Sep
19
2007

Mysterious space object sickens Peruvians

A dazzling fireball comes blazing in: Photo by Hiroyuki Iida of Toyama, Japan, courtesy NASA.
A dazzling fireball comes blazing in: Photo by Hiroyuki Iida of Toyama, Japan, courtesy NASA.
Hundreds of Peruvian villagers have reportedly fallen ill from what they say are noxious gases coming from an impact crater left by something from space that slammed into the region.

A fiery object was seen falling to Earth last weekend over Carancas, a small town located in the Andes near in the Bolivian border, about 800 miles south of Lima.

People who visited the reported impact site say gases emitting from a large crater found there have caused them to suffer nausea, vomiting, eye irritations, and severe headaches. Livestock in the area have also become sick.

But not everyone believes the located “impact crater” has anything to do with the fiery object seen in the sky. Dr. Caroline Smith, a British museum meteorite expert, says it may just be mistaken for a crater.

"Increasingly we think that people witnessed a fireball, which are not uncommon, went off to investigate and found a lake of sedimentary deposit, which may be full of smelly, methane rich organic matter," she said.

An engineer from the Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute reported no radiation has been detected at the site, and a team of scientists is on its way to the crater to investigate and gather further evidence. In the meantime, local authorities have been asked to warn people to stay away from the site.

Video from the site shows what appears to be a large crater 100-foot-wide by 20-foot-deep (another source states the crater is half this size). Marco Limache, a local official, reported that "boiling water started coming out of the crater, and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby."

If it proves to be a meteor crater, then it’s possible that sulfur or other elements in the extraterrestrial rock that caused the impact could have reacted with the ground water to produce the noxious gases.

Whatever it was - a fireball or a meteorite or possible space junk returning to Earth – it’s made a lot of local people nervous, and worried that the water is no longer safe to drink.

"This is the water we use for the animals, and for us, for everyone, and it looks like it is contaminated,” said one local villager.

"We don't know what is going on at the moment, that is what we are worried about,” he added.

LINKS

BBC web site story
Cosmos magazine story

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I'm not sure that I'd call this a perfect story, but it falls very solidly into the category of "fantastic."
And I have to feel sympathetic for the Peruvians - I, too, am sickened by space objects. ET practically gave me seizures.

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 12:35am
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I think this thing - whatever it was - has brought in another Blob, no doubt hell-bent on causing us nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, Steve McQueen has passed away, and I'm not sure if the current crop of young acting talent has the conviction nor the courage to defend our planet against another one of these gooey things. Maybe because it landed in the higher and colder altitudes of the Andes, we'll be okay.

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 10:42pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options