Meteor Hoax

A couple of people have sent me links to this meteor hoax that the AP fell for. The AP reported that a meteor about the size of a small car hit near Olympia, Washington early this morning. Its source for this story was one Bradley Hammermaster, supposedly an Astronomy professor at the University of Washington, who called in a report of the meteor to Seattle's KIRO radio. The AP later had to admit that, "No one by the name of Hammermaster is known to the astronomy department, and the description given by the caller to the station of the object... was clearly bogus." However, it does appear that there really was meteor activity over Washington state, but nothing the size of a small car has been found. This hoax reminds me of a similar hoax perpetrated by the newspaperman Joseph Mulholland back in the 1890s. Mulholland claimed that a meteor had fallen in western Pennsylvania, but he also went on to claim, more dramatically, that it had set fire to much of the surrounding country.

Journalism Science

Posted on Thu Jun 03, 2004


Wouldn't a meteor that big have been pretty noticeable? i.e., devastating most of the state?
Posted by Paul  on  Tue Jun 15, 2004  at  10:44 AM
Yes, if a meteor that big reached earth's surface without burning out than the destruction would be pretty big. It will not be "davastating most of the state", but I bet the crater would be huge. Maybe an astronomer/geologist would like to chime in with an estimate.
Posted by Isaac  on  Wed Sep 29, 2004  at  09:56 AM
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