An unidentified object that fell from the sky struck and damaged the van of a Wisconsin man in late December. No one was hit or hurt by the object.
Milwaukee resident Michael Robinson said his neighbor called him on Dec. 20 to tell him she had heard a loud noise, glanced out the window and saw one of the rear corners of his van's roof smashed in.
Robinson checked his van and saw the dent did not look man-made, and that there were no footprints in the snow around the vehicle. Near the vehicle, he found an unidentified object that he believes fell from the sky.
"I was like, what is that?! What happened?! I kept looking around and I couldn't see where it came from. It had to have come from the sky," Robinson told WITI.
"It's like a cone shape, but on the top it's heavy and inside it's hollow," said Robinson. "It's a round-something, looks like it might be the cover to an engine or something."
"It looked like a barbecue grill in the snow," Robinson said. "That’s a lot of force to put a dent in the top of the van like this."
Police hauled the strange object away, noting it gave off an odor similar to diesel fuel.
"They was baffled," Robinson said. "They couldn't figure out where it came from."
A website that tracks the re-entry paths of old satellites, space debris and rocket parts indicates the object may be part of a Russian military communications satellite that was slated to travel through the atmosphere on Dec. 19 on a path directly over Wisconsin, the Mysterious Universe speculates.
The Molniya 3-51 or Molniya-3K-1 military communications satellite had been in orbit over the northern hemisphere for 15 years. The "barbecue grill" may be a carbon overwrapped pressure vessel used on rockets and satellites, says Mysterious Universe.
"I thank God I wasn't standing there when it happened," said Robinson.
Milwaukee police say they are still investigating the incident.