Video shows meteorite narrowly missed skydiver

NRK.no/YouTube

When a Norwegian man jumped out of a plane during a skydiving trip in 2012, he wasn't expecting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a meteorite up close -- really close.

Anders Helstrup narrowly avoided getting hit by the meteor, which zipped by just a few feet away. In the process, he became the first person ever to capture video footage of a meteorite traveling through the air after its flame has gone out.

According to an interview with NRK.no., the Norwegian public broadcasting company, Helstrup had been wearing a wingsuit and a helmet with two cameras attached. When he deployed his parachute, he realized that something was happening.

"I got the feeling that there was something, but I didn't register what was happening," he told NRK.no.

First dismissing it as a stone, Helstrup studied his video footage and couldn't shake the feeling that something about it was amiss.

"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 explained in the interview.

When he showed the video to the Natural History Museum in Oslo, they agreed with his assumption -- it must have been a meteorite. Experts say that the meteorite may have been part of a larger one that may have exploded 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," geologist Hans Amundsen told the Norwegian news organization.

"It has never happened before that a meteorite has been filmed during dark flight; this is the first time in world history," he added.

Helstrup spent the rest of the summer searching the surrounding forests for the meteorite. The museum helped with calculating and triangulating a search area, but so far it has not been found.

The search for the meteorite has been deterred by the surrounding area containing thick forests, scrub and marshes. But, they are hopeful that with help, they'll find it. They have set up a website to tell others the story, while showing the video as well as still images.

When asked about the probability of filming a meteorite while skydiving, Amundsen could not give a definite answer. "It's certainly much less likely than winning the lottery three times in a row," he said.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.