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Was Allentown, PA struck by an asteroid fragment?

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posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 09:20 PM
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Picking up from where my previous post left off...


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
I'd also like to note that you posted your rebuttal without addressing any of my original points,
then flatly declared that a natural gas explosion was the most likely explanation,


In an Ideal world I would have addressed all of your points, but it's not, and my time is limited. As it was, I came into this thread to add to this thread and based on the points I made I stated:


Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
I don't know what it was, but a gas explosion sounds a lot more plausible than an asteroid impact to me.


No where did "flatly declare" anything. I don't really see what is wrong in saying that I thought it was more likely to be caused by a gas leak, having brought up those initial issues which in my opinion cast serious doubt on it being a meteor.

That, and from the source you posted


"We don't know if it was the main, we don't know if it was the service line, if it was inside the house, outside the house," Kocher said. "It's all very preliminary at this point."


Which sounds like the may not know exactly what part of the gas mains/pipe system went up, although gas is suspected...


The cause of the explosion was unclear. The state Public Utility Commission is investigating and looking for any violations of state or federal law, said agency spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.


So they also think tampering or negligence may be a possibility...


"I've never seen anything like that. It's a crater in the earth the size of two homes," Casey said moments after his tour. "It reminds us not only of the tragedy that happened there, but that there are consequences to allowing our underground infrastructure to deteriorate.

Source: philly.com

So the infrastructure is deteriorating... It's not "that" unlikely that gas may have played a part from the sound of it. Also, I've looked through the links you provided in your original post, and I see nothing that indicates that a meteor may have caused this explosion.

As I have pointed out previously, meteors capable of doing damage on the ground are exceptionally rare, and we have no record of one ever having done something like this in recent history... yes we have smaller fireball class meteoroids, which hit the Earth all the time, but the vast majority of these are consumed completely by our atmosphere, which is surprisingly efficient at completely "vaporizing" rock even up to the 5 meter range. Once in a while we get one that is big enough for some pieces to survive, but those fragments are slowed down at high altitude, and reach the ground falling at free-fall velocity, having been falling for a few minutes since they stopped ablating/glowing.

Still, I'll try and respond with some thoughts to your original points:



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
1) A routine leak-detection check of the gas main that serves the area on the day before the explosion found no problems.


They might have checked the main itself, but what if the fault was just off the main? Perhaps it was a sloppy check and they missed something? Perhaps the check itself caused the leak? There was a full day after the check for something to go wrong, and for plenty of gas to build up, so it is possible.



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
4) At least one resident heard a "series of booms" that she couldn't locate:


Dorothy Yanett, 65, has lived on the block for nearly 40 years. She was in her living room with her husband awaiting the evening news when she heard a series of booms, she said.

"I couldn't tell where it was coming from," she said. "Everything falling and crashing, glass, just a nightmare."

She found glass in the shoes she was going to put to leave the house.

"There was no odor, there was no smell. Then it was like all hell broke loose."

www.courierpostonline.com...


And you wouldn't expect to hear "booms" if there was an explosion? Either a meteor or gas could cause booms... hearing booms does not somehow make something that is unlikely more likely, when all the evidence seems to be pointing to gas at the cause, albeit where the gas leaked from is unknown.


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
5) A 17-year-old neighbor described seeing a brief yellow glow in the house just before it exploded:


"Everything turned yellow," Sheila Guzman of 1239 Allen St. said in Spanish. "It was not a small light. It was the whole house. Then [there was] an explosion so big and everything was gone."

www.mcall.com...


Not sure why this would make it any more likely to be a meteorite, for the same reasons as I gave above.


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
6) The explosion left an enormous crater in the ground. After touring the site, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said, "I've never seen anything like that. It's a crater in the earth the size of two homes."

www.philly.com...


It sounds to me like gas must have seeped into two adjoining basements... it's not very clear, and I'm no expert on gas explosions.


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
7) On Feb. 9, 2011 -- the day of the explosion -- this message appeared on NASA's Spaceweather site:


CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A VW-BUG: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 CA7 is flying past Earth today only 63,000 miles away, or 1/4th the distance to the Moon. At closest approach around 1930 UT on Feb. 9th, the VW-Bug-sized space rock will zip through the constellation Orion glowing like a 17th magnitude star.


As I said in my second post to this thread, asteroid 2011 CA7 was too far away to be connected with this. Lots of objects of this size harmlessly pass by Earth all the time, and the occasional ones that do hit are either completely consumed in the atmosphere, or end up as small fragments harmlessly falling to the ground (or in the sea). This size class of rock poses no threat to us, and the bigger ones that could reach down to the ground are so few and far between, that this one would have to have been the first such recorded event in modern history.

The fact that this "once in 20 life times meteor" hit an urban area where there are gas mains, when it could have chosen the countryside which makes up a much greater part of the country, points to it being a man made explosion, but my main niggle with this being a meteorite that made it down to the ground, then why why did no one in surrounding towns, counties, states not see anything?

It was not that late either. A good few hours before the South Africa event, which was seen from hundreds of miles away. It's extremely hard to believe that something this large was not seen outside of that local area. All I can tell you with 99.9% certainty is that this could not have been a meteorite, for that reason alone. I have not seen any other evidence that suggests this was a meteorite? None of the reports mentioned anything that suggests meteorite over a man made explosion to me.








Originally posted by GoldenFleece
Seven strange facts about the suspected natural gas explosion that killed five people, damaged or destroyed 47 homes and was heard up to eight miles away:

1) A routine leak-detection check of the gas main that serves the area on the day before the explosion found no problems.

2) There was no history of leaks for that section of 12-inch cast-iron main, there had been no recent construction in the area and there were no calls about gas odors in the month prior to the explosion.

3) People who lived near the blast site described a feeling that all of the air had been sucked out of the room just before the explosion.

4) At least one resident heard a "series of booms" that she couldn't locate:


Dorothy Yanett, 65, has lived on the block for nearly 40 years. She was in her living room with her husband awaiting the evening news when she heard a series of booms, she said.

"I couldn't tell where it was coming from," she said. "Everything falling and crashing, glass, just a nightmare."

She found glass in the shoes she was going to put to leave the house.

"There was no odor, there was no smell. Then it was like all hell broke loose."

www.courierpostonline.com...

5) A 17-year-old neighbor described seeing a brief yellow glow in the house just before it exploded:


"Everything turned yellow," Sheila Guzman of 1239 Allen St. said in Spanish. "It was not a small light. It was the whole house. Then [there was] an explosion so big and everything was gone."

www.mcall.com...

6) The explosion left an enormous crater in the ground. After touring the site, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said, "I've never seen anything like that. It's a crater in the earth the size of two homes."

www.philly.com...

7) On Feb. 9, 2011 -- the day of the explosion -- this message appeared on NASA's Spaceweather site:


CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A VW-BUG: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 CA7 is flying past Earth today only 63,000 miles away, or 1/4th the distance to the Moon. At closest approach around 1930 UT on Feb. 9th, the VW-Bug-sized space rock will zip through the constellation Orion glowing like a 17th magnitude star.




Originally posted by GoldenFleece
Seven strange facts about the suspected natural gas explosion that killed five people, damaged or destroyed 47 homes and was heard up to eight miles away:

1) A routine leak-detection check of the gas main that serves the area on the day before the explosion found no problems.

2) There was no history of leaks for that section of 12-inch cast-iron main, there had been no recent construction in the area and there were no calls about gas odors in the month prior to the explosion.

3) People who lived near the blast site described a feeling that all of the air had been sucked out of the room just before the explosion.

4) At least one resident heard a "series of booms" that she couldn't locate:


Dorothy Yanett, 65, has lived on the block for nearly 40 years. She was in her living room with her husband awaiting the evening news when she heard a series of booms, she said.

"I couldn't tell where it was coming from," she said. "Everything falling and crashing, glass, just a nightmare."

She found glass in the shoes she was going to put to leave the house.

"There was no odor, there was no smell. Then it was like all hell broke loose."

www.courierpostonline.com...

5) A 17-year-old neighbor described seeing a brief yellow glow in the house just before it exploded:


"Everything turned yellow," Sheila Guzman of 1239 Allen St. said in Spanish. "It was not a small light. It was the whole house. Then [there was] an explosion so big and everything was gone."

www.mcall.com...

6) The explosion left an enormous crater in the ground. After touring the site, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said, "I've never seen anything like that. It's a crater in the earth the size of two homes."

www.philly.com...

7) On Feb. 9, 2011 -- the day of the explosion -- this message appeared on NASA's Spaceweather site:


CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A VW-BUG: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 CA7 is flying past Earth today only 63,000 miles away, or 1/4th the distance to the Moon. At closest approach around 1930 UT on Feb. 9th, the VW-Bug-sized space rock will zip through the constellation Orion glowing like a 17th magnitude star.



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
Seven strange facts about the suspected natural gas explosion that killed five people, damaged or destroyed 47 homes and was heard up to eight miles away:

1) A routine leak-detection check of the gas main that serves the area on the day before the explosion found no problems.

2) There was no history of leaks for that section of 12-inch cast-iron main, there had been no recent construction in the area and there were no calls about gas odors in the month prior to the explosion.

3) People who lived near the blast site described a feeling that all of the air had been sucked out of the room just before the explosion.

4) At least one resident heard a "series of booms" that she couldn't locate:


Dorothy Yanett, 65, has lived on the block for nearly 40 years. She was in her living room with her husband awaiting the evening news when she heard a series of booms, she said.

"I couldn't tell where it was coming from," she said. "Everything falling and crashing, glass, just a nightmare."

She found glass in the shoes she was going to put to leave the house.

"There was no odor, there was no smell. Then it was like all hell broke loose."

www.courierpostonline.com...

5) A 17-year-old neighbor described seeing a brief yellow glow in the house just before it exploded:


"Everything turned yellow," Sheila Guzman of 1239 Allen St. said in Spanish. "It was not a small light. It was the whole house. Then [there was] an explosion so big and everything was gone."

www.mcall.com...

6) The explosion left an enormous crater in the ground. After touring the site, U.S. Senator Bob Casey said, "I've never seen anything like that. It's a crater in the earth the size of two homes."

www.philly.com...

7) On Feb. 9, 2011 -- the day of the explosion -- this message appeared on NASA's Spaceweather site:


CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A VW-BUG: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 CA7 is flying past Earth today only 63,000 miles away, or 1/4th the distance to the Moon. At closest approach around 1930 UT on Feb. 9th, the VW-Bug-sized space rock will zip through the constellation Orion glowing like a 17th magnitude star.




posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by GoldenFleece
To be honest, I'm tired of the numerous debunkers on this site -- some of whom are absolutely pseudoskeptics and professional disinformationists -- who immediately jump all over every thread that suggests an alternative theory, cover-up or conspiracy. If this is the way they feel about EVERY topic, then why do they spend all their free time on a conspiracy site? Why aren't they at JREF or BAUT forums? I don't believe in organized religion, but I'm not gonna spend every waking moment on Christian websites arguing with true believers.


I'm not here to debunk random threads just because they are conspiracies... but when I see something that does not make sense on here I will point that out. I tend only to post about areas that I am familiar with, and I also have contributed threads about meteors/fireballs in the past, so why should I have any particular agenda with your thread, or any other for that?

I am just trying to post the facts here as they are related to meteors, and let others decide for themselves what it was. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to about this event at the end of the day, but as someone who has studied meteors, i can only say what I think it is based on my experience.



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
As for the accusation that I'm employing some kind of tactic or already have my mind made up, that's simply not true. I considered my reply to be possible explanations in support of an original hypothesis which is by no means conclusive or definitive. But how sympathetic should I be towards someone who doesn't even acknowledge my original points? BTW, I have relatives in Allentown, which is why questions and doubts about the official explanation from ATS member burntheships in her thread caught my attention.


Well, the evidence I have posted speaks for itself IMHO For your meteorite theory to work, as I said above, it would have had to be seen over a much larger area - meteors don't suddenly brighten when they are close to the ground, or rather, a big one would be very visible at high altitude (50 km+), which is way above any pollution or cloud.

With all due respect, if you can't accept that your meteorite theory has that fatal flaw in it, and you are still hanging onto it, then that makes it look like you came in here with your mind made up on the subject.



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by GoldenFleece
While doing some research on the sounds made by meteors, I came across a thread that described you as "the resident expert on meteors." If I had known who you were, I wouldn't have been so dismissive. Matter of fact, I probably would've solicited your opinion.



Thanks. I'm always happy to offer my opinion on events of this nature especially.


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
Before this thread is finished, I'm gonna earn your respect and prove there's validity to my allegations.



That's admirable, but unless some important new evidence turns up, I can't see myself changing my opinion of this not being anything meteor related. Just the same, I'll be happy to listen to whatever else you can say on the issue.



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
On Feb. 10, 2011, the very next night after the Allentown explosion, there was another purported natural gas explosion in Hanoverton, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border. But this time, there's only an AP story:



Yes, I noticed the thread the other night... but since it seems to involve a confirmed gas leak, if anything I think this hurts your argument that the previous event was a meteor, or at the very least it seems irrelevant to this event we are talking about here. Perhaps I am missing your point in posting it though...



Originally posted by GoldenFleece
Hoppel said he observed the sky ''all lit up'' from the county seat in Lisbon, about 20 miles from the scene of the blast. Others up to 40 miles away reported seeing a glow, he said.

Company spokesman Richard Wheatley said an investigation is under way.

The explosion involved a 36-inch, buried transmission line that dates to the 1960s and carries natural gas through the region, he said. Mechanisms in the section that ''failed'' automatically shut off the segment and the residual gas burned off, he said.

www.ohio.com...

So the sky was "all lit up" 20 miles from the scene of the explosion and there was a "glow" in the sky 40 miles away?


Hardly surprising, as a bright fire/explosion on the ground would light up the clouds above... just like a forest fire. You can see those for similar distances, but if it was a meteor, I woulds still expect people much further away to have seen it



Originally posted by GoldenFleece

And people could hear a "cracking" or whooshing sound like a blowtorch from 20-25 miles away?

In addition to the incredible distances, does any of this sound familiar?


What do you think?




Firstly, good on you for doing some digging and posting those quotes. Those are interesting sounds they heard, but it does not sound as if they were describing electrophonic sounds that are produced by meteors to me. Both my partner and myself have heard electrophonic sounds, and agree that the descriptions you posted do not tally with what we have heard. I have never encountered a report of whooshing sounds like a blowtorch associated with a meteor either.

IMHO a whooshing sound like a blowtorch sounds more like a noise a gas pipe that's on fire would make...I guess a big pipe like the one that was on fire would make a surprising amount of noise and could be heard fro quite a distance.

Even if these sounds were heard in connection with the second incident, are there any reports of sounds like this in connection with the other incident? If not I fail to see why this bolsters your case for the first event being a meteorite?

I'll check in again if I get some spare time in the next few days to see if you can find anything to bolster your idea that this could have been a meteorite, but I think all the evidence is pointing somewhere away from meteorite at the moment,



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 

OMG, those weren't replies, that was a doctoral dissertation! The theory I'm offering isn't important enough to spend that kind of time and effort crafting massive rebuttals with line-by-line dissections of every post. It's overkill, not to mention kind of annoying...


Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
Yes, I noticed the thread the other night... but since it seems to involve a confirmed gas leak, if anything I think this hurts your argument that the previous event was a meteor, or at the very least it seems irrelevant to this event we are talking about here.

Please be accurate. Nothing has been "confirmed."


DUNGANNON - Officials say it may take months before they know what caused Thursday night's major gas pipeline explosion...

In addition to this misrepresentation, I'm a little disappointed by your analysis. I'm not sure what kind of natural gas explosion you think could "light up the sky" 40 miles away and be widely heard from similar distances. Do you know how loud these "whooshing" and "crackling" sounds would have to be for them to be heard that far away? Since when have these increasingly common "natural gas explosions" become mini-Armageddons?

You claim that you've never encountered a blowtorch "whooshing" sound being associated with meteors, but a poster on a thread about meteor sounds that you responded to said exactly that:


...it sounded like someone put a blow torch up to my ear.

and the 2nd time [seeing a meteor] it was further away and sounded more like a roaring fire, almost like a blacksmiths fire, you know how fire gets wooshing when air is forced into the fire. i forget the terminology but if youve ever heard a super strong fire, you know the sound.

As for the "crackling" sounds that were heard at great distances from the Ohio explosion, that's one of the most common electrophonic sounds associated with meteors. Last month, a Maryland man claimed that he found meteor fragments after hearing crackling sounds overhead:


Md. man says he found meteor fragments
By Washington Post editors
January 4, 2011

A Frederick man who witnessed a falling meteor last week said he has found parts of it.

Al LaBrush was walking out of Danielle's restaurant in Frederick on Tuesday night when he said he heard a crackling, popping sound. He looked up and saw a white, sparkling meteor about 1,500 to 3,000 feet away, going from the south to the east/northeast, he said. Several others in the area reported seeing a meteor about the same time, around 6:50 p.m. Tuesday.

Two days later, he went out to look for fragments of the meteor and said he found several.

voices.washingtonpost.com...

And finally, please note that your Archive of Fireball Data Releases hasn't been updated since DoD announced that they would no longer make satellite tracking data of fireballs publicly available. Astronomers say they can't imagine why this information has suddenly become classified.

But I have my suspicions...


edit on 2/20/2011 by GoldenFleece because: grammar



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by GoldenFleece
reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 

OMG, those weren't replies, that was a doctoral dissertation! The theory I'm offering isn't important enough to spend that kind of time and effort creating massive rebuttals with line-by-line dissections. It's overkill, not to mention kind of annoying...


First you say I ignore your points, then when I do what you ask you say it's annoying?




Originally posted by GoldenFleece

You claim that you've never heard a blowtorch-like "whooshing" sound being associated with meteors, but a poster on a thread about meteor sounds that you responded to said exactly that:


Link please.



Originally posted by GoldenFleece

...it sounded like someone put a blow torch up to my ear.

and the 2nd time [seeing a meteor] it was further away and sounded more like a roaring fire, almost like a blacksmiths fire, you know how fire gets wooshing when air is forced into the fire. i forget the terminology but if youve ever heard a super strong fire, you know the sound.



I've read lots of reports over the years, and I can't remember reading that one, but then my memory is not perfect.


Originally posted by GoldenFleece
As for the "crackling" sounds that were heard from great distances during the Ohio explosion, that's one of the most common electrophonic sounds reported when meteors pass by. Last month, a Maryland man claims that he found meteor fragments after hearing crackling sounds overhead:


The sounds I heard resembled "crackling", so I am well aware of this, but in the reports of the second gas fire, I read no reports of any "crackling". There was however one report of "cracking", which is a completely different sound.

Either way, what gas this got to do with the original event that this thread is about?

Or are you now saying that there were 2 asteroid fragments and two events that just "happened to hit gas mains" in the same small area a few days apart... the chances of that happening are truly astronomical, and the chances that no one saw the fireball in both cases even more so.

On the other hand, isn't it just a bit more likely that since these incidents occurred in the vicinity of gas mains (which were described as being ""), that gas is actually the cause?

Either way, you can believe what you want... you can believe it was godzilla if you like... I'm not wasting any more of my time coming into this thread, which IMO should be moved to the Skunkworks Forum.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 03:36 PM
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In my previous post, it should have read:

(which were described as "deteriorating")



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