'Crashed chopper' was a meteorite

2012-09-29 19:00

Cape Town - A search for a helicopter which witnesses claim to have seen crashing at Blouberg was terminated after it emerged that a meteorite had fallen at the same time.

According to the Weekend Argus, "quite a few people" reported seeing a small aircraft crash into the sea at about 20:30 on Friday night.  Witnesses described seeing a light aircraft fly across the beach, lose control and descend, as well as seeing flames.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday that it received reports of a helicopter crash at 20:34. A witness had described seeing what appeared to be a helicopter, with strobe lights flashing, go into a spiral and then fall from the sky and crash.

NSRI Table Bay duty coxswain Pat van Eyssen said rescue craft were on the water at the time dealing with another call involving a tug boat, but diverted in order to search for the crashed aircraft. The NSRI Melkbosstrand was also activated and launched sea rescue craft.

"A sea search by NSRI revealed no sign of any helicopter crash and there was nothing in the area to suggest that a helicopter had crashed."

However, it then emerged that an Airlink pilot had reported seeing what he believed to be a meteorite fall across the western part of the Western Cape. The pilot was flying from Durban to Cape Town.

"Cape Town International Airport then also reported other eyewitnesses claiming that they too had seen what they believed to be a meteorite fall across the West Coast skyline during the same time line," Van Eyssen said.

"No further action was required and although it is assumed that what was seen was a meteorite fall, the situation continued to be monitored throughout the night and there remain no reports of any helicopter overdue or missing."

  • boichoko.dichaba - 2012-09-29 19:25

    are we as a country doesn't have the meteor centre and where was our army to pick up that foreign object before it even got close to our shores

      Alien42063 - 2012-09-29 19:36

      What the F... are you saying? 1. "Are we as a country doesn't have".... - Doesn't make sense 2. Our Army...pickup a meteor? Army...Meteor...WHAT??? Do you know what a Meteor is??

      DeeinSouthAfrica - 2012-09-29 20:24

      Do not make fun of a person who does not speak English first language. Allow me to explain in small steps: “are we as a country doesn't have the meteor centre?” “where was our army to pick up that foreign object before it even got close to our shores?” a) Do we not have a center that monitors incoming meteors? b) Why did our army not pick up on that foreign object before it got even close to our shores? The answer to both of these questions is lack of money. We do not have enough money to keep our army going, so we most certainly do not want to use what money we have on monitoring what is a very rare occurrence of a meteor strike. As it is, a meteor moves so fast that any early warning system in place would prove ineffective.

      gary.smith.rsa - 2012-09-30 11:06

      @Dee it's not a case of a first language. It's a case of a lack of decent education. An education that can be used as basis for logical analysis. Decent education will allow individuals to deduce whether ideas are practical, possible or warranted before spouting nonsense. The old cliche "engage brain before tongue" doesn't apply here yet.

      Alien42063 - 2012-09-30 11:58

      @dee Thanks for translating. Now let me answer A) Only a hand full of countries on Earth can monitor, at best, like 20% of the sky. There is no country on Earth that can monitor such small and fast objects B) This is another logical one I guess. I don't think the army runs around chasing all the hundreds of comets that enter our atmosphere every night\day. If anyone would be interested in this, it might be the airforce? Not 100% sure. But even if it was the army...and they found this crashed meteor...what then? Arrest it? Charge it with war crimes? I don't understand why the army would get involved in a meteor? Maybe a comet that threatened to wipe out an entire city, then the army would help evacuating...but a meteor?

  • werner.niksch - 2012-09-29 19:53

    it's out there.....

      sally.lewitt - 2012-09-30 05:43

      Like what..?

  • clivegoss - 2012-09-29 19:55

    Attention all space cadets

  • johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-09-29 20:05

    drinking too much wine again!!

  • lynwen.roman - 2012-09-29 20:18

    LOL @ \A helicopter with strobe lights\

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-29 20:40

      Flying Disco?

  • lynwen.roman - 2012-09-29 20:18

    LOL @ \A helicopter with strobe lights\

  • mlulami.dike - 2012-09-29 20:55

    21-12-2012 is cuming...only few weeks to left b4 the world cums to an end...0MG!

      sally.lewitt - 2012-09-30 05:38

      Better go have fun then before its too lqte..

  • belnick - 2012-09-29 21:20

    if in USA it would be discribed as an Alien spaceship! 'UFO'

  • melanie.bouweralexander - 2012-09-29 21:56

    We saw this in Namibia too, awesome sight!!!

  • amelda.davies - 2012-09-30 00:22

    Beam me up, Scotty!!

  • flysouth - 2012-09-30 12:38

    So much for the credibility of 'eyewitness' reports!

  • anthony.britz.94 - 2012-10-14 12:26

    The mothership has arrived,biggest party ever in capetown hosted by our space brothers and sister on 21/12/2012...

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