Singed Object, Probably From Soviet Rocket, Falls In Lakeport
Oct. 13, 1987
LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) _ A large chunk of scorched metal found between two houses may be one of the pieces of a Soviet rocket that was seen plunging back to Earth in a burst of bright lights, Air Force officials said Tuesday.
Police said the object was about 7 feet long, 6 to 8 inches wide, a 16th of an inch thick and scorched around the edges. There were no markings.
Everett Danforth found the piece Sunday afternoon in an alleyway between his and an adjoining house in this community about 100 miles north-northwest of San Francisco, said police spokeswoman Ellen Dills.
''We had been hearing news flashes about the reentry of a space object into the Earth's atmosphere over Northern California ... Beale Air Force Base was contacted,'' she said.
An Air Force team took charge of the object and sent it to the Foreign Technology Division, an analysis group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Dayton, Ohio, said Sgt. Dick Hodgson.
Hodgson said the North American Air Defense Command near Colorado Springs, Colo., believed ''it was probably a rocket body part.''
NORAD tracks objects in space from launch. Agency spokesman Maj. Bob Perry said the center was aware of reports of objects that appeared to be falling to Earth early Sunday when bright, fiery lights were seen flashing across the sky.