Celestial Conundrum: NASA Investigates Enigmatic Sky Flash and Thunderous Roar in Minnesota, Defying Meteorological Explanation - Media News 48

Celestial Conundrum: NASA Investigates Enigmatic Sky Flash and Thunderous Roar in Minnesota, Defying Meteorological Explanation

Minnesota residents across a 50-mile radius reported seeing a bright flash and a thunderous ‘sonic boom’ in the sky over Beltrami County Monday night — and now a NASA astronomer and a local astrophysics professor are on the case.

The American Space Agency analyzed footage from an airport that captured a ‘horizontal’ object streak across the sky when the boom rattled windows and shook homes.

And a meteorites specialist believes the object was the size of a refrigerator and hit the atmosphere at a speed between 30,000 to 130,000 miles per hour.

DailyMail.com spoke with Beltrami County Emergency Management, which revealed that the sonic boom was too close to the ground to be a meteor – ‘at least not ones that don’t cause regional devastation.’

NASA analyzed footage from an airport that captured a ‘horizontal’ object streak across the sky when the boom rattled windows and shook homes

DailyMail.com obtained an email from Juan Cabanela, a local physicist studying Monday’s mysterious event, which states the timing of the boom suggests the object was, at least, no ordinary meteor.

‘I still don’t know what it was,’ Professor Cabanela shared in the email, ‘but I was fairly confident it couldn’t be a meteor.’

Aside from the local witnesses to the bright flash and the thunderous boom, three videos were obtained by Chris Muller, director of Beltrami County Emergency Management.

The first was a security video from a private residence in Nymore, south of Lake Bemidji.

Muller told DailyMail.com the video ‘clearly shows a very bright white/blue flash over the sky,’ followed by the thunderous boom 2.95 seconds later.

The second video, which came from the Bemidji Regional Airport four miles to the northwest of Nymore, shows what appears to be a blindingly fast white streak zoom past the airport.

‘This video was provided to an astronomer and a scientist from NASA,’ according to Muller.

The one key video, which came from the Bemidji Regional Airport four miles to the northwest of Nymore, shows what appears to be a blindingly fast white streak zoom past the airport

‘They analyzed the video frame by frame and determined the object is too horizontal to indicate it was a meteor,’ he said. ‘It is undetermined if the two videos are related.’

Beltrami County Emergency Management is also actively exploring the possibility of an exploding transformer in the power grid, but local utilities have yet to report such an incident days later.

Muller has reviewed additional footage from the airport’s camera, from Monday night and at times during the day, and now suspects the object could be prosaically explained.

‘There’s nothing that would have been interfering with the video camera, such as a wire or something like that reflecting light,’ the emergency management director told DailyMail.com in a telephone interview.

‘But one obvious thing is that bugs were flying around,’ he said.

‘And there were other bugs before that one. And it just so coincided that the timestamp on that was the exact same time as the other reports.’

Running the video at one-quarter and one-tenth playback speed, Muller assessed that the airport streak could very likely be an insect made visible by a bright spotlight closer to the camera.

‘You’ll notice it does not go past the pole,’ Muller said. ‘So it’s probable that that bug just landed on that pole.’

Chris Muller, director of Beltrami County Emergency Management, has reviewed additional footage from the airport’s camera, from Monday night and at times during the day, and is now suspects the object could be prosaically explained. ‘There were bugs flying around,’ he said.

But while emergency management continues to pursue a terrestrial explanation, Craig Zlimen, the owner of science collectibles company Minnesota Meteorites, believes that the meteorite theory can’t yet be ruled out. Zlimen said such a meteor could sell for ‘thousands’ per gram

Ring doorbell footage captured the moment the bright emerald orb soared over the horizon at 4:30am on July 14 in the city of Gretna, just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

The timing of the apparent flight path seen at Bemidji Regional Airport, compared to the security footage in Nymore, was still another sign that the event was likely not a meteor on a consistent trajectory and acceleration — according to Muller’s consultation with NASA astronomer and others.

While that does not rule out the controlled maneuvers of a controlled craft, Muller said that Beltrami County Emergency Management is not investigating the incident as a flying saucer case.

‘I don’t think it was a UFO in the sense of aliens,’ Muller told DailyMail.com, ‘and don’t want to sound that I do.’

The multiple reports of the flash bright in the sky Monday night, he said, have not yet been corroborated with evidence of a flying object, despite his best efforts.

‘If it was anything that would have been airborne, it should have been picked up by radars,’ Muller said. ‘We did check with the [National] Weather Service, and they didn’t have anything on the radar. They also did not have any lightning detected.’

‘So, we’re actually leaning towards that this was something that was on or near the ground.’

And, the third video, an ‘all sky cam’ stationed about 15 miles west of Bemidji ‘saw no indication of meteor,’ according to the local resident who operates it, David Bainbridge, bolstering the ground-based explanation for now.

But while emergency management continues to pursue a terrestrial explanation, Craig Zlimen, the owner of the science collectibles company Minnesota Meteorites, believes that the meteorite theory can’t yet be ruled out.

Zilmen told the local CBS affiliate WCCO-TV that he thinks a meteor hit the atmosphere somewhere above Minnesota.

It would be a valuable rarity if true, he told CBS.

‘Minnesota only has nine confirmed meteorites ever found in the state,’ Zlimen said.

‘Depending on the size,’ he estimated, ‘they could go anywhere from a few dollars a gram up to thousands of dollars per gram.’

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