I was 9 in 1967 and I think I saw a huge asteroid in the sky

Or around 1967. I was wondering if anyone could help me identify this memory I have. I was playing with a bunch of kids in my front yard near Washington DC. As near as I can remember, I was about 9. And looking at Google Maps, I think I was facing almost due east. It was early summer maybe? We all looked up into the sky and I swear I remember this huge orange boulder-like thing moving through the sky heading east, north east. It was so big and looked so close in the sky. I thought whatever it was must be heading to a field near my house.
But the next part of the memory is that the next day someone told me it was an asteroid and it landed in Canada.
That’s my memory. Can anybody help me identify the time, whether my memory is accurate and what the hell it was I saw in the sky?

An estimated 500 meteors survive reentry and strike the earth each year. Your fireball was probably an exciting yet otherwise unnotable one of these.

In the mid 90’s I was sailing off Cape Hatteras and in the evening twilight saw a long, green, streak across the sky. It looked like a huge firework sue to the greenish color. The guy who was with me on deck was facing towards me and did not see it as it was behind him. I wish I could know more but,as Fear Itself says, it is probably nothing out of the ordinary.

There was a big meteor sighting in April of 1966 over DC and much of the East Coast. It’s suggested that it landed somewhere in Canada/Vermont/Northern NY.

That was the only one that made the Washington Post in 1966-68.

When I was a kid in Baltimore, I was too old for it to be 1967…possibly 1970? How old are you in 3rd grade?

Anyway, one night I saw a spectacular bolide meteor cross the entire sky. It was much remarked-on in the papers the next day, and certainly it’s possible it could have been seen from Washington, DC. It was white-with-a-blue-halo like a mercury vapor streetlamp, and left a long orange or red tail in the sky before brekaing into fraghments near the horizon. Competely silent. I was in 3rd-4th grade at the time, I believe, and I was absolutely sure it was a bolide meteor the moment I saw it (I was a sciency kid).

My date estimation could be a bit off, but could your sighting have been 69-72, say?

Wot? No link?

The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball.

The Washington Post article can’t be linked to unless you have access to Proquest Historical Papers.

The 1972 fireball wasn’t even mentioned in the WaPo.

I’m in no way certain of the date except that that my memory is of being in elementary school. In 1972, I was 14, almost in high school, and far less likely to be spending time playing in my front yard and far more likely to be sneaking out of my second story bedroom to go party.
Other than that, this sounds kind of likely.

Quoth sailor:

That one, at least, is probably identifiable: The Peekskill Meteor, on Friday, October 9, 1992, seen by many in the eastern US who noted its bright green color. It was a tremendous stroke of luck that it fell on a Friday evening in October, since many people were outside with camcorders at high school football games, and it was therefore caught on tape from over 20 different locations, making it one of only a very small number of meteors to ever have its entire trajectory plotted. It eventually hit a parked car in Peekskill, NY, hence the name.

Would it have been visible on the west coast as well? One of the biggest mysteries of my childhood was something I saw which would be totally consistent with that time frame. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that 1967 would be exactly spot-on. I was in my backyard when I saw something streak across the sky in broad daylight. I was standing right here. I heard a noise and looked up to see an object which resembled the Sun moving through the sky heading more or less due south. It subtended about half a degree of arc, and had the backlit appearance that the Sun has if you stare at it. At first my five-year-oldish mind thought that the Sun was falling out of the sky. It took about 4 or 5 seconds to cross the sky from roughly direct overhead until it vanished at the horizon. The weirdest thing about it was that it made a classic, Hollywood-style Doppler shifted bomb-drop whistle as it fell. What the hell did I see?

OK, help me with this one. It was the summer of 1976 or 1977 probably between June 15 and July 10. I saw a fireball arc entirely across the sky accompanied by a rather frightening whistling sound. It was particularly spectacular because I was working in Yosemite Valley and it pretty much made a glowing trail from canyon wall to canyon wall. It was big enough so it probably could have been seen anywhere in the California central valley or more.

Wow, I thought it was so unlikely that it could be identified that I did not even think of trying.

I found http://uregina.ca/~astro/mb_5.html which shows the trajectory was mainly over Pennsylvania which means I would have to be further north than I was remembering but it is possible because we did sail during that time in that area. I will have to see if I can somehow confirm our sail records but the description and time of day certainly match. Thanks!

Nope. It was only visible as far inland as W.Va. probably.

I have a vivid memory of an event very similar to your description occurring on a warm, summer evening in Michigan. I can’t be certain it was '67, but if it wasn’t, it had to have been '66. 1968 was so memorable that I can be sure it wasn’t that year, what with all the protests, riots, and such, along with our family frequently visiting my cousin and his family as he set a still-unbroken MLB record (he writes, with shamelessly gratuitous braggadocio).

I was a tween playing in the street and yard of my house when I and some of my siblings were shocked and frightened by what seemed to me at the time to be a huge glowing object streaking with tremendous speed across the sky. It seemed to have been not very far above the trees, but that’s just another example of how inaccurate and misleading human perception can often be, since if you and I saw the same event (which I think it likely we did), the meteor had to have been far higher in the sky to have been seen from both locations.

What so solidly cemented the memory of this event in my mind is that the minute we ran back into the house – our adrenaline pumping like mad – to tell our parents of what we’d seen, our TV caught fire! It was the first and only time that had ever happened, and thus to our young, impressionable minds the two nearly-simultaneous events had to have been related, sparking a powerful, chilling frisson of spookiness and delight that I’ve never forgotten.

Of course, that’s the kind of thing that even most adults would have also fallaciously misinterpreted as a meaningful, causally linked, non-coincidental event, leading far too often to irrational (and usually unshakable) belief in the paranormal and/or extraterrestrial visitations. It certainly did in my case, which led to more and more credulousness concerning UFOs, ESP/PSI, and other ostensibly “paranormal” claims. It was not until my college days that I began to clear such rubbish from my head and join the ranks of critically thinking skeptics; adopting a skeptical outlook and demanding evidence commensurate with the extent that the claim would invalidate the current scientific consensus if it were true.

One last thing: I’m almost positive that sometime in the past, CSI’s journal The Skeptical Inquirer, described or referenced the event that the OP speaks of, in the context of it producing a substantial number of UFO reports. I seem to recall that the bolide in question was seen across a surprisingly large geographical area. My searches thus far have not zeroed in on the article, but the OP might wish to search the past issues of The Skeptical Inquirer more extensively. Unfortunately for wonder9, I’ve been a subscriber since approximately 1978, meaning that the article could have appeared anytime in the last 30 years or so, making wonder9’s search-space quite large.

May I ask a related question?

When I was about 12, my father pointed his telescope at Jupiter (this was during the Shoemaker-Levy impact) and I saw a large blurry blob in the field of view. It moved pretty quickly, and I only saw it for a few seconds. It was much larger in the field of view than Jupiter was, taking up most of my view. Is it possible that I saw an asteroid? Can they be seen from Earth telescopes? My father doubted that I had seen anything, but I swear something was there. To this day I wonder whether it was an asteroid or just a bug flying in front of the telescope.

I was driving to work one morning in February 2008 when I saw a green fireball. I live just below the Canadian border, on the coast. From my perspective the meteorite must have landed not all that far away. But while I’m not an astronomer, I knew that appearances can be deceiving. I think they finally found it somewhere in Eastern Oregon hundreds of miles away.

Hello Wonder 9 sorry it took me two years to respond to your question about the meteor you saw, i just joined this site, i believe what you saw was in the year of 1966 because i had came home from grade school i was in the 5th grade i believe living in NYC, i was sitting at the kitchen table facing the window, you can see the George Washington Bridge in the back ground lit up and it was dark out, all of a sudden as i was looking out the window from the table i saw this very bright ball of fire it was a orange reddish color with a long tail streaking across the sky heading towards the bridge, it lit up the sky and it was so bright i called my parents to come to the window to see this ball of fire, when it got near the bridge it went in a downward position and disappeared behind the bridge, i was in shock , the next day i told my teacher what i saw, so i believe u saw the same meteor i saw doing that time, it came your way first then it came eastward in my direction, i don’t remember what time of the year it was it might have been some time in the fall of 1966, hoped i helped u out a little take care.

OK, my story . . . I was about 10 in 1971 and swore I saw aBuck Rodgers style rocket going across the sky. By the time I got my parents out there it was gone because it was low and flying fast. Twenty years later I worked for a guy that worked for Rockwell and told him about my experiance. He asked where I grew up and told him that it was north of Dayton Ohio and he told me that I most likely saw an early proto test of a Hellfire missle because they ran test runs between North Dayton and a field in Indiana all the time back then. They commonly told the locals that they were crazy, unless of course it landed in thier field, at which point they told them to be quite about it because it was a matter of national defense. That stuff carried more weight back then.

Well… You’ve all been lucky to saw such meteors.
I didn’t know that “regular” meteors could be as impressive as what you’re describing.

When I was in college in my 20s I was in the hot tub with a friend and a falling star fell that was bright enough to cast a shadow. Alas, she was facing it, I was not. I only saw my shadow. But based on what I saw, it must have been stellar.