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No. 38: Mar-Apr 1985

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Unidentified Object

April 9, 1983. North Atlantic Ocean. From the n.v. Dorsetshire.

"At 2304 GMT, Mr. Haney pointed out a bright white object in the sky. It was bearing approximately 360 (T) at an elevation of about 40. It was moving rapidly southwards across the sky, leaving a bright trail behind it, like an afterglow. Also trailing astern of the object was a light trail of sparks (possibly large solid particles). The object disappeared behind clouds, bearing about 170 (T) at an elevation of approximately 35, and lighting the edges of the clouds. The time taken for the passage was around 20 seconds. It was obviously a very large object, judging from its apparent size as seen from sea level. The impression given was that of an object within the atmosphere, easily showing around a one-penny piece held at arm's length."

(Edwards, R.A.F.; "Unidentified Flying Object," Marine Observer, 54:82, 1984)

Comment. This seems to be a description of a large fireball, but the direction of flight (north-south) is unusual and the time of passage (20 seconds) extremely long for a meteor.

Fireabll trailing sparks over the North Atlantic Large, very sluggish fireball trailing sparks over the North Atlantic.

From Science Frontiers #38, MAR-APR 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987