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No. 116: Mar-Apr 1998

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Target: Greenland

Reports of recent large meteors and suspicious craters are plentiful in back issues of this newsletter. (SFs #93, #102, #103, #110, to name a few) Here is another.

December 9, 1997, Greenland. At 5:11 A.M., crews of three trawlers at widely separated sites off south Greenland reported "a blazing fireball that turned night into day." At a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles), the flash was compared to that from an atmospheric nuclear explosion. Danish officials dismissed the possibility of a surreptitious nuclear test. The U.S. Air Force stated that the object was neither a reentering spacecraft nor artificial space debris. Some seismic tremors also emanated from Greenland, so the impact of a large meteorite is suspected. Based on the visual sightings and a moving object caught on a parkinglot surveillance camera in Nuuk, Greenland's capital, the probable impact point is at 6125' N., 4426' W. Efforts to locate the meteorite will have to wait for favorable weather.

The supposed meteor was not a small object. The Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen compared it to the Kap York meteor that fell south of Thule, Greenland, in prehistoric times. Pieces of this iron meteorite aggregating 50 tons have been collected.

(Sawyer, Kathy; "Fireball a Mystery till Thaw," Charlotte Observer, December 22, 1997. Cr. G. Fawcett via L. Farish.)

Iron meteorites found on Disco Island
Three additional large iron meteorites found on Disco Island, Greenland, in 1870. Weights: 20, 10 and 5 tons. Disco Island is about 600 miles south-east of Kap York.

From Science Frontiers #116, MAR-APR 1998. 1998-2000 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