A meteor blazed across a clear Monday afternoon sky, but it flamed out before hitting the ground.
Lt. Glen Bailess of the Salt Lake County sheriff's office said that at 5:19 p.m. his office received three calls reporting a downed airplane. A helicopter was sent to the area, but nothing was located.Bailess said the Salt Lake International Airport had tracked a meteor on radar headed in the direction of Mount Olympus Cove, but there was no damage or evidence of it. "I think it burned out before it hit the ground," Bailess said.
An airport tower-control official, who didn't want to be identified, said "I saw a fireball in the sky. It had a yellow-green tail."
A person who described himself as a "star watcher" said he was using his telescope when he saw the meteor falling in the Mount Olympus Cove area. "It was the most beautiful thing I've seen," he said.
William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said several people reported they had watched the meteor burn.
Alder said there were unconfirmed reports that the meteor fell near Morgan County or Weber County.
Meteorologist Ken Labas said the Utah Highway Patrol dispatchers as well as the Cedar City Flight Service Station asked about the meteor. "Apparently the tower saw it . . . I didn't see it. I wish I had. I heard it had a nice green tail trailing it."
Joanna Despain, a Hansen Planetarium guide, said they had also received several phone calls reporting a "fireball" in the air. "We had people calling us to tell us they had seen colors in the sky and all kinds of exciting things."
The planetarium couldn't confirm the meteor sighting, but Despain said it is possible that a meteor flashed across Utah skies.
Police dispatchers said startled and baffled residents flooded police switchboards with calls to report sightings of a "blazing ball of fire" shooting through the sky.
Hansen Planetarium officials reported in August that a meteor shower would hit northern Utah skies. The sighting of meteors may be decreased somewhat because of the bright, third-quarter moon, they said.