BRITISH COLUMBIA

Mounties Across B.C. Flooded With Calls About Possible Meteorite Strike

A bright flash was spotted across B.C. and Alberta skies on Monday night.

09/05/2017 15:25 EDT | Updated 09/05/2017 16:07 EDT

People from the West Coast to as far east as Calgary are puzzling over a bright flash they saw light up the sky on Monday night.

Jimmy-Lee Vennard was soaking in a friend's outdoor hot tub in southwest Calgary when he saw what seemed to be a falling star just after 11 p.m.

Vennard, who works as a butler at a posh estate hotel outside the city, is used to seeing falling stars streak across the sky on clear summer nights.

But the giant ball of light he saw Monday was like nothing he'd ever witnessed.

"It was insane," he said. "It lit up the neighbourhood ... and then it just disappeared."

Mounties across British Columbia answered dozens of calls about a possible meteorite strike. Reports came in from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island and from Nelson and the Okanagan Valley in the Interior.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Troy Gross said it's a little out of the ordinary for so many people across such a large area to call about a single thing.

"Of course we have no idea what it is, but I'm assuming it's probably a meteor shower. It's obviously bright enough for people all over to see it."

Security cameras at the Fernie, B.C. office of Isosceles Business Systems, an information technology company, captured the flash illuminating the property.

It was so bright that cameras switched to day mode, said head field technician Jesse Mould.

Mould was at home watching TV when white light shone through his blinds.

"All of a sudden it was like lightning happened outside," he said.

But there was no thunder and, when he went outside to check things out, the sky was star-filled and clear.

Numerous people in B.C. took to social media to report hearing a sonic boom and seeing a fireball.

One Twitter user said a house in Nelson shook, while another reported a bright flash followed by a large bang about four minutes later.

"All of a sudden it was like lightning happened outside."

To the east in Creston, a resident reported seeing a huge green flash in the sky followed by an orange fireball and then a sonic boom that shook the house.

Alberta RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said there was one call Monday night from High River, south of Calgary, and two from the Crowsnest Pass with its cluster of towns nestled in the Rocky Mountains right by the B.C. boundary.

Peters said one of the callers from the Crowsnest area said the fireball appeared to be moving westward over the Livingstone mountain range.

— With files from CKNW and News1130

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