Large crater in ice stumps astronomer
An amateur astronomer says a large hole in the ice on Dawe's Lake near Badger in central Newfoundland must have been caused by an object that fell from the sky.
"We've looked all around," said Jim Gillard, who runs the Twillingate Astronomical Observatory. "There don't appear to be anything else that could've caused this, except something that fell out of the sky."
The hole, which measures about 55 metres by 60 metres, was first discovered on Friday morning by a cabin owner in the area.
Heard loud noise
Gillard said another local man had reported hearing a loud noise, perhaps a sonic boom, in the area either late on Thursday night or early on Friday morning.
Gillard described the ice covering Dawe's Lake as hard, about two-thirds of a metre thick, with no snow cover. He said the area that was disturbed had a wave-like pattern of ice piled up at one edge, and had been broken up enough that water was able to seep through the ice and flow back and forth over the area.
"We can't find any explanation around here," said a bemused Gillard. "Again, we can only assume something fell out of the sky and hit this lake here."
Gillard added that there was no other evidence near the lake to suggest that a meteor had punched the hole in the ice.
He also speculated that a piece of satellite debris or an object from an airplane could have made the hole, but was quick to say that there was no evidence of those objects, either.
Photos sent to experts
Gillard, who is a member of the Meteor Impact Advisory Committee, has sent photos of the area to other members of the group to see if they have any ideas on what might have caused the unusual disturbance on the ice. He has also sent photos to members of the Royal Astronomical Society for their thoughts.
Gillard advised anyone interested in checking out the hole to stay away from the area, as the ice has been broken up and is unstable.