The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Pages past - Sept. 18


September 18, 2019

On this date ...

1954: Several area residents reported seeing a “green fire ball” in the eastern New Mexico skies about 8:40 p.m.

Dr. Ross Calvin of Clovis said it moved east to west and left a luminous greenish streak bent into a giant u.

Oscar Shay of Portales said it changed colors as he watched — from a yellow-white, to incandescent purple, to blue violet and finally a “blinding green.”

The light remained visible about 15 minutes.

National media reported more than 1,000 people at a Santa Fe football game also saw the fireball light up the sky.

Such sightings were not uncommon in the early 1950s. U.S. government officials were initially concerned because they were seen around military installations.

While some scientists believed the fireballs were meteors, others theorized they may have been Soviet spy devices.

The origins were never confirmed.

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