The news broke earlier yesterday, but after it became the top story on the Drudge Report, reports of a massive fireball skirting through the sky over the Northwest became the top news item in several major media outlets. The event, whatever its source, was said to cause “night to become day” for a few moments late Wednesday night.

Some reports, such as those issued by CNN, described the event as being longer, at close to fifteen minutes. From various perspectives, what was presumed to be a meteor presented a brilliant flare of light, eventually breaking into several pieces. If the bright object in question was indeed a meteor, these fragments are believed to have landed somewhere near Livingston, Wisconsin.

Similar fragments found in the Park Forest area in 2003 were worth an estimated $500,000, hence retrieval of the fragmented meteor shards will be sought out over the next few days… but can we be certain what was seen was actually a meteor?

According to WGN TV out of Chicago, lucky rock seekers hope to strike gold… or rather, various other minerals present in said space rock. “But there is a chance they could uncover nothing at all. Whatever zipped across the sky Wednesday night may not be a meteor at all. It could be fallen space junk.”

Space debris (i.e. fragments of dislocated components of satellites and other man-made objects) do sometimes enter Earth’s atmosphere, and due to their metallic and highly reflective qualities, these are also frequently mistaken for unidentified craft capable of “flashing,” a phenomenon that occurs as metallic debris in orbit above Earth catches light of the sun as they rotate along their orbit path, sometimes causing the illusion of bright, sudden flashes that disappear quickly. Such phenomenon is often associated with alleged extraterrestrial movement above Earth by stargazers and UFO buffs alike.

The verdict may still be out on yesterday’s Northwestern Fireball, but in the meantime here are several links with video and commentary on the event:

CNN Fireball Report

Meteor Lights Up Midwest

WISN Footage and Report

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at