It’s not a UFO, it’s a meteor flying past a skydiver!? (UPDATE: Doubt arises)

Two years ago, Anders Helstrup went skydiving near Hedmark, Norway and captured footage of a meteorite falling past him! After a project to look for the object, sadly, they never found it but this is a great story of a close call.

Norwegian Skydiver Almost Gets Hit by Falling Meteor — and Captures it on Film.

Helstrup has been searching with friends, family and volunteers after getting advice from experts from the Geological Museum in Oslo, Norwegian Space Centre and Norwegian meteor network, making painstaking efforts to pinpoint the location of where the meteorite fell.

Finding the rock would provide the definitive confirmation it really was a space rock that Helstrup captured on film. And in fact, it is Helstrup who might be most skeptical this was a meteor. There are experts who say there is no doubt.

“It can’t be anything else,” said geologist Hans Amundsen, quoted in the Norwegian publication NRK. “The shape is typical of meteorites – a fresh fracture surface on one side, while the other side is rounded.”

He didn’t notice the event until after reviewing the footage. There is hardly a better explanation of a rock falling through the sky. This has never been seen before. Neat stuff.

There have been at least 3 people reportedly hit by meteorites throughout history. The latest was 1954 in Alabama where a woman sitting in her house was injured by a space rock that crashed through her roof. There have been other claims that people were hit by small bits of space rock. But nothing the size documented in this Norwegian account.

From NASA Goddard Images

From NASA Goddard Images

UPDATE: There is considerable doubt about the authenticity of this claim.

SkyLights: Why the Norwegian “Skydiving Meteorite” came from Earth, not from Space.

There is a case to be made for this to be a hoax, a rock used by the skydiver.

UPDATE (10-Apr-2014) Or maybe it was a camera illusion caused by a hitchhiker. Skydiving meteorite: Was it an object from space, or just a rock?.

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  5 comments for “It’s not a UFO, it’s a meteor flying past a skydiver!? (UPDATE: Doubt arises)

  1. John Nowak
    April 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    It’s horrible of me, but I was wondering what if he had been hit and how the accident investigation would have gone down even before they mentioned it in the video.

    Really, amazing stuff.

  2. Kevin
    April 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Thanks for sharing that Sharon. Great post. I only wish they could have found it.

  3. April 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    I’m reminded of Skylab’s re-entry which was a Big Deal at the time, and despite NASA’s aiming attempt, parts of it hit populated areas:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab#Re-entry

  4. Valerie
    April 6, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Obviously not a meteor, but I don’t think that this is a deliberate hoax. I’m not sure of what the landing area/packing area is like, but it’s not unlikely for someone to accidentally pack a rock in their parachute. People have accidentally packed much worse than a rock before! It could have been his parachute, or it could have even been someone else’s parachute/rig. If he didn’t expect to see a rock on opening, I could easily see him getting all excited and wanting to sell his “bad ass” Go Pro video.

  5. One Eyed Jack
    April 10, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Phil Plait has being following this rather closely. In his most recent update, he believes the evidence supports the idea of a rock packed with the parachute.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/04/08/skydiving_meteorite_it_was_a_rock.html

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