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Did Meteorite Strike Central Florida?

POSTED: 10:53 am EDT July 16, 2004
UPDATED: 11:35 am EDT July 16, 2004

CASSELBERRY, Fla. -- Speculation about a July Fourth meteorite strike in Seminole County has many area residents searching their yards for answers.

From Oviedo, to Maitland, to Casselberry, witnesses claim to have heard a large boom and saw bright flashes of light across the evening holiday skies, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

It's creating a meteorite buzz on local radio stations, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

"I saw this crazy light, and it was really bright," said Casselberry resident Diana Felise. "The entire house was rattling. We thought the pictures were going to fall off the wall."

If a meteor did strike the area, it is believed to have hit somewhere around Red Bug Road and state Road 434, but Casselberry police officials said they're convinced it was nothing more than a big bolt of lightning since there was a severe storm in the area that night.

"Lightning, thunderstorms, welcome to Florida," said Lt. Dennis Stewart of the Casselberry Police Department.

Many residents, however, still believe it was a meteorite. Rick Wega shot video of the bright lights and remains convinced it was not a storm-induced effect.

"The way it shook the ground isn't like no other lightning," said Wega, "Iíve been around a lot of lightning."

Experts, on the other hand, said that until someone finds a piece of a meteorite in the area, it will remain an unsolved mystery.

A meteorite is a small particle of matter that falls to Earth, and the last one to reportedly strike the area hit in Lake County in 1918. Because of such rarity, meteorites are very valuable, and in some cases, one gram of a meteorite can be valued at $10,000.

Copyright 2004 by WESH.COM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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