Dozens of people from Jacksonville to Ft. Pierce flooded the U.S. Coast Guard late Tuesday with calls about a mysterious ball of fire seen flying in the sky, according to a Local 6 News report.
Callers flooded the newsroom of Local 6 News partner Florida Today
after they saw the object over the Space Coast Tuesday night.
"Starting at about 7:30 last night, we started receiving calls here in the newsroom," Florida Today
online news editor Dave Larimer said. "In fact, the Coast Guard station in Port Canaveral got more than two dozen reports of people seeing a bright light in the sky over the ocean."
From Fort Pierce to about five miles south of Jacksonville, reports came in to Coast Guard offices starting about 7:30 p.m., said Dan Yates, a Coast Guard petty officer in Port Canaveral.
Yates said one caller who was walking his dog near the Sebastian Inlet described the object as "huge, like a giant fireball."
Yates said callers to the Coast Guard station thought a boater might have been in trouble. "A lot of people thought it might have been a flare that might have gone up," Yates said of other callers.
"One person thought this fire ball went into the ocean," Larimer said. "The Coast Guard said it probably didn't and it was just his perspective. We know it was not a rocket launch and we know the Air Force was not doing anything."
Experts said it could be a piece of space junk or a large meteor burning up in the atmosphere.
The Coast Guard base near Jacksonville also received calls.
Babs Angel, a public affairs spokeswoman for Patrick Air Force Base, said no local military activity was taking place Tuesday night.