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UFO Reports

Fireball Over Pennsylvania

1) Source: Stan Gordon; http://www.westol.com/~paufo

On the evening of October 2, 2001, I received reports of fireball activity in Warren County, PA near the New York border. Several of these sightings reached law enforcement agencies. One witness I interviewed said that she saw a huge blazing orange ball of fire moving towards the north. During the evening I learned that other similar reports originated  from Armstrong and  Mercer Counties.  I also was told that there were apparently many sightings reported to 911 centers around the Youngstown, Ohio area.

I received a call from a resident of Allegheny County outside of Pittsburgh, who had knowledge that police in that area had calls about something seen in the sky. I have also interviewed a witness who was near Latrobe in Westmoreland County. The observer watched a large orange-red ball of fire "as bright as the moon"  followed by a glowing tail which tapered off in thickness. There appeared to be a white-silver glow around the tail which faded quickly.

These sightings all occurred between 7:30 and 8 P.M. local time. The observation time lasted only seconds, and no sound was reported with the fireball, according to those witnesses whom I have spoken.  Peter Davenport at the National UFO Reporting Center, did not receive any reports last night from this general area. Peter did however receive a fireball report also from last night, which occurred at about 7:39 P.M. near Howell, MI.

As of this posting I have not seen any newspaper coverage of this event. I received a response from the U.S. Space Command which indicated that there was no re-entry of space debris during this time frame.  I would appreciate being notified of any fireball or other aerial phenomena reported on this night from around the country.

2) Source: www.100megsfree4.com/farshores

A fireball shooting across the early night sky Tuesday [Oct 2] led many residents from the southwestern part of Mercer County to call 911.

Acting Shift Supervisor Tom Meyer said calls for what apparently was a meteor started coming in at 7:41 from the Shenango Valley.

"They've described it as a large ball of fire with a tail," he said.

Meyer said unless the meteor hit the ground in Mercer County, there was nothing 911 could do and there were no reports of that.

Meteors, commonly called shooting stars, are the streaks of light caused by dust particles from space evaporating in the earth's atmosphere, according to NASA. The particles themselves are called meteoroids, and, if they land on earth, meteorites.

Astronomer Ted Pedas of Farrell said he did not see the meteor but from its description it appeared to have been a bolide, a very large meteor that probably was seen over six or seven states.

Bolides are "the size of a walnut and on up," he said.

None of the 911 callers sounded scared but Meyer said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks might have made people react a little differently to the astronomical phenomenon.

"I don't know if they're worried about what's been happening," he said.

911 called the National Weather Service and other weather forecasting agencies and learned that reports had come in from the Pittsburgh area.

The Beaver County Emergency Services Center and National Weather Service in Moon Township, Allegheny County, received calls shortly after the object was spotted at about 7:45 p.m. Witnesses said the red object had a flaming tail and described it as much larger than a shooting star.

The earth regularly experiences annual meteor showers, such as the Perseid shower which peaks in August.

"We're not near any meteor showers so it can't be associated with any regularly occurring ones," said Pedas, director of the Ted Pedas Planetarium at Farrell Area School District.

"In the last six to eight months there have been many of these reported across the country," Pedas said of solitary fireballs. "They're very unpredictable."

If there was a sound associated with the meteor, that probably would have meant it landed and exploded, he said.