People across northeast Scotland witnessed a mysterious, bright fireball over their skies on Monday evening, reports BBC News. While there has been no confirmation regarding the nature of the object that caused the sky to light up, speculation is that it could have been a meteor that burned up while entering the earth’s atmosphere. Others have suggested that it could have been a sonic boom. Footage showing the mysterious fireball have been recorded by several people and have been posted on social media websites as well.
We have embedded a few of those below.
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) March 1, 2016
— ScotlandNow (@ScotlandNow) March 1, 2016
— BBC Newcastle (@bbcnewcastle) March 1, 2016
The BBC News report says that several people approached the police to report the big, bright flash. While some people said the flash was blue, some others reported the bright flash to be white and green in color. Eyewitnesses also said they heard a rumbling noise along with the fireball.
Meanwhile, the Met Office have confirmed that the event was “not weather-related” and reaffirms that there were no reported thunderstorms in the area at the time the fireball was seen in the skies.
One of the individuals who managed to record the entire event on camera was Bill Addison, a driving instructor from Buckie whose dashboard camera was on when the fireball entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Another man, identified as Mike Fleming, captured similar footage from his dashcam on a road between Dunecht and Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire. He described the fireball as being “scary and amazing.” Different footage of the event was captured by a security camera, again in Aberdeenshire. Jenni Morrison, another individual who managed to get the event, captured was driving in her car with her dashcam on when she saw the fireball.
“It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced”, Jenni reminisced.
She added, “It was pitch black and then all of a sudden it was like a light switch went on. It became daylight – the whole sky lit up. I looked at my son, he looked at me and then it just went black again. It really didn’t last long at all – literally seconds. We didn’t realise what it was at the time until we looked back on my dashcam. We saw the ball of light over the trees on the left side coming down at some speed and then a massive flash. It was scary and amazing at the same time.”
BBC has been inundated with phone calls and reports from eyewitnesses. One of them was Garry J. Hunter, who described the event as “a huge fireball-like trail across the sky, which seemed to then explode and light up the whole sky.”
Heather Mullan, from Aberdeenshire, said, “The sky seemed to slowly brighten then there was a double flash of intense light then nothing. About 90 seconds later there was a double muffled sound like a sonic boom. We assumed we had just witnessed a meteor although no meteor showers are due. It was spectacular.”
According to Robert Massey, the deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, the event could have been a low-altitude meteor that turned into a fireball as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere. He confirms that he saw several videos of the fireball. However, Massey is intrigued by the fact that several witnesses claim to have heard a sound coming from the fireball as well.
He said, “Certainly the fact that there were reports of sound connected to it as well is interesting. If people did see it and it was something like an incoming low-altitude meteor, they can consider themselves lucky.”
Did you witness the fireball over the Scottish skies last evening?