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Date:June 19, 1857
Place:Carbondale, California

From the New York Tribune

Meteoritic Phenomenon.

Carbondale, Wayne Co., Pa., June 20, 1857.

A strange and startling phenomenon took place near this city just at sunset last evening.

A large cloud was seen making its appearance, coming directly from the northwest, accompanied by considerable wind. When near this place, a dark looking cloud, or substance, was seen to leave the cloud and make diagonally for the earth. So soon as it struck the ground, contrary to all expectation, it became highly luminous. Making directly for a large barn that stood in the field, it passed through its center, setting it on fire, and continued its course, gaining in velocity as far as the eye could reach, making a straight course for the woods, melting stone of considerable size, and burning up brush and under wood, making a complete road, of a rod or more in width, for the distance of three miles, and finally fetching up against a perpendicular breast of solid anthracite coal of 60 feet in thickness, proving rather too much for its cometship, leaving nothing but a sulphurous mass behind.

Yours, P. JOHNSON. [1]


  • [1] Reader's letter reproduced in the newspaper "Ohio Repository", Canton, Ohio, July 15, 1857.
Notes:Only one reader's letters, copied from one newspaper to another.
Explanation:Possibly the exaggerated account of a meteorite fall.


Type of report:Reader's letter second hand from newspaper.
Number of witnesses:1 at least.
Number of named witnesses:Possibly 1.
Witnesses occupations:Not indicated.
Type of location:Not indicated.
Coordinates:Lat. 41.57 N Long. 75.50 W.
Coordinates precision:100 kilometers.
Description of "UFO":Dark mass coming out of a cloud, becoming luminous on the ground.
Description of "manoeuvers":Comes down diagonally from cloud, hits the ground, flies away low, hits the ground again 3 miles further and stays there.
Reactions:Not indicated.
Occupants keywords:N/A
Daylight/nocturnal:Undetermined, sunset.
Weather:Not indicated.
Observation devices:None.
Explanation(s) at the time:Meteorite fall, cometary fragment fall.

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This page was last updated on January 24, 2006