Comments On Mystery
Arkansas Crash/Fire
Arkansas Sleight Of Hand
Assails Common Sense
By Lea MacDonald

In the famous axiom of Sherlock Holmes: "The best place to hide something is right in front of someone." This statement seems appropriate to the recent events surrounding the mystery Arkansas crash/fire of March 9, 2000.
With respect to this enigmatic fire (my use of the term is intentional) there are many questions that remain unanswered. Things simply do not 'add up.' While some are suggesting this case may be 'closed,' others are asking pointed questions which demand solid answers.
One such question is: Why did someone go back to the site and fill in the holes? ...many of which were photographed, before and after, through the diligence of Al Collier at the request of Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center.
Another question might be: Why were reports of 'flames unusually sparkly which suggested some kind of incendiary chemical' reduced to: 'perhaps the effect of a bolide?'
Why was Bobby Sisk, a Reporter with KTHV (CBS-TV), Little Rock, Arkansas, so "unsettled" by a fire scene he described as "very, very, bizarre"? After all, this man is a veteran reporter who has been around and seen many things. Why then, or what was it about this event, that raised a red flag with his sixth sense?
Some are suggesting that perhaps a cumulative effect of fertilization over the years caused the soil/vegetation to combust. To that I would ask: Why did only the unfarmed land covered with old growth burn? The farm land adjacent to the primary burn site, which probably does get fertilized, did not burn.
Consider this interesting report from an Arkansas source:
"Talked to (someone) last night who was on the helicopter when it went up to Scott. He said that it was strangest thing he had ever seen. About a mile of the levy was on fire, then there were lots of smaller fires spread out over a mile. It looked like there was a circular center that didn't have any fire in it.
There was one on a tiny island, completely surrounded by water. Apparently, there was a fisherman about 3-4 miles upstream on the river who said there was a 'shooting star' that had been extremely bright that was very, very close. One of the sheriff's deputies had also seen an extremely bright shooting star shortly before they had gotten calls of a possible plane crash.
(on file) said that he didn't get a chance to get back out in the daylight to see a daylight version of it, but that he would ask a friend of his, a (on file) pilot, if he went out there the next day. If he hears anything, he'll call back. He also said that there were no indications of military of government vehicles, except for "a whole lot of police and fire" moving into the area. He was out there for a while."
Another compelling question is: If indeed it was a bolide, why did scientists from NASA, or other scientists with great interest in such anomalus celestial phenomena, not show up as they did at the site of the Alaska January, 2000 meteroite explosion?. Consider this Reuters headline story of 3-17-00: Meteorite Fragments In The Northwest Called 'Cosmic Bonanza' For Scientists.
Dr. Michael Zolensky, a cosmic mineralogist at NASA's Johnson Space Center, suggests that this type of event is so rare that it will probably never happen again in his lifetime. Why then, when it has been suggested that indeed a bolide did impact the area near Scott, Arkansas, have scientists not rushed in for what is truly a second 'opportunity of a life time'?
Further, one of the most compelling statements made to date came from Sgt. Clifford Stone, who states he worked with secret NBC Army teams to recover anomalous objects for 22 years. When asked what he thought about the event, Stone suggested to invesitgator Al Collier that it appeared the multiple small 'craters' at the Arkansas site which have mysteriously been filled in with dirt several days after the event, and their adjacent areas, had been 'scorched with butane.' Collier was stunned because this is exactly what the scene looked like. Stone said this without ever having seen photos of the site.
Over the gulf of several hundred hours of conversation with Sgt. Stone I have learned many things, not the least of which is: where the good Sgt. feels he might be compromising classified material, he will make a 'suggestion,' rather than make a statement of fact. Was Stone carefully citing an old NBC protocol for such an event?
Additionally, one is reminded of the 'shooting star/fireball' that flew low over northwest LA and hit the ground several years ago; an event witnessed by tens of thousands of people, including Dr. Roger Leir. This fireball was described as coming to earth after 'changing course' over the Santa Susana mountains. Two visits to the site by an AF General (reserves) were made. The first occurred the day after the 'crash' and the General encountered armed military personnal, with no insignia, who refused him entry to the site. Upon returning to the area with his full credentials, he was allowed in and upon his demand was told that "a spacecraft was in trouble, landed here, was repaired, and took off this morning." A visit to that site a couple days later by other researchers, including Dr. Leir, revealed a scene of an entire hillside 'scorched' and blackened as if by a 'butane torch.' Do I think a spacecraft landed near Scott, Arkansas? No. Were military personnel observed in the area? No. However, indications of something very strange having occurred are unmistakeable.
Perhaps a "clean up" of sorts did take place there. Perhaps not. For now, we can only speculate. However, it will be interesting to see what the various soil-test-results, will expose. My instincts tell me they will not all point in the same direction.
To date, I feel there has been significant fertilizer spread about, with respect to this event. To that, I respectfully submit my own speculations. _____
From Mary Carreira < 3-18-00
Hi Jeff...Regarding the Arkansa fires-
It's to bad that NIDS did not send someone to gather samples of the ash since they have there own nationally-accredited labs they work with. Two months is a long time to wait for the results that were sent by others and I'm sure they were sent to government affiliated labs. It was not mentioned on your show where Al Collier had sent his. Is the time frame for the results the same as the local authorities? Can we be assured that the findings will be truthful in their content?
Enjoy your show very much
Mary Carreira _____
In the March 16, 2000 issue of the Arkansas Daily Democrat and Gazette, the Jefferson County Sheriff tried to make the England fireball site go away, but has been caught in a deeper cover-up.
The article includes: "But Butler said a witness emerged Wednesday to tell investigators he had seen the fire on the property March 8, the day before the falling star shot through the sky."
Now, this may be true that an unnamed farmer may have reported that, but WHAT ABOUT THE FIRE FIGHTERS? There is no possible denying that numerous emergency equipment fought an unusual fire AFTER the 'shooting star' was seen.
The evidence does not confirm the statement about the fire, and that evidence is the State of Arkansas's own Emergency Management website and office. Good try.
The most truthful statement in the article was: Nearly a week later, Jefferson County sheriff's Lt. Eugene Butler still doesn't know the precise cause. But he could say for certain Wednesday that it was not a meteor. Butler had no doubt that a meteor did fall, though -- several people reported it, including Rehrauer (of the Pulaski County Sheriff's office).
About the change of the date of the fire, the last lines of the article may sum-up the attitude among county and state officials: Hunt was hoping the eyewitness account would still the rumors and quiet his phone. "That," he said, "should probably put to rest any theories that we might have had a UFO or whatever land out there."
Here is the entire article:
Rumors Link Meteor Sighting, Brush Fire
By Mark MInton - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A falling star arced across the central Arkansas skies last Thursday night, its fiery tale lingering as it descended. About two hours later, a caller reported a fire burning a patch of brush southwest of England. Nearly a week later, investigators have determined that the falling star did not start the fire. But it did start a commotion. As news of the meteor and the mysterious fire spread, theories began to circulate and phones began to ring. "Everybody's speculating," said the woman tending the lunch counter Wednesday at The Country Store on Arkansas 256 at Wright. "I like the one about the little green men, myself." Like the men in the lunch crowd inside the gray cinder-block store, where the sign out front promises "Beer, Ammunition, Hardware," the counter woman was willing to repeat the good-natured UFO banter but not to attach her name to it. For more gossip, the group recommended the Brodie Bend bar and pool hall, housed in a former bait shop just up the highway.
Brodie Bend patrons said word of the mysterious fire was spreading Wednesday through a noontime television report aired in the bar. The radio waves were also carriers, as the England fire was mentioned on at least one national radio show that takes calls about UFOs, according to one weary Jefferson County sheriff's official who said he heard it on the way home. Meantime, media inquiries kept Wally Hunt's phones ringing at the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management in Pine Bluff.
"We've had calls from CBS New York and various other nationwide agencies," Hunt said Wednesday. "I'm not going to estimate how many calls I got" after news of the fire and the meteor hit the news wires Friday, Hunt said. Pulaski County sheriff's office spokesman John Rehrauer said that a woman identifying herself as a radio news reporter from New Jersey questioned him about the meteor, which he saw as it fell. He said she published it on her UFO Web site. The phones were also ringing at the Jefferson County sheriff's office, where investigators have been looking into the cause of the fire since the first report came in about 11 p.m. March 9.
The caller reported a "mushroom-type ball of fire" southwest of England at the point where Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties adjoin. Hunt said the caller thought an airplane might have crashed and initially reported the fire to Little Rock National Airport, Adams Field. The airport relayed the alert to authorities, Hunt said, and an Arkansas State Police helicopter that happened to be in the area had a look but found no evidence of a plane crash. Since determining there was no crash, investigators have been working to establish what did cause the fire. Nearly a week later, Jefferson County sheriff's Lt. Eugene Butler still doesn't know the precise cause. But he could say for certain Wednesday that it was not a meteor. Butler had no doubt that a meteor did fall, though -- several people reported it, including Rehrauer. But Butler said a witness emerged Wednesday to tell investigators he had seen the fire on the property March 8, the day before the falling star shot through the sky.
The witness, a retired farmer who Butler said did not want his name released, did not view the fire as an immediate concern and did not report it that day. Hunt was hoping the eyewitness account would still the rumors and quiet his phone. "That," he said, "should probably put to rest any theories that we might have had a UFO or whatever land out there." _____
From Dennis Hopper < 3-19-00
I lived in the Piney Woods of east Texas. I have carefully viewed the picture of the Arkansas fire causing such a stir and see nothing odd. When trees die or are cut down the stump will rot level with the ground. The ground around the tree is slightly uplifted from the growth of the roots underneath. When the stump catches fire it burns slowly downward leaving the impression of a "crater" As the roots burn, they leave an extension to the crater exactly like the ones in the photos. The best way to extinguish the fire is to fill the hole with dirt to deprive it of oxygen. Left unattended the stump will burn a very long time. I have seen a stump burn for more than two weeks. The embers will occasionally "pop" and throw sparks off relighting any unburned material nearby. Also if the hole is not filled and the stump continues to burn the hole becomes so deep it is a hazard to any livestock, large game or people in the area.
The long lines of white ash is the result of the fallen tree rotting away, leaving only the heartwood which is resin saturated and highly flammable. It burns very fast and hot and leaves the white ash. Here we call it "Rich Lighter Pine" and it is used to start campfires. These heartwood cores are usually unnoticed before the fire as they are covered by fallen leaves and pine needles.
I am not saying that there isn't a mystery there, but it isn't the fire site, it's what started the fire and what the witnesses saw in the sky.
Dennis Hopper
Note - see Al Collier's site for updated pictures showing how someone has gone out there and filled in all of the 'craters' with dirt.
Arkansas Mystery - A Bolide? - Data Says No
From Brenda Livingston
Dear Jeff
I was not aware that bolides or fireballs or meteors could cause so much explosive and incendiary activity... perhaps on a very rare occasion...(?) Most meteorites (those rocks, etc. that come to the ground) no longer spark... usually ending ablation 20 km above the earth. Most are usually very cold or ambient temp when they reach the ground... difficult for them to ignite a fire... and really hard for them to be the source of a combustion of the soil or chemicals in the soil.
Excerpted from the American Meteor Society FAQ:
"8. Can a meteorite dropping fireball be observed all the way to impact with the ground?
No. At some point, usually between 15 to 20 km (9-12 miles or 48,000-63,000 feet) altitude, the meteoroid remnants will decelerate to the point that the ablation process stops, and visible light is no longer generated. This occurs at a speed of about 2-4 km/sec (4500-9000 mph).
From that point onward, the stones will rapidly decelerate further until they are falling at their terminal velocity, which will generally be somewhere between 0.1 and 0.2 km/sec (200 mph to 400 mph). Moving at these rapid speeds, the meteorite(s) will be essentially invisible during this final "dark flight" portion of their fall.
9. Are meteorites "glowing" hot when they reach the ground?
Transfer interrupted!
urs over the majority of the meteorite's path, is a very efficient heat removal method, and was effectively copied for use during the early manned space flights for re-entry into the atmosphere. During the final free-fall portion of their flight, meteorites undergo very little frictional heating, and probably reach the ground at only slightly above ambient temperature."
It appears that people on the scene reported finding no meteorites. Some even reported finding no craters... although it is quite apparent that there were several at the scene (as seen in Al Collier's photos).
I think that it was reported that NORAD and others said that there was no space junk or meteors in the area that could account for what people were seeing in the skies or what might have impacted on the ground.
The heat necessary to combust soil or chemicals within soil would be tremendously hotter than that emanating from a fallen meteorite(s). The fireperson on the scene in Arkansas reported intense heat on the scene -- so intense that firefighting efforts had to be postponed from the ground.
If this was simply a bolide meteor event which started the fire... which no one... including the sheriff thought it was... why would someone find it necessary to work with heavy equipment in the wee hours of early morning covering up craters and the area with soil? It seems that they would want to keep the area intact for further investigation by scientists interested in meteorite phenomena.
My understanding is that a bolide explosion likely would happen miles above the earth. Such an explosion would not be a rising mushroom cloud moving upward from the earth.
Am I missing something? If someone has information about bolides that is not in the above materials... I would like to learn about it. If a bolide were the cause of these fires -- I believe this would be an extraordinary event...maybe as spectacular as a UFO crash...
In my opinion the mystery continues!
Brenda Livingston
From Jerry Kirkegaard < 3-20-00
Hi Jeff
I noticed some thing regarding the photos of Al Collier, in particular the depression photos. For an object that has been presented as a meteor or bolide the depression photos show no indication of DIRECTION as the object made contact with the ground. If there had directional motion on contact it would tend to push or plow some ground in the direction of motion kind of like a dirt wave except when all energy has been spent we are left with this dirt mound at the rim of the depression on the side of direction of travel. In the photos it showed vertical sides around the perimeter of the depressions which would indicate something came straight down. It would very interesting to know if there was an aerial photo to see if these depressions were in a symmetrical in configuration ie landing gear. Maybe, just maybe this object came and left vertically in the confusion of the known fire storm????
Best Regards


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