A huge fireball flashed across northern skies
early Sunday night and then exploded into a shower of sparks.
Dr. L. A. Bayrock of the Alberta
Research Council identified the object as a meteorite and is hopeful fragments
might be found.
He said there were reports of a
“thunder-like” sound near Smoky Lake, 100 miles northeast of Edmonton.
The association of sound effects is a
strong indication some pieces of the meteorite survived contact with the
Startled witnesses said the object
passed over Edmonton, travelling in a northeasterly direction, at about 6:58
One woman is reported to have
mistaken the meteorite for an airplane and telephoned the fire department to
report a crash at the Industrial Airport.
David Rogers, director of the Queen
Elizabeth Planetarium, witnessed the meteorite but said it was hard to judge
its actual size.
“A meteorite the size of a tennis
ball could create the same effects.”
FLOOD OF CALLS
Reaction to the fireball jammed
telephones at both The Journal and planetarium. About
100 calls were answered in an hour.
Jennie Bennet, 10336 77th St., was
watching television and thought the object had landed in her back yard.
Mickey La Tosky of Drayton Valley saw
an object with an orange tail and bluish-green body pass over the town heading
An official at the Industrial Airport
control tower said a pilot, flying at about 1,800 feet in the Cold Lake area,
said he was “nearly blinded by the intense flash.”
J. M. Graham, 6016 105th St., said
the meteorite lit up the snow “like welder’s arc” and then there was a shower
of sparks when it exploded.
Dr. Bayrock said today that he and
Dr. Thomas Berg, another member of the Alberta Research Council, will probably
interview persons who reported sighting the object today or Tuesday.
He said it is believed it fell
somewhere northeast of Smoky Lake.