Seeing such a bright meteor event in the sky is fairly rare and the fact that this was seen from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana made this a trending article on social media as well as the mainstream media. The initial reaction to the story was a little bit of panic that is typical when something unusual happens.
Alien invasion? UFO seen hurtling through sky and EXPLODING in shock footage".
Photographs began circulating online of what appeared to be a large fire caused by the meteorite impact in the center of a city. The city was said to be Taylor, Michigan, and the photographs began to spark fear and confusion as well as speculation of an attack, explosion, alien invasion, or that this meteorite impacted the ground and caused this scene.
In the trio of photographs shared about this story state that these are light pillars, which from what I see is pretty accurate. However, it seems that many took these photographs as a link to the meteor story and put them together with a dose of panic, a heaping of speculation, and a dash of misunderstanding.
The reality is these photographs in Taylor, Michigan, are of a garage fire that occurred around 8:25 PM local time. The photographs were quickly spread via social media, probably not with the intention of misleading people but it happened anyway. Again, many people took this as a correlation with the meteor, but officials reacted to the flying rumors with an article Tuesday night as well as a post on Wednesday afternoon.
The post simply stated, "Social media was ablaze within minutes of a photo being shared from down the street of the fire. People assumed that due to the timelime the meteor, or at least a piece of it was responsible for the fire.Fire Department officials confirmed there was no truth to that rumor. The leaking fuel and oil was the cause of the blaze."
The speculation into the photographs will surely continue to get ridiculous, oh, wait, never mind it's already happening. It seems some are telling others this was a missile attack covered up by a meteor sighting.
Clever, but just a way to create panic out of something simple to explain. This particular post has been shared 50,000 times versus the one of the garage fire that was shared less than 35,000 times when I collected the screen shots. I guess "if it bleeds it leads" is a true sentiment whether it's the news or social media. I'm sure there are other examples of this type of ignorance but hopefully enough people know the truth and will not succumb to the spamming of "fake news" such as this (and yes "ppl" should be blocked for posting things like this).
What started as an interesting story about a particularly nice sized meteor sighting has morphed into an embarrassing example of ignorance and it's lust for social media for survival.