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Reports of fireball over Oneida Lake scramble area rescue crews

By ANDREW DONOVAN

SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. (WKTV) - Numerous reports of a fireball over Oneida Lake had local fire and police agencies scrambling into action Friday night.

According to authorities, witnesses to the fireball were not sure what they had seen. Police were called because some thought it may have been a boat explosion. Water rescue crews from Oswego County began searching the water for that reason.

The search began in an area near Bridgeport, off of Shakelton Point. Crews went buoy to buoy before clearing the situation and standing down.

According to Sheriff Robert Maciol, Oneida County deputies assisted in giving the all clear.

Onondaga County helped by providing a helicopter for the search.

Oswego County officials told NEWSChannel 2 Friday night that no evidence was found suggesting trouble on the lake.

According to the American Meteor Society, 45 reports were filed of a bright meteor flying by around 8:30 p.m. EDT on Friday over southeastern Canada and the northeastern US.

The Society says a fireball is a meteor that is larger than normal. Most meteors are only the size of small pebbles. A meteor the size of a softball can produce light equivalent to a full moon for a short instant.

Scientist Robert Lunsford of the Meteor Society said, "I receive countless reports that the object landed just over the hill when in fact it was several hundred miles away and was witnessed over several states. It is your perspective that makes meteors appear to strike the horizon when in fact they are still high in the atmosphere. This is much like a jetliner seen low in your sky."

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