In honor of the new green comet that will soon be visible from the earth, here is the story of the Emerald Cloud and the White Sands of New Mexico, the home of those famous green meteors called “The Green Fireballs of New Mexico.”
Driving through the tall white sand dunes of the Mojave Desert in California on the way to Phoenix from Claremont during spring break 1967, we were four witnesses to an unusual daylight sighting. One of the passengers in the backseat of Malcolm`s white Volvo drew our attention to the sky out of the back window. What we saw was a set of towering white cumulus cloud flashing from within as when lightning lights up a cloud like a lantern from the inside – except that it was flashing bright green!
We craned our necks and observed it for as long as we could as we drove along trying to imagine what could cause such a sight. Malcolm was headed for home in Albuquerque where his mother worked as a nuclear scientist at Sandia Lab, Kirtland Air Force Base. He said that he would ask her about what we had seen. Back on campus, I inquired about her response as soon as I saw him again. “She said it was a test,” he replied and we bought it at the time, but now I am not so sure.
Read the rest here
My post on green fireballs can be found here. I hope to eventually get around to writing a follow up post about Project Twinkle.