The event is briefly described in a request submitted by Nancy Talbott as follows.
“A 4-5 ft. diam. glowing, translucent ball of light was observed drifting horizontally 10 feet above power lines at dusk. Flames erupted, moving “like electricity” thru tree tops, as object (w/multiple 6-8 inch fiery red rods protruding from underside) hit tree line, and falling sparks ignited brush on ground.”
Mike Price prepared a very detailed, well-researched final report for MUFON on January 6, 2006.
The objective is to analyze soils, wood samples and a piece of plastic from the site to determine whether there are any unusual materials present. And, specifically ascertain whether any accelerants are present.
Following are some selected photographs pertaining to the site, taken by Mike Price.
1.) No hydrocarbon-type accelerant is detected in any of the soil samples thus eliminating fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, etc. as possible accelerants.
2.) High concentrations of ammonium chloride, perhaps between 0.2-0.8 wt.%, were found in all the soil samples which include both burn area and control samples. Additionally, calcium nitrate was found in two control soils (C-1, C-2) and one burn area soil (S-3) at roughly the same concentrations. Hawley’s Chemical Dictionary relates the following concerning ammonium chloride (my underlining). Its uses include “dry batteries, mordant (dyeing and printing), soldering flux, manufacturing of various ammonia compounds, fertilizer, pickling agent in zinc coating and tinning, electroplating, washing powders, melt retarding snow treatment, production of urea-formaldehyde resins and adhesives, bakery products.” The following information is provided for calcium nitrate. Its uses include “pyrotechnics, explosives, matches, fertilizers, other nitrates, source of 14C by nuclear irradiation.” The dictionary also lists it as a hazard “strong oxidizer, dangerous fire risk in contact with organic materials, may explode if shocked or heated.” The detection of these unusual components bears further inquiry of the landowner by the investigators.
3.) No unusual materials are detected in the tree wood/bark samples from the burn area. Only natural products were observed. Some degradation due to the heat was noted.
4.) The plastic is composed of polyethylene. Some oxidation of the plastic was observed in a melt area, which is obviously due to heat exposure.