By Calum Corral
Published: Wednesday, 13th August, 2008 12:30
Great balls of fire… The Perseid meteor shower may be the source of the mysterious lights over the Isle of Cumbrae.
A local mum and her son were out walking their dog on Largs Promenade on a humid Monday evening and saw a speeding ball of light flash across the Isle of Cumbrae reaching 200 miles per hour.
June Pitcher of Haylie Gardens and son David, who was visiting from Germany, were stunned to see the flashing lights shoot across Cumbrae into the water, and then return moments later and flash across the island at top speeds in the direction of Hunterston.
The mysterious lights were faster than any car, and Mrs Pitcher said that other people must have seen the strange phenomenon.
She said: “We were walking along the prom in Largs at 10.30 with two dogs. We saw what thought was car headlights at full beam. But then we looked at the speed that the car was going at. There were no ferries at that time as the ferries had gone off.
“There were two big balls of light. It was a case of absolute amazement – ‘What in name of God was that? Look at the speed of that car. It was quite a calm evening – there was no wash, no sound, nothing.”
A spokeswoman for Clyde Coastguard said: “There was a high level of meteor activity reported across Scotland as far as Aberdeen. It was investigated.”
The ‘News’ also spoke to the Met Office who confirmed that there was meteor activity believed to be a perseid meteor shower.
The meteors come from a trail of debris left in the wake of the Swift-Tuttle comet. As tiny, dust-sized particles crash through the Earth’s atmosphere at phenomenal speeds, the atmosphere around them is superheated and glows, which from the ground looks like a trail of light, which is why they are called shooting stars.