Sunday, December 20, 2015

Solved - the 7 minute "meteor" - Taree, New South Wales - 1933

Hi readers,

In a previous post, I reported on an observation from Taree, New South Wales, dated 18 June 1933. I suggested it had all the hallmarks of the modern, orange orbs phenomenon. In modern cases which I have investigated, the prime suspect as to the cause, has been a hoax hot air garbage bag balloon. I suspected the Taree "meteor" was in fact, a hoax fire balloon. US researcher Barry Greenwood advised that fire balloons were suspected as the cause for some observations in 1909 and 1915.

While searching through TROVE I came across the following newspaper article from the 17 July 1933 edition of the "Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate" [NSW:1876-1954] (page 6.)
"Taree residents have on two occasions during the month been perplexed by a strange red light which traversed the sky. Some people thought it was a bright star which went very slowly and evenly on its way until it disappeared below the horizon.
One resident of the lower portion of the manning river says he saw the object at a distance of about 300 yards and accelerated his motor car to overtake it, but it was too swift for him. The mystery has now been solved.
A boy employed by a Taree chemist was responsible.
He released hot air balloons measuring 5 feet by 3 feet which ascended to an immense height."

It would appear, that my suggestion that this was a hoax fire balloon, and not a meteor, was correct.
Other fire balloons
Another previous post described the observation in the air; the descent; and finally the retrieval, of a hoax fire balloon in Lambton, New South Wales on 15 June 1920.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate 16 June 1920

How to make a fire balloon
I also came across an article in "The Brisbane Courier" [Qld: 1864-1933] Thursday 25 June 1931 page 7, which advised readers how to make a fire balloon!

In summary, one suspects that other observations around this era, may well have been due to hoax fire balloons.

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