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The Australian Fireball
In October 1994, a family in western Australia had
gathered on their patio for a barbecue when they saw a
large ball of fire hurdling directly overhead.
"Everyone into the house!" the mother cried. "Now!"
Meanwhile the father called the local police station.
"Jack! Look outside. A jet airliner is on fire and about
The two cops ran out to the street just in time to see
the fireball pass over the police station. By now the
entire town of 4,000 people was outdoors watching the
Observing it straight on, the police thought the front
appeared to be a dense mass of reddish orange flames.
Residents who saw the fireball from the side said it
trailed yellowish white flames. The family of barbecuers,
now back on their patio and looking at the fireball as
it passed right above them, described flames swirling
inward and disappearing into a kind of vortex or black
hole. From their perspective, this was more a ring of
fire than a fireball.
For seven minutes or so, the inhabitants of this small
town watched the fireball rocket across the sky. Then
with a flash of bright blue flame, it accelerated. In an
instant, the fireball was gone.