Fireball Meteor Account around age 10
Fireballs: meteors that are large enough to produce a fiery trail observable for several seconds to more than a minute- often bright enough to be clearly visible in broad daylight. In mythology: thought to be harbingers- signs or precursors of an event of profound significance, likely to come in the future. more parameters
When I was about 10 years old, I was riding my bicycle on a balmy late afternoon in my hometown of Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY and had just taken a shortcut on a dirt path connecting two streets and paused to recover from the jostling and glanced up the road to orient to my new path. At that instance in the sky just above the horizon I suddenly saw a fiery meteor streaking into view, in an almost horizontal path from right to left on a scale about a quarter the size of TV animations of the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs. It had all the characteristics of streaming trail of flaming particles and gases and at a similar speed and provided some 6 seconds to view its progress down to the point where its path was obscured by buildings that filled perhaps a third of the azamith- so I don't know if it vaporized in mid-sky or continued a path below the horizon.
I was overwhelmed and awed by the spectacle and remember asking God directly if this was a direction for some action I should take or a message about my destiny I should figure out. After a few moments- failing to receive any insight, I accepted the incident as of no mystical consequence and pedaled home. I had no formal belief worked out regarding religion but although I had been pretty skeptical of my Sunday school lessons from age 8 to 9, I remember regularly praying to God in my later adolescence that I marry a girl in my class named Charlotte Kearns- and live-happily-ever-after. I had a crush on her all during my last two years of grammar school- most likely due to a peaking of my years of trauma witnessing the abusive relationship of my poor mother from my alcoholic father.
I recently tried to find a match to a fireball record in various resources and the closest I could come was
Meteors and Meteorites: Meteor notes from the American Meteor Society; The New York Fireball of 1938 April 12. (click on link:
Full Refereed Journal Article - PDF/Postscript)
7:25 P.M. E.S.T. April 12, 1938
a brilliant fireball crossed central New York in a west-north-west direction, ending near Rochester. Average size compared to moon's diameter; 1/4 to 1/3.
Began over..................A=75 40'W O=42 33'N
Ended over..................A=77 27' O=43 03'
Sidereal time at end point..................129 (degrees)
Beginning height...................77.3km +-24.5km
End height.........................16.9 +-3.8
Length of path...................176
Projected length of path..........165
Observed geocentric velocity.......22km/sec for 8.0sec;
28km/sec for 6.3sec
Azimuth=291 (degees); altitude=20 (degrees)
a=188 (degrees); d= -2 (degrees)
Flower Observatory of the University of Pennsylvania
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, 1938 June 13
Although this date would correspond to the estimated age at which I experienced the fireball event I'd have to confirm that the observatory was on E.S.T. as stated in the report or on Eastern Daylight Savings Time like most of the North East and specifically NYC, Philadelphia, Rochester and New England (daylight savings time was officially scheduled to end Sept 25 but in 1938 it was extended one more week by the governors of Mass and Conn to allow workers to clear hurricane debris). This is critical because it would determine whether at 7:25 P.M. there is any possibility there was more than dusk sky light as I have the memory that the event occurred in a late-afternoon fully lit sky. See more confirmation that D.S.T. was in effect
My Day Eleanor Roosevelt April 28, 1938- "Again we are adjusting to standard time in Washington and daylight-saving time in New York."
Another issue is the report's "west northwest path in central NY ending in Rochester". Although it matches my right to left direction its path beginning about 100 miles from my location in RVC to central NY ending 250 miles in Rochester. If I had been looking Northward my sighting would be somewhat in line with the plane of its trajectory so its path would appear from my perspective to be a more vertical descent down through the atmosphere- as opposed to the almost horizontal path at right angles to my optical axis that I observed. Also would need expert opinion as to whether this event would have been visible from my locality in central Long Island, NY, 25 miles East of NYC.