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3 Visual sightings

The large number of witnesses made impossible in a few days to visit all locations from where the people called and commented on their sightings. We then decided to make a selection of visual sightings taking into account not only the distances among the locations, but also the quality of data and reliability these sightings seem to deserve. Thus we compiled a list of 34 sightings additional to those of the people present at the place, where the video records were taken. Survey of all these sightings is given in Table 1.

We visited all these locations to collect the maximal information, to carry out theodolite coordinate measurements of the beginning and end points of the apparent trail of the bolide, and to gather all data on estimated duration of the event, color of the bolide, on sounds heard etc. Just from the first direct sightings we concluded that the trajectory was almost horizontal and that several fragmentation events were observed in the course of bolide motion. All witnesses but three assured they did not hear any significant sound confirming the absence of any significant noise accompanying this phenomenon.

Table 1: Survey of visual sightings arranged in the table as we gradually gathered them. "No" is our reference number of the station; $\lambda$, $\varphi$, and H are longitude, latitude, and height above sea level of the station; $a_{\rm B}$, $h_{\rm B}$ are azimuth and elevation of the observed first point of the bolide; $a_{\rm E}$, $h_{\rm E}$ are azimuth and elevation of the observed last point of the bolide. Azimuth is the astronomical azimuth (${\rm S}=0^\circ$, ${\rm W}=90^\circ$). Notion the "Station" column means Santiago de Compostela

% latex2html id marker 222
 ...a S.X. & 352.6000 & 42.8500 & 0.40 & 240 & 72 & 168 & 30 \\  \hline\end{tabular}

One has to note some sightings like that one of a person who was walking near a port in Riveira (sighting No.12, in Table 1) at Arousa estuary. Looking from this point (completely clear from obstacles) toward the other side of estuary he was able to observe an ample trail arc of about $100^\circ$ and estimated the duration to some 10-12 s. The witnesses from O Barco (No.21) and Oleiros (No.28) provided data with directions on the zone maps. A witness from Formaris (No.26) could compare the event with another luminous object of extreme brightness he observed in January, 1994 (Docobo et al. 1998). He claimed that the 1994 event had a significantly lower brightness. However, this estimate might be influenced by the observational conditions which were rather different in 1994 when the event was seen already at dawn.

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