“I have never seen anything like this before in my life,” local reacts to space oddity

ASHLAND, Ore. – Across the northwest thousands of local residents saw a strange sight in the sky last night. That strange thing in the night sky Thursday was a rocket re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Thursday night people up and down the west coast saw a string of lights. Many called in with theories, a fair number thought it may have been a UFO, but it was burning debris from Space X’s Falcon 9.

John Palombo saw the oddity that NBC5 News now knows was falcon 9 reenter the atmosphere from his Ashland home.

“I have never seen anything like this before in my life,” said Palombo.

He was one of many who took to social media to describe the unusual scene. But with sightings from Seattle to Portland, Bend to the Rogue Valley videos circulating the internet. That brought something we, unfortunately, see a lot of online misinformation.

“At the moment there were a lot of citizens who were saying, yeah there was a plane wreck. I was like, dang that’s horrible. Unfortunately, it created a bit of cross feedback about what was really going on,” said Palombo.

Astronomers said the streaking light came from the Falcon 9 rocket, launched by Space X on March 4, as it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. Palombo admits the whole thing sparked his imagination and got him and many others thinking about how much more there is out there in the universe.

“One of the interesting things going on people were saying ‘aw dang I was hoping it was aliens or something,” said Palmo

Just this year 14 pieces of space junk with a mass of over 1 tonne have reentered the Earth.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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