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Bright meteor 1962 April 22

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alanbthomas's picture
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Bright meteor 1962 April 22

On 1962 April 22 (the day before my 14th birthday) I recorded the following observation:

"Tonight, the Lyrid meteor shower maximum, at 23hrs 33mins an extremely bright meteor was observed in Bootes. It travelled from the meridian down towards the horizon and had a trail about 4 degrees long. It lasted about 2 seconds and travelled very fast. It was light blue and the head was slightly whiter. It was a most impressive meteor and was very conspicuous indeed."

Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Can anyone throw more light on this observation?

Stan Armstrong's picture
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Noisy event 1962 onwards adjacent to Wembley Stadium.

A time between the 'Bay of Pigs' and the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' that I now largely remember as a Blur Alan.

The '4 Minute Warning' was an everyday Threat and I was living in a House on the SW Side of the Stadium.

However,  I will never forget  one late evening, hearing a very loud noise and rushing out into our small Avenue, to see some Neighbours opposite in their small front Garden.. They told me something had fallen in their garden with a loud noise. With my Army and RAF Service behind me, I slowly moved  Geraniums and other plants and found a 'Steaming Dull Black Rock' around the size of 1/4 Brick . At that time In my Career, I was in charge of  Radiography Training and hence Radiation Danger was prominent in my day to day work. I borrowed a Bamboo Cane and pushed the Rock to the housewall and said I would visit them the next day as possibly something from an Aircraft. As it happens, I also undertook Urgent Field Work and was possibly miles away for the next week or so..hence the incident faded from my immediate concerns. Time to time have thought of describing on NEMETODE Network and had almost got round to mentioning to Alex, so now just a possibility that our two recollections relate to the same event Alan? 

alanbthomas's picture
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Noisy event 1962

Stan - If our two observations are indeed of the same event, that would be very interesting indeed! I am rather hoping that some BAA member who specialises in meteors might be able to identify the event in 'the records', if such there are.

Until 1959 I was living just a few miles from Wembley, in Ruislip.

As for the Cuban Missile Crisis,  the night of Kennedy's ultimatum to Kruschev is the only night of my life that I have gone to bed and genuinely wondered if I would wake up the next morning. Fortunately (for all of us) I did!

Alan

Peter Anderson's picture
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Bright Meteor - noisy event near Wembly Stadium

Yes, I remember the international events from this time well.  I was only 19 but followed the news closely.

I know that 60 years have now passed since this event but wonder whether you, Stan, might be able to pinpoint the house and garden in question where the 'fall' occurred. Perhaps the current occupants might know something. Maybe the 'rock' is still there.

I know that people move around, buildings get demolished and rebuilt and all sorts of changes occur.  But some things also stay the same. For example When I married in 1967 we had a house built but moved to our present (new) house in 1974 and have stayed here ever since. So if something had fallen here since then, we would have a very good chance of finding it... subject to some gardening etc. Our original house also remains effectively the same.

So, I know it is easy to remove a quarter brick sized rock, but maybe it wasn't moved... I am suggesting that maybe a few enquiries might turn up something and suggest an inspection of the site.... A few further enquiries might be able to put it to rest one way or another. At the moment it is a tantalising question mark- what happened to the steaming dull black rock?

Stan Armstrong's picture
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1962 meteor..

SNAP Peter.. I too moved in 1974 into same house i still live in.. Census returns suggest occupancy average of less than 8years ! Mind you it was a Doldrum time for House Sales and We visited 26 houses before deciding.. A near 180 Skyline of trees settled it for me and Next to village School suited my wife.

Could certainly give a Map Reference of the house garden to any one wanting to research. However..

Front gardens all pebble covered for cars now ..Ownership would be a legal minefield  I guess with

complications of Mortgages.. and overtones of Winchcombe.. Certainly if any Researcher wanted further details I would be happy to assist.

Peter Anderson's picture
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1962 Meteor

Hello Stan... Thanks for your further advice. If indeed the front gardens are pebble coated for cars, clearly the garden and the 'rock' in question have been cleared away.  The only hope might be that the rock was kept or referenced to some authority because it was unusual, and so there may be a trail or someone might remember. (Not very likely now after 59 years!) 

On the subject of staying in the one property, one of the reasons we searched for our present property is that I could build an observatory in the backyard with clear east and west horizons for my lunar/planetary observations - and still be close to the city for my work. Quite a ridgetop site. See photo. The house is behind trees to the right from this angle.