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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 61�25' N., 44�26' 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