Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two Fireballs

Tonight on the way home to Paso Robles from spending Thanksgiving Day with my grandmother and mother in Fremont as I drove south on Highway 101 in southern Monterey County I witnessed two fireballs ahead of me to the south.

The first one I saw from somewhere in the King City area and of the two got the clearest view of as I watched it translate from left to right across my entire field of view arcing downwards, ever-slower and fainter and visibly tumbling. It appeared to have landed in the Santa Lucia Mountains or the ocean off the coast. It was clearing slowing down meaning it did not bounce back out of the atmosphere. It was not getting smaller or breaking up and it was getting fainter in glow meaning it was not burning up or breaking up but rather it was cooling down as attained mere terminal velocity and the atmosphere stopped burning it but rather began to cool it near the end of its descent. It was so close I could see it was somewhat elongated and tumbling. This object most assuredly plummeted to the ground as a significantly-sized object. The only question is if it made it westward into the ocean just off the coast or if it is sitting in the ground under some chaparral somewhere in the coast range.

The second one I saw only the end of as it exploded in a brilliant white flash of energy to my south as I drove a section of the highway within Camp Roberts placing this explosion to my south. I never saw tail or the heading of the object although my mother who was with me did. I missed it because I was momentarily glancing in a different direction.

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