The recent spate of anomalous aerial phenomena over the United Kingdom continues this week as residents of West Cornwall witnessed a massive, mysterious fireball that has yet to be explained. The incident occurred on the evening of February 14, 2019 when multiple residents reported a large, slow-moving object streak across the skies leaving flames in its wake. Was this merely a meteor, or did something stranger lit up the skies above Cornwall?
It’s difficult to say. The local Kernow Weather Team based in Cornwall posted a description of the sighting to their Facebook page where dozens of users chimed in to share their own experiences witnessing the fireball and others like it. Some reports say the fireball was green, while others say it was red. Nearly all reports stated that whatever the object was, it appeared to break up and leave fiery trails behind it as it flew through the night sky. A few users say they've seen many different fireballs like this one in recent years but have yet to encounter an explanation for them.
Other witnesses say that while they’ve seen many meteors and shooting stars, this one was different. One witness described the object as “thicker than your ordinary shooting star” while another said she’d “never seen anything like it before.” While it's likely this was a meteor burning up in the atmosphere, descriptions of the sightings make it seem as if this was a fairly sizable object. How much longer until we're hit by one big enough to make it through the atmosphere intact? According to some scientists, not that long.
Meteors aside, the western and southern coasts of the United Kingdom have for unknown reasons become hotspots for sightings like this one of unidentified aerial phenomenon and anomalous aircraft. The Royal Air Force scrambled fighters to intercept unidentified aircraft in December 2018, while multiple pilots and airlines have reported sightings of strange objects in the skies above Ireland and England recently. Are these indicative of military activity and testing, or have stranger things taken a liking to the British Isles? For now, the recent uptick in unidentified aerial phenomena above the UK remains a mystery.