Mystery 'object from space' spotted in outback
Residents living in a remote part of Australia have reported sightings of burning debris falling to the ground, possibly from space, in a mystery which has baffled police and locals.
People living in Townsville, Queensland said they saw a large, flaming ball of light with an orange and blue tail streak across the sky before crashing to earth on Thursday night.
Townsville resident Terry Robinson told ABC radio: "It was pretty big and this thing hit like a bomb. It was huge.
"I don't know how big it was. In the sky, it looked like half a dozen jumbo jets were falling out of the sky at the same time."
Another woman in Kelso on Townsville's outskirts said she saw an intense flash of light wash over the trees and light up the sky when the object came down.
"It was like an explosion but without the sound. It was like an atomic bomb effect," she told the ABC.
Queensland state police said they received several similar reports on Thursday evening.
"(It was reported as) something about the size of a small plane travelling at a very high speed with a reddish-green flame coming out of the back or it," a police spokesman told AFP.
"It was travelling at a very high velocity."
Police said there were no aircraft unaccounted for, nor had other aircraft reported seeing a bright falling object, leading to speculation it could have been a meteorite or some sort of space junk.
"At this stage there is no confirmation of anything," the police spokesman said. "Nothing's been found."
There were similar sightings in Cunnamulla, hundreds of miles from Townsville in the state's southwest.
Police are looking for the object, 15 miles (25km) northwest of Townsville.
Owen Bennedick, from Queensland's privately-run Wappa Falls Observatory told Sky News he thought the object was most likely a satellite or part of one falling to Earth.
"I'm confident it's a satellite," he said. "They start burning very high up, which is consistent with this object as it was seen over such a wide area."
He added that the colours following the object which witnesses reported are in line with it being man-made.
"Different materials burn at different temperatures and will appear as different coloured trails," Mr Bennedick said.
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