A mysterious flash over Russia has spiked fears that the third world war has begun. Many were worried that the ground shaking explosion over Russia was that of the United States striking North Korea with a weapon of mass destruction.
According to the Daily Mail, the phenomenon was seen and felt over thousands of miles in Russia but was especially evident in three regions: Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan. The flash was so bright, that witnesses said it turned the night into day.
Although some think the flash was nothing more than a meteor, others were concerned. “Probably it was the testing of some military weapon if even the ground was shaking,” said Firaya Zaripova commenting early Monday morning. “I saw the flash in Menzelinsk. There was also the sound of an explosion and then a vibration, I felt it,” said Ilnaz Shaykhraziev.
Another witness described the flash as an object breaking apart in the sky. “A meteor burned out, not reaching the lower layers of the atmosphere. Before this it exploded and split into many small pieces. That is why there was such a sound, which came to us in a few seconds. It’s a funny coincidence that such a rare phenomenon for our region has happened right over Christmas,” said Denis Rozenfeld.
Russian officials and scientists were rather quick to deny there had been a Russian missile test or any reported space rock crashing to earth. The flash also prompted fears that the United States attacked North Korea. And there has been speculation this week that North Korea was poised to test a ballistic missile or a nuke to mark tyrannical leader Kim Jong-un’s birthday.
“We saw this while driving – there was a vibration and the sound of explosion in the sky, awesome,” said Artyom Russkikh, as reported by The Siberian Times which collected witness statements of the flash on the night following Russian Orthodox Christmas Day this week. “What was it? A meteor, a rocket from space, UFO, North Korea?”
Reports of similar flashes have occurred three times in 12 years in Russia, yet experts were split on the cause of the flash.
Yuri Nefefyev, director of the Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory, claimed atmospheric electricity was behind the eerie night-to-day explosion of light. “There are a huge number of effects linked to atmospheric electricity, many of which are not properly studied because of how rarely they occur,” he said.
Astronomers from Kazan Federal University in Tatarstan insisted there was a space link. “This was a bolide, when all substance burns in atmosphere and doesn’t reach Earth,” said Dr Sergey Golovkin, of the University’s Physics Institute. “It is accompanied by a loud bang. It could have been a fragment of a spacecraft that burnt, but normally it takes them more time to enter the atmosphere, thus they can be observed for longer. This was a bolide that burnt in the dense layers of the atmosphere which is why it was seen over such a big territory. We didn’t register the flash because there was strong blizzard on this night.” -The Daily Mail
Although no one is certain what this strange phenomenon was, the consensus and likely possibility is some sort of space debris. It was not the United States striking North Korea.