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Duluth area residents report mysterious flaming object in the sky Wednesday night

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Several Northland residents reported seeing a flaming object in the sky about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Audrey Monicken, who lives on Duluth's Park Point, said she was watching television when she caught the sight.

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"I saw a flaming thing come down out of the sky," she said.

She described the object as about the size of a mattress with red flames, and said that it came down at an angle out of the sky. From her vantage facing the harbor, Monicken said the object seemed to disappear in the middle of the bay.

Brad Wick, a public information officer for the Duluth Police Department, said dispatch received a handful of calls from people who reported a fiery object in the sky. One person thought an aircraft had crashed into the lake, but Wick said a call to the air traffic control tower at Duluth International Airport indicated there was no sign of an airplane in the area or in distress at the time of the sighting.

The Duluth Police Department also received an inquiry about a flaming object in the sky from the Cook County emergency dispatch.

The National Weather Service in Duluth also received a report from a Washburn County resident in the Spooner area, who described seeing a fireball that traversed the horizon about the same time Wednesday night.

Tom Lonka, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said it's possible the two reports could be explained by a meteorite or a piece of "space junk," such as an old satellite, entering the Earth's atmosphere. He said such events are not that rare, and the Weather Service receives occasional calls about similar sightings.

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