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[at-l] Meteors Remembered

I know the Sky and Telescope and professional and amature astronomers (any
of them on this list?) pooh pooh the idea that people see meteors close at
hand ... but I remember one from childhood that I contend was very, very

We were camping near a river at around 560 meters elevation. Across the
river were two ridges, one rising to around 1000 meters and the another,
behind it, to about 1200. In the distance, behind those two close ridges,
the mountain  on which we ordinarily lived, which rises beyond 2500 meters
in elevation. Above these horizons appeared the the cloudless, brilliant
sky, unpolluted with artificial light, except from a town about 15 or 20
miles behind the ridge on which we were camping. I was probably 14 or 15
years old at the time.

Below the distant horizon over the first ridge, and about even with the
second ridge, this glowing and burning object flies across our field of
vision, breaks into two pieces, one of which falls before the other, both
somewhere beyond the first ridge.  This thing didn't have the sky as a
background, it had a mountain, so it had to be close. It was clearly
glowing and spitting out flames a pieces as it passed, even after it split
into two pieces. It appeared to be slowing down as it approached us and
before it fell from the sky. The direction of flight appeared to have
followed a northwest to south east trajectory.

No other meteor I've observed appeared so close to me as that one. All
others have appeared high above the horizon with the stars in the

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