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Unidentified fiery object in sky over Guam and CNMI remains a mystery

Updated: Dec 18, 2023




By Bryan Manabat


Saipan-- Was it a Chinese missile, an alien spacecraft, celestial debris or a falling satellite?


Authorities have yet to identify a fiery object that was seen Friday night streaking in the skies over Guam and the CNMI, exploding like fireworks and falling from the sky before disappearing over the horizon.


“At this time, we cannot confirm with any certainty the origin of, or what the object was, that was seen falling from the sky over the region this weekend,"

Landon Aydett, a meteorologist at the National Weather Services-Guam, told the Pacific Island Times on Sunday.


Similar videos of a fiery object exploding in midair were posted on social media in December 2019. Guam and CNMI authorities brushed aside concerns but noted that there was a satellite launch in China that coincided with a Federal Aviation Authority notice to airmen.


"We defer to vetted information from the Marianas Regional Fusion Center on Guam to determine whether this was unknown space debris (meteor)  or a known scheduled re-entry of a man-made object," Aydette said.



Some residents took video recordings of Friday's sky event and posted them on social media.


Guam Homeland Security/Marianas Regional Fusion Center and Joint Region Marianas have not issued any official statement.


According to NWS-Guam lead forecaster Patrick Doll, the fiery object was "definitely a meteorite."


Doll spoke via teleconference at Saturday's press briefing, where he joined officials of the CNMI Homeland Security Emergency Management to address the residents' concerns over the circulating video.


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Doll noted that the NWS doesn't track satellites or meteorites. But he said based on the videos sent to the NWS, he could confirm that it was a meteorite.


"The meteorite can heat up to 10,000 Fahrenheit degrees. Once they get hot enough and reach what we call critical mass, it develops small cracks, allowing the heat to penetrate deeper toward the core of it," he explained. "Once it heats it enough and moves to segregate, it comes with a loud boom."


Doll said the video clip of the night sky spectacle on Friday showed smaller projectiles going in different directions, different angles, different velocity, "and it looks somewhat like fireworks."


As for the loud boom sound, Doll said, "There was rapid air expansion like lightning in a thunderstorm.”


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Franklin Babauta, CNMI Homeland Security Emergency Management special assistant, assured the CNMI community that there was nothing to worry about.


 "There was no threat to the safety of the CNMI community. We want the community to know that there’s no threat right now to our safety in the CNMI as far as we gathered," Babauta said.


According to Bernard Villagomez, public information officer for the emergency office, the CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point and the Department of Public Safety received calls about bright lights that some residents saw in the sky followed by a loud boom-like sound.




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