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Meteorite Reported in Southern Western Australia
2004 07 01

The Perth Observatory says it has had reports a meteor has crashed near Walpole in Western Australia's south. Witnesses say they saw a large, fiery object zigzagging through the sky at about 5:30pm yesterday.

The witnesses say the object left a trail of thick smoke and then they heard a bang. The observatory says it appears the object was travelling somewhere between Perth and Albany in a south-south easterly direction.

Walpole resident Heather Burton was in her backyard when she saw the object. She says it was unlike a normal shooting star.

"A shooting star usually just goes straight across or straight down - this one had these gradual zigzags just coming down," she said.

Alex Bevan from the WA Museum says the reports indicate the sightings were the result of a fireball generated by a meteorite.

"We're certainly picking up reports of a bright fireball and sonic phenomena associated - I'm absolutely sure - with the fall of a meteorite," Dr Bevan said.

Dr Bevan says it will be difficult to find where the meteorite landed.

"Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be as many observations, so actually pinning down where the object landed might be a bit difficult and in that area, the vegetation might mean searching for it would be difficult," he said.

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