By Wm. Michael Dixon
Tribune Recorder Leader
Sanilac County residents tend not to bat an eye when serious weather rears its ugly, but something that happened last week will give even the hardiest citizens a chill.
Jeff Lyall, a resident of the Port Sanilac area, was working outside of his pole barn last Wednesday, when he heard a so called “whirring” or “whizzing” sound overhead.
Drones and helicopters are known to frequent the area, so Jeff initially brushed off the encounter. Seconds later the object Mr. Lyall had observed landed in his neighbor’s yard with such force that a giant cloud of dust was emitted, forcing debris a startling 60 feet from the impact.
Perhaps more alarming is the genesis of this giant flying ice block, being tentatively labeled as a “megacryometeor.”
Megacryometeors, despite their name, are thought to be terrestrial objects formed during uncertain conditions in the upper atmosphere.
Mr. Lyall reached out to the press for information on this incredibly rare event, and after conducting some research, I was fairly certain what it was, though I certainly couldn’t tell you why it was.
Professor and State of Michigan climatologist Dr. Jeffrey A. Andresen aims to help answer that question. I reached out to a colleague of Professor Andresen’s at Michigan State University, who was able to put me in touch with him.
“There are several theories but none have been proven or disproven.” Dr. Andresen stated. “One of the most straightforward theories states that the cryometeors are simply accumulated ice that has somehow fallen off of a passing aircraft. However, this cannot completely explain their occurrence as some megacryometeor impact events were recorded before the advent of aviation.”
Dr. Andresen will report the event to the scientific community on our behalf. Megacryometeor impacts are incredibly rare occurrences, with only one other impact having been recorded in the United States this year.
Those interested in megacryometeors are encouraged to research the work of Jesus Martinez-Frias, a planetary geologist from Spain.