Wednesday, July 9, 2008

UFO Over Israel? Of Course!

Not a picture of it, just an illustration for the story!


Sometimes we forget that UFO stands for "Unidentified Flying Object" and not "Spaceship Full of ETs." Last night, it was definitely unidentified, definitely flying, and definitely an object, according to witnesses (a LOT of witnesses).

I guess the time is now to indulge in my weirdest idea about what it means when our sages said that the gentiles will "hold onto the corners of our garments" and demand we teach them Torah. I have always wondered what would make non-Jews suddenly so sure that the Jews had the story right, and I came up with a pretty wacky explanation which, I'm sure my family is happy to acknowledge, I have mostly kept to myself. Until now.

I always thought, "What would happen if, suddenly, a spaceship of aliens landed with a copy of the Chumash and said 'Where are the Jews? We want to learn from them.'"

That would certainly start such a panic, wouldn't it?

OK, so now you know my weird fascination with this story. I guess it is the influence of all the science fiction I read as a child . . . or maybe the chili dog I ate last night?


Last update - 03:39 09/07/2008

Meteor sighting sparks UFO panic in Israel
By Yigal Hai, Haaretz Correspondent

An unexpected meteor cut through Israel's skyline from east to west Tuesday evening and disappeared shortly after, causing panic throughout central Israel and bafflement among astronomers who failed to predict it.

The meteor was seen by residents in the Tel Aviv area at around 8:00 P.M., leading to alarmed phone calls to the police. "Several calls were registered in which callers described having seen a shiny trail in the Sharon district," an Israel Police spokesman said. "We crosschecked with the Israel Defense Forces and its ground units, and came up with no explanation," he added.

Ram Rafaeli, A resident from Kfar Yedidya described is meteor sighting to Haaretz. "I went on the roof of the house with my sons and we began painting it. My eldest son turned my attention to a bright object that left a long trail, crossing the sky from east to west. It was white and radiant, and it shed a bright, strong and shiny light," he said.

Rafaeli explained that at one point he could no longer see the light that divided the skies. "As I am a man of exact sciences in my professional life, I don't believe in aliens. It is possible that it was a case of a meteor that entered the atmosphere, but it does not appear that way. In any case, it was a beautiful site."


  1. It was a fireball, I saw it at 8:17 last night while driving home. While not common these things are not THAT rare. Though this was a rather bright one. When I reported it to cloudynights (astronomy forum) the response was pretty much "Cool, go report it to a web site that tracks these things. It was probably a mid sized rock hitting the upper atmosphere. Maybe a few meters in size or more.

    These things are generally random events that are not predicted.

    Still a fireball THAT bright is rather rare.


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