Too close for comfort

Unidentified object lands in pond near Badger

Krysta Carroll
Published on March 14, 2013
Less than a kilometre from Ted Pelley's house on Bakepot Road by Dawes Pond, the pond is disrupted. Pelley said something, but no one knows just what, fell from the sky, forcing water up over the ice.
Photo courtesy of Ted Pelley

"Something came down with a brutal force."

This was Ted Pelley's description of a disruption in the middle of Dawes Pond, approximately 20 kilometres northwest of Badger.

Pelley lives on Bakepot Road, and the "mess" on the ice is less than a kilometre from his dwelling.

Something fell from the sky, but no one knows what it could have been, he said.

"The lake was nice and flat and smooth and here's this big mess," Pelley said. "There's no debris of any kind. When it broke through the two feet of ice it put a lot of water back up on the ice."

Pelley said he didn't hear anything. However, he and his friend Darlene Broderick, had to go to Grand Falls-Windsor on Friday, which is when he suspects this happened.

"It was very close to our house where it came down," he said. "If it came in on the angle it looks like it came in, it passed over this house not that far. Too close for comfort. Dawes Pond is about 4 km long, and this thing is about a kilometre out from me."

Pelley said this past Thursday he hauled a load of wood across the pond.

"On Saturday I went back up the lake for a ride and you wouldn't be able to haul wood back across there any more," Pelley said. "We discovered this big mess on the ice. We never did get our ride because we just spent the rest of the day there trying to figure out what in the world fell out of the sky. We thought first it might have been a plane or something, but it wasn't that."

Jim Gillard of the Twillingate Astronomical Observatory spent Tuesday morning in the area, Pelley said.

"As soon as he found out about that, up he came," Pelley said. "He is an expert. He has no idea what it is. There's a lot of thought of meteorites but usually with meteorites there would be some evidence. There is no sign of evidence. We've been at it for three days looking.

"That's not saying it's not a meteorite, but he don't know what it is. It could be a piece of space junk too, but it sure did make a fine smash in that ice."

Pelley said he accompanied Gillard to the site on Tuesday morning.

"Jim couldn't find the hole because it probably would take days with the shovel," Pelley said. "It's a big area. It's probably 200 or 300 feet wide. There certainly is a hole there...We couldn't find it because there was so much false ice there we couldn't find the actual hole. It could be a very small hole, but it came in with a big force and it drove a lot of water up."

Once the water started to settle it became false ice, he said, making it difficult, and dangerous, to travel on it. Gillard, however, went out with an axe, and spent a lot of time trying to find the penetration spot, Pelley said.

"There's something down there," Pelley said. "Something went down there. It might be a piece or space junk, it might be a meteorite; God knows what else it could be. It's very exciting. It's very interesting. No one knows what it is. There are no answers yet.

"If we went out and found a piece of space junk and said 'oh that's what did it, that would be it. It would be over and gone and that would be the end of it."

And it may never be found, he said.

"Sometimes these things fall out of the sky Jim was saying and they never find them," Pelley said. "That thing could have went down through the ice and went on down in the mud in the bottom and you could never in a lifetime find it."

Paul Rose of Riverfront Chalets was finishing up a ride on Sunday evening when he travelled along by the area, Pelley said.

"We were just on our way out to look at the site," Pelley said. "He followed along, so he took pictures and blogged it on his site."

Rose's blog from March 11, was titled "Gaff was awesome today! Meteorite landed in Dawes Pond!"

"Yes. The title is correct! At the end of our ride we ran into a friend who lives on Dawes Pond," Rose's blog states. "Yesterday, a meteorite landed in front his cabin in Dawes Pond. He didn't see it but people heard it. The hole is about 10 feet wide and maybe 100 feet long so it was small and came down at a low angle from the North East. It is an amazing site! You can see where the hole was made in the picture as well as where the water splashed out and froze. For something that apparently was traveling at 1000s of mile an hour is a neat hole...almost like a laser had cut it. Amazing to see!"

Gillard could not be reached as of press time.