Odd Oregon Coast News: Beloved Landmark Gone, Fireball in Sky
Published 09/03/2016 at 6:11 PM PDT - Updated 09/03/2016 at 6:31 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Two extraordinary events of the natural world of two completely different kinds – and they've both shaken up the Oregon coast and much of the Pacific Northwest. In recent days, a beloved (but dangerous) landmark of the Oregon coast crumbled, and then Friday night saw an incredibly bright fireball blazing overhead in the Willamette Valley and the coast. (Photo above courtesy Michael Millard, Portland).
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has received over 135 reports on its website of a dazzling fireball at 11:35 p.m., visible from Port Angeles, Wa., all the way down to Medford, Or.
Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland's OMSI, said most of the reports came from the Portland area and the Oregon coast.
“Most of the reports described the fireball moving from left to right (no solid compass directions), slow moving, bright, blue in color, debris, and long tail,” Todd said. “No sound reported in the reports. No picture or video thus far. Hard to say if it was a spacecraft debris or not.”
In fact, some video has surfaced since Todd sent out this alert. You can see that here.
The reports on the AMS site had the largest number from the Portland area, including Lake Oswego (where the report said “By far the biggest meteor event in my life.”)
A particularly large amount came from the Oregon coast, however. Among them were Florence, Lincoln City, Newport, Tillamook and Rockaway Beach.
From Astoria: “ By far, the most intense and long-lasting I have ever seen.”
From Cannon Beach: “Stunning to see a fireball this bright with such a long trail through the clouds. Would have been amazing on a clear night.”
Photo courtesy OPRD: the now-crumbled structure
A sad example of nature's destructive power happened atop Cape Kiwanda this week – or maybe it's a good thing, considering that visiting this spot is extremely dangerous. The knob-like structure sometimes known as the “Duckbill” fell apart in recent days.
The object lies at the tip of the cape in an area with only a narrow, tiny stretch of pathway allowing you access, with sheer and deadly dropoff's on either side. It is fenced off, but people venture there anyway.
Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) made the announcement on its Facebook page on Friday.
The structure in 2000, New Year's Day.
“So this happened. The iconic sandstone formation at #CapeKiwanda - some called it the Duckbill - has collapsed. No one was injured, fortunately; but the rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs. Who knows what will collapse next?”
OPRD is breathing a sigh of relief, hoping that the dicey spot will be accessed less. Many media outlets around the state reported the surge of sadness over the demise of this hidden spot's centerpiece.
Cape Kiwanda is well known for its crumbling qualities: being sandstone it is prone to quick erosion. The photo above is of this spot in 2000, New Year's Day. Notice the ape-like face in the background. These days, that same cliff is much thinner and worn, making the face much more gaunt and less recognizable.
Several years ago, a long-standing arch at the north end crumbled suddenly, leaving a large pile of rubble that for awhile allowed you closer glimpses of the canyon-like area at the western tip of Kiwanda (photos below).See Just What is Cape Kiwanda on Oregon's Coast? And Why It's Falling Apart
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