reentry over Texas? Or was it Oklahoma?

Joe Dellinger (
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 10:15:06 -0600

	The re-entry of something fairly big and spectacular at about
3:40AM CST Jan 22 was widely reported in this part of the country. Certainly
it was widely seen (by people awake and out at the time) here in Tulsa,

	Thursday's "Tulsa World" carried an article about a woman who was
out walking in North Tulsa at the time who thinks she may have been hit by
a piece of debris from the reentry. She was hit about 20 minutes after the
fireball was seen, though, which would tend to indicate that it was unrelated.
However, the debris (I've seen it) was fairly light, so may have taken a while
to float down. She also reports that she was under a tree when hit, and there
was some light wind, so it may have lodged in the tree for a while and then
fallen out later.

	The debris is a sort of blackened warped woven mesh. Hard to say
exactly what it looked like before being crisped. It's pretty hard, and in its
current state more than a little crumbly. I wonder if it was some sort
of carbon-fiber composite before being heated. (?) It seems a little too strong
just to be melted plastic mesh, but maybe that's what it is. There is some
white resinous stuff stuck to it here and there.

	At the Tulsa Astronomy society meeting last Friday night the woman who
was hit came and showed her debris. Many people suspected it more likely was
a piece of incompletely burnt trash from a local incinerator!