Meteorite sighting ‘once in a lifetime experience’ for North West farmer
That is how a dairy farmer from the North West described the two to three seconds in which he saw a meteorite crash down to Earth on Saturday evening.
People claimed on social media to have seen at least two bright fireballs striking the province shortly before 7pm on Saturday.
The video on social media shows a meteorite hitting the earth at 6.49pm.
Barend Swanepoel was having coffee on his neighbour’s farm‚ between Ottosdal and Hartbeesfontein‚ and driving back home when he saw the “huge fireball” in the sky.
“The advantage I had was I saw it in colour. It was not like on the cameras. It was a fireball falling with this red tail behind it‚” Swanepoel said.
“My first thought was back to when we were children. We used to shoot these rockets and then they fell back to Earth. It did not explode or make stars and stuff like that‚” Swanepoel said. “My second thought was‚ is it airplane falling or what?”
“I thought it was a lot closer and that the veld is going to burn‚ because it is becoming winter now‚ the feed is going to start burning.”
The trees next to the gravel road concealed Swanepoel’s view of the final plunge.
Swanepoel phoned his neighbour and told him to check his security cameras.
“One of the small cameras monitoring the barn with feed for his animals caught the footage that you saw on social media.”
According to the Suburban Control Centre‚ one meteorite fell between Lichtenburg and Mahikeng‚ while the one in the video fell between Hartebeesfontein and Coligny‚ eNCA reported.