Hundreds of Israelis called the Israel Police hotline on Thursday reporting they had seen an unidentified flying object glowing in the sky, leaving behind it a stream of smoke. The police's northern district said it was looking into the incident together with the Israeli Defense Forces but at this point they do not know what to make of it.
Israelis from across Israel – from Kiryat Malachi, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Givatayim, Petach Tikva and the Dead Sea reported seeing the object in the evening sky. The object was also seen outside Israel; in Lebanon, the news website Naharnet reported it that people across the country had also seen the object. Similar reports have also been reported as far north as the Syria-Turkey border.
According to Lebanese sources the unidentified flying object was a meteor though this is rejected by Yigal Pat-El, chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Association and director of the Givatayim Observatory.
"From rough calculations I made I reached the conclusion that it was a few tens of kilometers above the ground and a few tens of kilometers north of the border with Lebanon, possibly over Syria. It might have been a satellite making entry and fallowing apart suddenly. I don't know. It's hard to tell. A satellite doesn't leave a plume like this, and it isn't a plane," Pat-El said.
Natan Levi who was driving home with his daughter in the northern Galilee when he saw the object. "Suddenly, coming from the north, we saw a giant cone of light open up in the sky in what look to me the sky above Mt. Hermon and Har Dov. It was crazy, and after 15 seconds it began spinning light a florescent spiral, which dispersed into a giant plume of smoke blanketing the entire mountain."
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