May 26, 2016 I Paul Seaburn

Theory Suggests EgyptAir Plane May Have Been Hit by Meteor

Hot on the heels of the report that Turkish Airlines pilots saw a UFO near where EgyptAir Flight MS 804 crashed on May 19th comes various reports that it may have been downed by fragments from a surprise massive meteor which exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere less than two days before, spreading pieces for days over a wide area that may have included MS804’s flight path. Is it true? Is a meteor impact the explanation for this mysterious and still unsolved crash?

Let's get one discredited video out of the way first. A widely-circulated clip that allegedly shows a meteor in the sky at the same time as the EgyptAir flight MS 804 went missing has been confirmed to actually be a video of a Russian rocket burning up on reentry over Arizona, Nevada and California on December 15th, 2015.

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Map showing areas witnessing massive meteor on May 17th.

However, there were hundreds of confirmed meteor sightings on May 17th, 2016, at about 12:50 am EDT (4:50 UT) over the Northeastern U.S. (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut) and Canada. That meteor was recorded on numerous dash cams and appeared to break into at least two pieces on reentry.

Reports attempting to link this meteor to the EgyptAir crash say it weighted about 10,000 tons, was traveling at 67,000 mph and scattered debris as far south as Argentina and as far east as the Egypt and the Mediterranean. One report says the meteor was identified by a Russian meteor tracking station in Tajikistan (well, that’s what it’s supposed to do) and by an anti-aircraft weapons system based in Syria, a report that is unconfirmed as of this writing.

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The May 17th meteor broke into at least two pieces

Could the Tuesday meteor or another yet unidentified meteor be the cause of the Thursday crash? There has never been a confirmed instance of a commercial plane being downed by a meteor but the question comes up after most unexplained crashes and experts like David Morrison of the NASA Ames Research Center say it can happen:

It is certainly possible for a meteorite to strike a commercial airliner, although the probability is low … If one were hit, it would be more likely to occur on the ground than in the air, because airplanes spend more time overall on the ground … even if one were hit in flight by a meteorite, it would be unlikely to cause an explosion …

He’s referring to a direct hit by a meteor or fragment. What about fragments floating around from two days before? Meoteoric dust can be present in the atmosphere for months after an explosion, but hitting dust is not the same as being hit by a meteor or piece of one on its descent from space.

Was EgyptAir Flight MS804 downed by the meteor seen over the U.S. two days before? It doesn’t seem likely. Was it downed by a meteor that wasn’t seen by tracking systems? It’s possible. If it’s true, will the news be released, causing massive panic among air travelers?

What do you think?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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