Mystery Fireball Streaks Across Texas Sky


The U.S. Strategic Command said Monday that the weekend shower of fireballs over Texas was not debris from last week's collision of two satellites over Siberia. They said it was a natural phenomenon.

What looked like a fireball streaked across the Texas sky Sunday morning, leading many people to call authorities to report seeing falling debris.

Preliminary reports from Williamson County officials said a small aircraft went down, and then officials said it was likely space debris from two satellites crashing.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday that it received numerous reports across Texas of falling debris and they are uncertain what the fireball in the sky was.

FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said officials initially suspected the debris could be related to the collision, but he said that had not been confirmed.

News 8 received numerous calls saying debris was falling around midmorning Sunday, what looked like a meteor. Some of the callers reported what looked like a fireball in the sky.

Williamson County officials combed the area in a helicopter searching for any trace of a small aircraft landing, but were unable to find anything.

The FAA notified pilots on Saturday to be aware of possible space debris after a collision Tuesday between U.S. and Russian communication satellites.

The chief of Russia's Mission Control said clouds of debris from the collision will circle Earth for thousands of years and threaten numerous satellites.

The debris field from the collision is described as huge, but scientists are still trying to determine the full scope of the crash.

News 8 Austin photojournalist Eddie Garcia caught the fiery streak in the Central Texas sky Sunday morning.

The people running were not running from the fireball. They were actually running the Austin Marathon.

At this time, it's believed to be the only news footage of this incident in the state of Texas.

It's getting world-wide attention, and we've received many requests to interview Garcia.

CNN reporter Heidi Collins did a live interview Monday morning with our News 8 photographer. He tells viewers what he was thinking when he saw the fire in the sky.

"At the time, I'm looking in the viewfinder, and I see something flying through the sky. It looks like it could be dust, it could be something. I look up, and no, it was something burning in the sky," Garcia said.

Our Web site is sluggish right now since we've gotten so many traffic hits with the video.

The U.S. Strategic Command said it is not debris from last week's crash between U.S. and Russian satellites.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said they don't know what the fireball in the sky was.

The debris field from the collision is described as huge, but scientists are still trying to determine the full scope of the crash.

CNN and News 8 Austin are both subsidiaries of Time Warner.

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