Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Does This Video Show A Skydiver Nearly Being Hit By A Meteorite?

In the video, you can see a small, dark object go whooshing past parachutist Anders Helstrup around the 29-second mark, followed by a slow-motion replay. It sure as hell looks like a rock falling from above the sky, which would presumably be space, but what do I know? A Professional Rock Guy, a.k.a. a geologist, believes it's a meteorite.


Helstrup's jump occurred in the summer of 2012, according to Norway's state broadcaster NRK. (A legit news source, which matters very much in a story like this one.) He says he didn't notice anything during the jump, but saw the object streak past him upon watching the video.

"When we stopped the film, we could clearly see something that looked like a stone. At first it crossed my mind that it had been packed into a parachute, but it's simply too big for that."


Helstrup shared the video with experts at Oslo's Natural History museum, and it quickly became a sensation among "meteorite enthusiasts." They aided Helstrup in searching the area, which has been narrowed down to 10 square kilometers. But no luck—it's damned hard to find a rock, especially when it may not necessarily stand out.

Judging just from the video, geologist Hans Amundsen believes it must be a meteorite—specifically, a small chunk of a larger body that likely broke apart miles above Helstrup.

"It can't be anything else. The shape is typical of meteorites – a fresh fracture surface on one side, while the other side is rounded."

But we'll never know. My headline being constructed as a question is not meant to invoke Betteridge's Law, but reflects a genuine agnosticism. Would I love to believe this is the first ever image of a meteorite in "dark flight," after it has decelerated to terminal velocity and no longer carries a bright tail? You bet. It could also be Jimmy fucking Kimmel.


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