The Tunguska Event

It's 7:17 AM on the morning of June 30, 1908, the exact moment when Nikoli Tesla is testing his "Death Ray" by aiming his beam towards the Arctic Cirle where he hopes Admiral Peary will see a visual display in the sky.

In the small Siberian village, herders of Raindeer are awoken by a huge ball of light, followed by an enormous explosion. Seismic vibrations were recorded by sensitive instruments as much as 1000 km (600 mi) away. At 500 km (300 mi), observers reported "deafening bangs" and a fiery cloud on the horizon. About 170 km (110 mi) from the explosion, the object was seen in the cloudless, daytime sky as a brilliant, sunlike fireball; thunderous noises were heard. At distances around 60 km, people were thrown to the ground or even knocked unconscious; windows were broken and crockery knocked off shelves. Probably the closest observers were some reindeer herders asleep in their tents in several camps about 30 km (20 mi) from the site. They were blown into the air and knocked unconscious; one man was blown into a tree and later died. "Everything around was shrouded in smoke and fog from the burning fallen trees."

Some eye-witness reports

Irkutsk newspaper Sibir:

'in the village of Nizhne-Karelinsk in the northwest high above the horizon, the peasants saw a body shining very brightly -(too bright for the naked eye) with a bluish white light. It moved vertically down-wards for about ten minutes. The body was in the form of a 'pipe' (i.e. cylindrical). The sky was cloudless, except that low down on the horizon in the direction in which this glowing body was observed, a small dark cloud was noticed. It was hot and dry and when the shining body approached the ground it seemed to be pulverized and in its place a huge cloud of black smoke was formed and a loud crash, not like thunder, but as if from the fall of large stones, or from gunfire, was heard. All the buildings shook and at the same time, a forked tongue of flame broke through the cloud. The old women wept, everyone thought that the end of the world was approaching.'

400 Kilometers Southeast of Ground Zero

Witnesses in the town of Kirensk and nearby towns at the same distance recollected the fireball flashing across the sky in the following terms:

"A ball of fire...coming down obliquely. A few minutes later [we heard] separate deafening crash like peals of thunder...followed by eight loud bangs like gunshots."

"A ball of fire appeared in the sky... As it approached the ground, it took on a flattened shape..."

"A flying star with a fiery tail; its tail disappeared into the air." 60 Miles from Ground Zero

"I was sitting on the porch of the house at the trading station, looking north. Suddenly in the north...the sky was split in two, and high above the forest the whole northern part of the sky appeared covered with fire. I felt a great heat, as if my shirt had caught fire... At that moment there was a bang in the sky, and a mighty crash... I was thrown twenty feet from the porch and lost consciousness for a moment.... The crash was followed by a noise like stones falling from the sky, or guns firing. The earth trembled.... At the moment when the sky opened, a hot wind, as if from a cannon, blew past the huts from the north. It damaged the onion plants. Later, we found that many panes in the windows had been blown out and the iron hasp in the barn door had been broken."

"I saw the sky in the north open to the ground and fire poured out. The fire was brighter than the sun. We were terrified, but the sky closed again and immediately afterward, bangs like gunshots were heard. We thought stones were falling... I ran with my head down and covered, because I was afraid stones may fall on it."

15 Kilometers from Ground Zero

"Early in the morning when everyone was asleep in the tent, it was blown up in the air along with its occupants. Some lost consciousness. When they regained consciousness, they heard a great deal of noise and saw the forest burning around them, much of it devastated."

"The ground shook and incredibly prolonged roaring was heard. Everything round about was shrouded in smoke and fog from burning, falling trees. Eventually the noise died away and the wind dropped, but the forest went on burning. Many reindeer rushed away and were lost."

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