Chinese media reported that on the evening of December 15, people in Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jinhua, Ningbo, and other places in Zhejiang province witnessed a meteorite falling from the sky. One witness said: “Something is very bright,” and “its strong light is relatively blinding.”
The Chinese website The Paper reported that Qin Hongyi, director of the Zhejiang Astronomical Association, assessed it as a fire meteor with a brightness far beyond the full moon, most likely a meteorite. “The meteor size is over 10 cm. Of course, a meteor of this size may not burn out completely, and there is a possibility that a meteorite will form. But even if it does, it is very small. Recently, it has been a time of intense Geminid meteor shower activity, and the possibility of Geminid meteor shower formation cannot be ruled out.
A report from i.Ifeng media noted that many netizens in Hangzhou and Jinhua reported that around 18:00, a bright “fireball” fell from the sky. “Very fast speed, very bright,” and “don’t know what it is.”
According to Vision Times, Li, a Gongshu District, Hangzhou City resident, said at 17:48: “I saw something like a flame in the sky. It passed in just a few seconds, with very fast speed. At that time, I thought it was a big firework. Then I remembered that Hangzhou city had banned fireworks. So now I think it must be a meteor falling.”
According to Sina, many netizens in Hangzhou said they had seen the fireball, “It was already dark; there was something very bright in the sky. Its intense light is relatively blinding.” People in Xiaoshan city also said that “while driving, a very bright light fell from above.”
People also witnessed the phenomenon in Pujiang, Jinhua. Mao, a Pujiang resident, said: “The sound is so loud that the wooden doors in my house are all shaking.” Fu, another resident, said, “something very bright flew by; it took about 20 seconds before the sound of shaking was heard.”
According to NTDTV, at 19:11 on December 15, Chen, a resident of the village of Chengtou, Pujiang, Hangzhou, told reporters, “The meteorite has landed in Chengtou village, on the concrete road in front of a villager’s house, making a 6-7 cm (2-1/2 inch) deep hole, fortunately no one was hit.”
Meteorites falling from the sky are always considered bad omens or signals of significant events. Before the Tangshan earthquake in Hebei that year, Jilin had a rare meteor shower. On the afternoon of March 8, 1976, a meteorite weighing about 4 tons fell to earth with a shrill roar and landed in a district near the outskirts of Jilin city.
At 3 a.m. on July 28, 1976, an earthquake with a magnitude of about eight on the Richter scale occurred in Tangshan, Hebei province. Its destructive power was equivalent to 400 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima, causing an explosion in the crust about 10 miles (16 km) below ground, killing 10,000 people and seriously injuring 160,000 people.
According to Vision Times, Mao Zedong, former leader of the Communist Party of China, once said that when a meteorite falls from the sky, it is a harbinger of the death of many significant historical figures. In 1976, the three leaders of the CCP died, including Mao Zedong, who died on September 9, 1976. Then, 43 days after the Tangshan earthquake, Zhou Enlai died on January 8, followed by Zhu De on July 6.