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The Tampa Morning Tribune

Tampa, Florida, MORNING TRIBUNE, 10 November 1951, page 7

Southwest Goggle-Eyed Over Twin 'Fireballs'

ALBUQUERQUE, Nov. 9 - (AP) - While goggle-eyed Southwesterners compared notes, scientific parties sought today to track down twin fireballs near the Mexican border.

The apparent meteors blazed through the sky shortly before noon yesterday. Ground observers and fliers, some blinded momentarily, viewed the phenomena from points as much as 350 miles apart. One eyewitness report came from nearly 100 miles south of the international boundary in Chihuahua, Mexico.

There were widely conflicting estimates of where the objects crashed to earth.

A ranking authority on meteors said recent frequency of the fireballs - the latest were Nos. 6 and 7 in an 11-day period - is "without parallel in the whole of recorded history."

This observation came from Dr. Lincoln La Paz, who makes a business of digging up meteorites as head of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico here. He said the normal rate is one every three of four months.

"Such a case of two meterorites falling together without noise would be hard to duplicate in history," La Paz said.

"I just don't know what to make of it," he added. "I'm almost inclined to ask those fellows out in Nevada (where atom bomb tests have been held recently) what they are doing."

In Washington a Defense Department spokesman said the department knew nothing of any tests in the Southwest at the time the flying objects were seen.

Accounts indicated one or both of yesterday's objects jolted to earth with a roar near Cloverdale, N. M. This is a small ranch community just north of the Mexican border and in the extreme southwest corner of the state.

At least two other witnesses estimated the brilliant objects crashed near such widely separated points as Sierra Blanca, Texas, and Guzman, Chihuahua.

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