Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

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
Click on headline for complete story


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
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.