What hit an Ohio man’s car? Meteorite?

Sadly, there is no physical piece of what hit the car.

Kettering man says meteorite hit his car | Dayton, OH News | www.whio.com.

A Kettering man believes a meteorite hit his car early Sunday morning.
Joe Massa said he was driving home in the center lane on I-75 North when his Buick was struck by something around 2 a.m.

Massa said there was a big flash when it hit.
“It was like a silent pop,” Massa said, “then there was pressure in the car. I could feel pressure in my ears, like the air had changed in the car, in a split second.”

He pulled over immediately and confirmed that the bumper was struck in a downward motion. There is no word on finding any piece of rock that may have been the culprit. But I would have looked pretty hard. This was 2AM so it seems less likely that a piece of something was flung from another vehicle or kids were throwing rocks are cars (stupid but happens). It’s not impossible that the car was struck by an object from space but there isn’t enough info in this article to say with certainty that it was.

A local news person (possibly meteorologist) notes that it could have been related to the weekend’s meteor shower.
JoeMassaMeterorite

Has anyone suggested that Bigfoot was throwing rocks at him? Ok, that is less plausible… to me at least.

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  8 comments for “What hit an Ohio man’s car? Meteorite?

  1. David James
    May 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Worst insurance claim scam EVER! :-)

  2. Indrid Cole
    May 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    The pressure change is the really weird part, can’t figure that out.

    • Blargh
      May 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      If the cabin was punctured, that’d explain it (if you try rolling down a window at speed, you’ll notice an almost painful pressure change). Hard to tell from a single small photo from the wrong angle if that’s the case, though.
      Off the top of my head, I could also imagine a hood impact transmitting a pressure wave through the air vents. Again, hard to say without more details.

      As for the “big flash”, I’d wager that was from his headlight(s) being smashed.

  3. Lewis Francis
    May 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    If it was a meteorite strike, would a pressure wave resulting from the speed of the striking meteorite through the atmosphere explain that pressure change?

    • Blargh
      May 28, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Lewis: not really. A meteorite small enough to only do that little damage would have reached terminal velocity.[1] Kinetically speaking, at that point it’s basically indistinguishable from a rock dropped off a tall building. If it had enough KE to not be in “dark flight”, it would rather produce this kind of damage.

      My guess is that this was a common rock, most likely thrown off by another vehicle. The damage is indistinguishable from one anyway (remember: damage in a collision is all about relative velocity, and he was driving at highway speed).

      [1] http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~museum/meteorite.html

  4. Lagaya1
    May 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    although I guess it’s possible, I’d say the more likely explanation is that he was intoxicated, hit someone’s parked car, needed an excuse for the dent in his car…meteor!

  5. joe
    May 28, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    bird strike

  6. Haldurson
    May 28, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    That’s an awfully big dent. I was going to suggest that the tires of a nearby truck had probably flung up a rock, as I’ve experienced that. In my case, it made a hole in the windshield, kind of like a bullet. But that dent is much larger. A meteor seems unlikely, but the whole incident itself seems unlikely. Still, kids causing mischief, or the driver actually hitting something in the road that he did not notice, seem a lot more plausible

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