|Occurred : 12/21/1995 19:30 (Entered as : 12/21/95 19:30)
Reported: 12/12/2014 11:04:32 PM 23:04
Location: Birchwood, AK
|Highly unusual lengthy meteor observation.
Technically, a meteor trailing flames crossing the Alaskan sky low from the Southwest heading Northeasterly. I was shooting skeet on either Wednesday or a Thursday night with a squad of 5 others when we took notice of what we first thought was an aircraft as it was moving slowly and apparently not at a high elevation from our perspective. Gradually we noticed that what we first thought were the aircraft landing lights were pointing to the rear instead of forwards. There was a light ice fog somewhat diminishing visibility but soon we noticed that the lights were in fact flames as the meteor slowly transited the sky. Frankly we were all slightly stunned at the unusual sight. After several minutes we went back to our skeet round, I kept an eye on the object until it disappeared over the Chugach mountains behind Palmer, AK.
The next day, I heard reports that the object was sighted by many including Airline crews. From our perspective it appeared quite low so I would estimate the distance at between 10 to 30 miles to meet the trajectory we observed. I was unaware that a meteor or asteroid could transit our atmosphere without hitting us but this object certainly didn't give any indication of going down, I guarantee there would have been reports if it had made landfall. The object appeared to be the size of a large house at the closest and seemed to be a light aircraft at first. The flames as the material ablated behind were unusual and unique. The trail of flames was no more than three or four times the length of the object itself.