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JIM: A Disturbance in the Elements

A ball of fire, about the the size of a nail keg, flashed over the Adair County Courthouse on April 9, 1919. Many might surmise what the ball of fire was, probably more than remember the size of a nail keg. Jim gives a report from the science journal of the day, the Columbia weekly paper
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By JIM

The following article appeared on page one of the April 16, 1919 Adair County News. "Last Wednesday" referred to April 9th.

An Unusual Sight

Last Wednesday, about the noon hour, there was an unusual sight in the elements, attracting the attention of many Columbians.

It was a ball of fire, about the size of a nail keg, and it was first observed passing over the cupola of the court-house. It was closely watched, but after it passed over Russell & Co.'s store it was lost from view, and immediately after losing sight of it there was a loud explosion, jarring the windows in a number of homes in Columbia. It its trail it left a long white streak that looked very much like smoke.

Various opinions have been advanced as to what it was, but it is generally believed to have been a Meteor. Just where it fell has not been revealed, but when it did fall it exploded and the rumbling noise, like thunder, was heard all over Adair County.
- Adair County News, April 16, 1919

This local celestial event apparently precursed a similar event a few hours later. The "Kentucky Geological Survey," Fact Sheet No. 6 (February 1997), in an article about Kentucky meteorites, remarked that:

"A meteor was observed over Tennessee and Kentucky on the night of April 9, 1919. The meteor produced a sound heard from Tennessee to Lexington, Ky. One fragment was discovered at Sawyer, near Cumberland Falls in southeastern Kentucky. It weighed 24.5 kilograms (54 pounds). The main mass of the meteorite remains undiscovered and may lie in Pulaski County."

Compiled by JIM.



This story was posted on 2014-04-11 12:38:30
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