more from the area:

  • The Hessdalen lights.

  • They "reply" on a laser beam, can perform a group flight (i.e form a "triangle", which is so well-known to UFO-fans...), and probably to be even invisible! Their strong gravitation to Hessdalen valley hints that some endogenic factors play a dominant role in their formation. Probably the Hessdalen lights are the most scientifically investigated mysterious lights (see also here). I am sure that if the investigations were much better funded, we already would know much more about geometeors and so called UFOs.

  • The September 26, 2000 Californian green fireball.

  • . Despite that nature of this fireball seen in San Diego, CA area probably be will be never determined, there are many hints that it was a geometer. But let's begin with its description in mass-media. It was seen between 8:09 and 8:10 p.m. PDT September 26 (03:09 and 03:10 UT, Sept.27):

    http://www.cnn.com/2000/US/09/27/bright.light.ap/index.html
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/detail/0,1136,35000000000119903,00.html

    It was a bright (Mv of about -8 seen from far) green very slow moving fireball with flat trajectory. Sparks were trailing the meteor. No fragmentation was reported (other than the minor sparking). Probably it was off the Orange County coast, and was moving roughly from east to west. KNX-1070 radio received a number of reports of observations from Laguna Hills up to the San Fernando Valley. A witness from California, who was not far from the trajectory pointed that it was almost too bright to look at, and there was two large fireballs in line with other "debris".
    What does attract attention in the descriptions? Its green color, flat trajectory, very slow speed, practically absence of fragmentation.
    These properties hint that it was sooner a geophysical meteor than a meteoroidal one. Let's check meteorological circumstances of the event. If they were favorable for geometeors, it will reinforce the geometeor's interpretation.

    There was an atmospheric trough in the area (see weather maps for 00 UT, Sept.27, and 12 UT, Sept.27). Meteorological data for San Diego (by The Weather Underground, Inc.) reveals an air pressure jump at about the time of the fireball. Also pay attention to wind speed upsurge before the fireball.

    Another interesting feature is seen in satellite's images. Here are GOES-10 infrared images for 03 UT, September 27, 07 UT, September 27, 12 UT, September 27, 18 UT, September 27, 23:30 UT, September 27, 06 UT, September 28.
    Development of cloud cover in the region is clearly seen on them.
    And one more argument for the geometeor's interpretation. Frank Condon of Geo-Seismic Laboratory discovered electromagnetic disturbances at the time of the fireball.

  • The November 8, 2000 Argentine electric fireball.

  • Here is from UFO ROUND UP v.5, No.46: Please, pay attention that in reality the town of Tafi Viejo is about 1000 km to NW of Buenos Aires.
    Here is meteodata (The Weather Underground, Inc.) for a town of Tucuman (26.9 S; 65.1 W), which is not far from Tafi Viejo (times are probably local). Worsening of the weather after the event is clearly seen.

    The investigation continues...

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