|Occurred : 11/16/1999 19:12 (Entered as : 11/16/99 19:12)
Reported: 11/17/1999 11:49
Location: South Lyon, MI
Duration:90 to 120 seconds
|On 16-Nov-99 at about 7:12 PM EST I witnessed a dramatic fireball in the sky over South Lyon, Michigan, a small town just to the North of Ann Arbor.
On 16-Nov-99 at about 7:12 PM EST I witnessed a dramatic fireball in the sky over South Lyon, Michigan, a small town just to the North of Ann Arbor. It went from horizon to horizon traveling from west to east - the exact opposite direction from which the anticipated Leonid Meteor Shower was to occur. I did not actually time it, but I believe that it was visible between a minute and a half and two minutes--long enough for me to study it as it traversed the sky. As the fireball crossed the sky, it gave off several very bright colors that appeared to be a metallic disintegration or burning. It was glowing predominantly white on the leading edge with blue just behind the white. In my mind, the blue indicated that a copper compound or copper substance was involved. There was some red and yellow as well, and as I observed it, I could clearly see chunks coming off it and burning up in the same manner as the main fireball. It left a smoke trail, but I did not hear a sonic boom as I expected that I might. My first thought was that I was witnessing the reentry of the MIR space station, or something similar in nature. It did NOT appear to be an intelligently controlled craft--unless it was a craft in great distress. It would be difficult to say exactly what I saw. However, I do know that what I saw was NOT a meteor, and clearly NOT associated with the anticipated Leonid Meteor Shower. I have been watching meteor showers for over forty years now and I know exactly what a meteor looks like. I am appalled that the news media was so quick to report that this event was part of the anticipated Leonid Meteor Shower. That was clearly NOT what I witnessed. I have been a pilot since I was in my teens and spent four years as an air traffic controller for the FAA. I am also an amateur astronomer and I feel very comfortable about recognizing and identifying anything that appears in the sky.