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Plymouth Massachusetts, Metallic Space Debris Fallout, 02 Dec 2011

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Topical Analysis of the Plymouth Massachusetts, Space Debris Fallout

I do not, and for numerous reasons, find the explanation regarding the nature of the Plymouth Massachusetts "mystery object", and means of arrival, having apparently fallen out of the sky, as shared by astronomer, Kelly Beatty, in his interview with TV reporter Jim Armstrong, correct or completely satisfying, having stated the following:

"Astronomer Kelly Beatty from the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Mass. says the likelihood is that the object did not come from outer space as nothing used in spacecraft or satellites would be made of solid metal. Instead, he suggests looking at whether there was any blasting work at a nearby construction site which might have sent the object flying into the air."

To start, do not find the explanation regarding the objects arrival method, Mr. Beatty excluding the possibility that the object fell from space, as having been the product of a local explosion as somewhat unlikely. As a map of the area, centered on the impact zone, marked out in 1, 2, and 4 mile (1.6, 3.2, 6.4 km) circles, does not suggest the presence of any industrial sources that may have produced such violent explosion necessary to propel a dense metallic object the necessary distance and velocity. That had such violent explosion occurred would have more than like have produced other fall out objects besides this lone object, along with an audible sound that should have been heard by many, and especially for such small community.

The fact that no report of such sound was associated with this event, in addition to no other objects having been found striking or littering the area, infers that this object was without accompaniment. As such, more than likely, not the product of a violent explosion. Less that explosion, be of the sort that is designed to be confined and relatively controlled such as to project or launch an object some distance and at high velocity, as in the form of a crude gun, much like that used by pumpkin chucker's, and again, not very likely considering the urban nature of the community. Concluding that this metallic item is not only a piece of reentering space debris, but may be the resulting by product of a Chinese anti satellite kinetic weapons test, on the presumption that the piece did not fall from an aircraft.

Map of Plymouth Massachusetts centered on the space debris impact zone

Map of Plymouth Massachusetts (Google Maps, 2011) [1], centered on the impact zone with circles corresponding to 1, 2, and 4 mile (1.6, 3.2, 6.4 km) radius. This area along Plymouth Bay having very little urban activity and few if any businesses that might produce an explosion, or equipment failure of the sort that would propel a dense and lone projectile a great distance, the event unnoticed or witnessed.

My next point of disagreement with Mr. Beatty being his rejection of the object having fallen from space as the object does not appear to having any indications of charring from reentry. My comment on that being that the object does show some indication to having been exposed to a limited period of very high temperatures, with some signs of partial melting in the form of rounded, soft corners. Melt phenomena seen on some iron/nickel meteor. These metallic bodies having little carbonaceous of refractory compounds in their composition to leave behind burn patterns as one might expect to see with non refractory materials from typical asteroid mineral compound groups such as siderophiles, chalcophiles, and lithophiles. The brown oxidation on the sides of the object perhaps the only resulting product of reentry.

Captured video image of metallic debris with signs of some melt damage

Captured video image of metallic debris collected in Plymouth MA.,(WBZ News, 2011)[3], with some indications of brief high temperature exposure in the form of minor melt damage.

Captured video image of metallic debris with signs of some melt damage

Addition image of possible melt damage,(WBZ News, 2011)[4] from brief exposure to high temperatures during atmospheric reentry, (WBZ News, 2011).

Additionally, the nature and level of damage, produced by the Plymouth falling body (left)(WBZ News, 2011)[5] being very simalar to another small impacts, in particular an incident occuring in Poland of this year, in which a small meteor struck a small garage, penitrating the corrigated and wood roof (Astro Bob, 2011).[6]

Captured video image of damaged roof produced by the Plymouth MA. impactor    Captured video image of damaged roof produced by the Plymouth MA. impactor

Video frame image of damaged roof (left) produced by the Plymouth MA. impactor (WBZ News, 2011).[7] The level and size of damage, given the size of the falling object, being consistent with other impact events produced by meteoric bodies of similar dimension sticking a small garage in Poland, May 2011 (Astro Bob, 2011).[8]

Captured video image of the metallic object which fell out of the sky in Plymouth MA. penetrating a roof.    Photo of meteor which fell in Poland stricking a small garage in May 2011

The two objects, the metallic debris in Plymouth and the meteor in Poland being of similar size. At left a video frame image of the metallic debris falling in Plymouth MA. (WBZ News, 2011).[9] At right, a photo of the meteor which fell in Poland, May 2011 (Astro Bob, 2011).[10]

That the object falling in Plymouth may be the remains from a Chinese anti satellite test conducted in 2007. The metallic debris being some of the shot or fragmentation material transported by an anti satellite weapon. This metallic material with very dense and high melting temperature, composed of few refractory compounds if any beyond parts per million being the preferred kinetic material in kinetic weapons systems. Such philosophy having spurred the use of depleted uranium (DU) in the 20mm projectiles of the US Navy Phalanx CIWS. This material, looking like industrial scrap metal, and from a testing perspective adequate and more cost effect than using a highly prescribe substance, making for a good bebe or pellet substitute. The size of this particular pellet being of near idea size in terms of the size of orbiting satellites. An object of this size and estimated mass, being able to penetrate a satellite bus or external arrays without having to reach velocities on the order of Earth gravitational escape.

In short, it may be very possible that the Chinese collected a bunch of this low cost, scrap metal, having had the individual sizes cut to similar dimensions and loaded into an ejecting canister, which was latter detonated in the path of another orbiting satellite. The Chinese, I'm guessing, being of the mind that this debris would more than likely fall into the ocean, undetected, with the statistical probability of a piece landing in a populated area, only to be discovered at a later date as being exceptionally small. Except in this example, happened to be the situation, with this pellet like object falling in Plymouth MA. What I would like to know is whether the Chinese used a piece of metal that was fabricated overseas, to provide plausible deniability, or if this metal can be analytically determined to have been produced in China.

Captured video image of the metallic object which fell out of the sky in Plymouth MA. penetrating a roof.

This metallic material, which looks like industrial scrap metal, from a testing perspective, is much more cost effect than using a highly prescribe substance. That this "scrap", may in fact be the results of a down selection process that in the final determination was decided to be most cost effective and least expensive solution in the search for a space qualified kinetic weapon bebe or pellet substitute. The size of this particular pellet being of near idea size in terms of the size of orbiting satellites.

Captured video image of the metallic object which fell out of the sky in Plymouth MA. penetrating a roof.

Click here to downland this video (12 MB, mp4) by WBZ TV, reporter Jim Armstrong. Video may take a couple minutes to download. Click on the video frame above to start. Quicktime application required.

[1] Distance Radius Map of Plymouth Massachusetts, adapted from Google Map of Plymouth Massachusetts, retrieved 02 Dec 2011;,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1095&bih=819&wrapid=tlif132289905849510&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl, (2011), adapted by Park McGraw.

[2] Teacher Text; Genesis, Cosmic Chemistry: The Periodic Table: Understanding Elements Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes, Genesis Mission: Search for Origins (NASA / JPL / California Institute of Technology), pg. 9, retrieved 15 Nov 2011;

[3, 4, 5, 7, 9] News video, captured image, adapted from "A Plymouth rock from outer space?", (WBZ Television Station), CBS News, retrieved 02 Dec 2011;, adapted by Park McGraw.

[6, 8, 10] Space rock crashes through roof in Poland, 04 May 2011, Astro Bob, et. al., (Duluth News Tribune), retrieved 03 Dec 2011;

[11] Fire Control Technician G 3 & 2: Naval Education and Training Command Rated Training Manual and Non Resident Career Course, 1981, FTCS Allen R. Bergeron, and FTMC Frank E. Sloan, et. al., (Naval Education and Training Program Development Center), NAVEDTRA 10207-B, pg. 11-18, Stock Order No. 0502-LP-051-0370.

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