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Washington Fireball
July 23, 2004

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 19:34:12 EDT

A massive meteor, trailing orange and yellow fire, apparently plunged to or near to earth in the lower Yakima Valley of Central Washington State at 1 A.M.Thursday morning, July 21. Eyewitnesses report a long trail of fire stretching out for what may have been many miles behind it. One witness, who had stepped outside to smoke a cigarette, reports that she was so stunned she dropped the smoke and ran back into the house, only to remember that the fire in the sky was not the only fire concern! She returned and extinguished the cigarette! Reports of this fireball are that it blazed across the sky in a northwest to southeast direction.

Some residents reportedly remain convinced that it impacted somewhere in the Rattlesnake hills, south of the Lower Yakima Valley. There have been no reports of any impact discovery. This latest report of a large meteor crossing the Washington skies, comes hard on the heels of the June 3 meteor explosion over the city of Seattle. That particular event lit the night sky like a huge bomb.

The light from the explosion was seen 200 miles away in Northern Idaho. Subsequently, the very next day, south central Washington was rocked by a large magnitude double explosion that approximated the event in Seattle. Due to the sun, no meteor trace was actually seen. Night skies over Washington State have been unusually active on a variety of levels. The meteor count has been consistently high nearly every night since early June. In the last several weeks, this correspondent has calculated an average of one small meteor every other minute, all night long for weeks on end.

Despite a dearth of reporting on these and other recent anomalies in Washington skies, they are readily visible for anyone who makes the effort to remain out side on a clear night.