Last month, watching the 25th anniversary of the first shuttle disaster, I thought that time had just run away from me then come back and slapped me in the face. How could that be? It seemed like just a decade ago when the entire world was shocked by images of space debris raining down over Florida. But the truth is out there. There are things that fly around that abide by nature’s infallible law of gravity. What goes up must come down, right?
I flipped to another channel and hit upon an interesting show called Meteorite Men. These guys search the globe for pieces of space rock scattered around some known sites where people have witnessed fireballs descending from the heavens. These sightings are rare, but meteorites hitting the ground actually happen all the time, but there’s no one to witness them. It’s kind of like the “if a tree falls down in forest and no one is there to hear it” analogy.
Back in the early ’70s in Fort George, the midnight sky was lit up from above. An immense fireball slowly streaked across the sky, and the few people who witnessed it were struck with awe and a bit of fear. Then, suddenly, it burst like a giant fireworks, with a multitude of colours, and disappeared completely. Only the lights spread out across the witnesses’ eyes, the afterglow etched into their retinas lasting for several seconds. The night-watchman commented that it was an incredible sight, but he was glad to have seen that natural phenomenon and went back to his rounds.
A few decades later, just north of Chisasibi, I was out fall goose hunting with my cousins and we were waiting for a few flocks of geese to approach us. We readied ourselves, then the geese started acting alarmed. A dirty brown meteorite with a long blue flame nearly collided with the excited geese that scattered in all directions. The fireball sped by and seemed to have gone down a few miles south of us. In a way, we were glad that the geese were scared off by that rather than from someone who didn’t hide well enough.
In more recent history, debates are still surrounding the fireball that hit north of Whapmagoostui. Was it a meteorite or was the gigantic hole just a landslide that slipped into the bay? All kinds of evidence seems to point out that it came from outer space, like how did seashells and other sea flotsam end up in the trees 30 feet high? Why did the men in black show up? (Just kidding, but this incident seemed to have stirred no interest whatsoever from so-called scientists.) Now, worries of having a meteorite hit you are pretty slim, but it has happened.
Now that most of these fireballs are explainable, what about the ones that don’t hit the ground and kind of zoom around like a lost bush pilot without GPS, these are most disconcerting. Recently, red glowing lights have appeared, similar to the ones that showed up in Jerusalem, only to disappear at a fantastic rate up into the heavens. What about those lights that seem to appear more and more often, almost on a daily basis?
Reports from around the world seem to just be passed up as hoaxes or are so common that they are now just classified as UFOs. What happened to all the mass hysteria that people used to succumb to, remember Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds radio show (no one does since it was broadcast in 1938) when people just freaked out and tried to deal with the issue of an alien invasion. Now that it is happening every day, I think that the general population just wants E.T. to come out of the space closet and show us who it really is and fork up some better video games to keep us happy.