on Sep 12th, 2006
Today at just before 3pm, everyone in the office heard a loud bang coming from the roof. We have antennas and other gear on the roof for testing, and while it’s not uncommon to hear noises as people work up there, today’s bang was followed by a bizarre sound like something rolling from one end to the other across the roof, crackling as it went. Everyone was looking around quizzically, but after a few seconds a silence we all went back to work.
About 20 minutes later, the first chatter of something causing a sonic boom started. An email came out from the HR group saying “space junk” had fallen about 50 miles S/W of Christchurch. Then there were reports of the fire department heading to the East side of CHC. The local newspaper site The Press was overloaded and had little more information, confirming only that lots of people heard the bang. In the next half hour, additional news about people seeing fireballs in the sky pretty much locked in the meteor theory.
As of tonight I’ve read countless statements of people hearing and seeing this event right up and down the South island, though it seems that Canterbury heard the brunt of the big bang. I’ve very disappointed that there are no pictures of a smoldering paddock in rural NZ, nor even a fuzzy cell phone picture of the fireball. The Press still says “pictures soon”, so maybe someone is holding out for the big bucks on an exclusive photo.
So until there is more real info, I’ll close with an amusing quote from RNZAF on the incident:
“An Air Force spokesman said none of their aircraft were responsible — none of the current fleet went fast enough to create a sonic boom.”