Wednesday, March 26, 2008

from Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, 1843

(page 281)

... we have conversed with Mr. Horace Palmer, who was on his way from Dunkirk to this place, when the meteor appeared. He was two or three miles from Dunkirk, when he appeared to be instantly surrounded with a most painfully vivid light, proceeding from a mass of fluid or jelly like substance, which fell around and upon him, producing a sulphurous smell, a great difficulty of breathing, and a feeling of faintness, with a strong sensation of heat. As soon as he could recover from his astonishment, he perceived the body of the meteor passing above him, seeming to be about a mile high. It then appeared to be in diameter about the size of a large steamboat pipe, near a mile in length! Its dimensions varied soon; becoming much broader, and then waning away in diameter and length until the former was reduced to about eight inches, and the latter a fourth of a mile, when it separated into pieces which fell to the earth, and almost immediately he heard the explosion, which he said was tremendous. On arriving here in the morning, his face had every appearance of having been severely scorched; his eyes were much affected, and he did not recover from the shock it gave his system for two or three days.

This is really a marvellous story; but Mr. Palmer is a temperate and an industrious man, and a man of integrity; and we believe any one conversing with him on the subject would be satisfied that he intends no deception; but describes the scene as nearly as possible, as it actually appeared. Probably however his agitation at his sudden introduction to such a scene, caused the meteor to be somewhat magnified to him. Witnesses here speak of the sparks which were given off; probably one of these sparks fell and enveloped Mr. Palmer. In addition to its light, Mr. Palmer states that its passage was accompanied by a sound like that of a car moving on a railroad, only louder.

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