[meteorite-list] NPA 02-22-1934 Meteor Crushes Spanish Home, Fire Follows Crash

MARK BOSTICK thebigcollector at msn.com
Wed Dec 29 09:26:16 EST 2004

Paper: Reno Evening Gazette
City: Reno, Nevada
Date: Thursday, February 22, 1934
Page: 1, continued on page 3


Dense Column of Smoke Drops from Sky Into Building Is Claim

History Records Only Few Such Instances, Science Writer Asserts

     SEVILLE, Spain, Feb. 22. - (AP) - Francisco Megia told today his own 
story of the destruction of his home by what he and all his neighbors at the 
village of Rinconada believe to have been a meteor's fall.
     Senor Megia and his family sat down in their home for lunch between 
noon and 1 p.m. Sunday.
     Suddenly there was the noise as of an airplane flying low over the 
     Jose Megia, thirteen years old, rushed to the door. He saw a dense 
column of smoke dropping from the sky toward the roof.
     Panic-stricken, he shouted his alarm.
     Sensor Megia tried to run to the door but a powerful column of air and 
smoke knocked him down. Megia and his family said they smelled a heavy odor 
of sulphur and burned coal.
     The whole family rushed outdoors, carry only the mattress from a bed.
     As they attempted to return to the house for more belongings, they were 
stopped by a short, deafening noise and their cottage was immediately 
enveloped in flames.
     Farmers in the neighborhood head the noise and hastened to the aid of 
the family.


Associated Press Science Editor
     NEW YORK, Feb. 22 - (AP) - In all historical time only eight or ten 
meteors have been authentically established as striking buildings, and none 
of those destroyed the structure.
     But the chances for a meteor striking a house are probably greater than 
this low average shows because the world in general has not recognized the 
existence of meteors as such until very recent centuries.
     Even as late as Thomas Jefferson their existence was disbelieved and H. 
H. Nininger of Denver, one of the foremost meteor experts, tell as a 
historical fact that Jefferson as president, when told that a shower of 
stones had fallen at Weston, Conn., said:
     "I would rather believe that those two Yankee professors would like 
than that stones fell from heaven."
     The 'two professors; were Yale men, who had verified the Weston 
meteors, which now are historically accepted.
     The Biblical account of Joshua raining stones on the enemies of the 
Israelites is often taking as describing a fall of meteors. Stones would be 
a literal description, for they are only two kinds of meteors so far known. 
One is made of stone, the other of iron, or nickel-iron.
     Counting meteors which were actually picked up off the ground after 
their fall had been seen, Mr. Nininger found a record all over the world of 
130,000 individual pieces in 125 years up to 1925. These came from only 470 
falls, showing that most of them fall in showers.
     These showers, particularly of the stony meteors, are fairly 
commonplace. Usually the stones are small.
     Figuring on these and all the other available authenticated meteors Mr. 
Nininger estimates that in the United States there should regularly pass 
several generations without a death from being hit by a meteor.
     Verified records, however, do not tell of a single human death. The 
closest call is attributed to a man in Mhow, India, who was injured by a 
meteor on February 16, 1827.
     The meteors which have struck buildings were of moderate size, but big 
enough to penetrate the roofs. There is no definite proof of one having 
started a fire in a building, as the stones are usually nearly cool by the 
time they reach the earth’s surface. Explosions of meteors are fairly 
common. These bursts seem to occur at low altitudes, before the meteor 
reaches the earth. There has been considerable doubt at to what might cause 
     The Seville reports indicate that the Rniconada meteor exploded within 
the house.
     The only destructive meteor of modern time fell in Siberia on June 30, 
1906. It fell in a forest, with such damage that there is reason to believe 
it could have destroyed a small town, and perhaps inflicted an unbelievable 
holocaust on a large city.
     The hills around the spot where this meteor fell were denuded of their 
trees, which fell in windrows and were also badly scorched. The nearest 
human witness seems to have been a farmer named Semenow. He was fifty miles 
away and said he felt so hot he was afraid his clothes would catch fire. He 
was knocked down and his house damaged.


Clear Skies,
Mark Bostick
Wichita, Kansas


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