Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Weird: Green Fireballs

So I accidentally published this early a few weeks ago. My bad. So if you see that you've already commented on this. That's why.

The Green Fireballs refer to a series of, naturally, green fireballs witnessed in the New Mexico skies between December 1948 and April 1955. And not just seen by a few peeps. Nope. They were seen by pretty much everyone.

Military scientists, astronomers and enlisted personnel, along with the general public, reported the huge amount of crazy and weird above them.

Now, most people would think "meteor." Or maybe comet. It's streaking across the sky, it's on fire. That's what the government thought, too, so they hired Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, a meteor expert.

LaPaz spent years on the subject and, with the rate the fireballs were sighted, combined with the slow speeds and lack of rock bits trailing the objects, decided they weren't behaving like meteors... or any natural phenomena.

The Air Force's investigation into the fireballs was named Project Twinkle (HAH!!). A lot of the sightings were over the Los Alamos National Laboratory, aka where we were working on giant bombs (many of the sightings were from staff). The government decided whether it was aliens or the Russians, they wanted to get to the bottom of it.

After a couple of years, however, they knew nothing more than when they started: There were balls, they were green, and on fire.
The Air Force shut down the investigation and wrote off the phenomena as sunspots or some new kind of meteor or something. LaPaz insisted that none of that made sense, and would continue to do so for years. The balls were spotted over and over again even after the investigation shut down, and each time someone would go interview Dr. LaPaz who would repeat his long list of reasons why they're not meteors.

LaPaz thought they were some kind of new Soviet aircraft, or something else that didn't occur in nature. Another theory was that they were some effect caused by nuclear fallout but "glowing green balls of fallout" isn't a known phenomenon, either.

So there you go, the green fireballs. Thoughts?


Maria Zannini said...

Given the technology of the 50s I'm not sure how LaPaz tested his conclusions.

I saw a green fireball once about 20 years ago in SE Texas. It was in mid afternoon too.

Looked like a meteorite to me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So long ago, who knows. But weird stuff is always being spotted in the skies so Arzina and New Mexico. Must be the desert heat.

Matthew MacNish said...

Mis-fired Avada Kedavra killing curses?

Donna L Martin said...


I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and visiting some blogs before the fun begins! Nice to meet have a lovely blog!

Donna L Martin

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