A tight grouping of bright objects, believed to be a burning SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket second stage, was witnessed by many in Oregon around 9 p.m. Thursday, causing a bevvy of reports to flood social media and local authorities.
The Falcon 9 rocket second stage did not successfully deorbit and burned up in the atmosphere according to multiple sources including the National Weather Service and scores of Twitter users. These reports have not been officially confirmed by SpaceX or NASA. “Something” could be seen from “all over the Pacific Northwest” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Homepage contacted the FAA Operations Center at 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and was told no pilots had reported seeing anything from any towers in Oregon and they had no knowledge of any crashed planes.
Willamina resident Jason Current captured the burning debris with an iPhone 8 and shared it to Facebook. Current says he and his wife went out for a cigarette when she started jumping up and down shouting: “What is that?”
SpaceX, the company who makes the Falcon 9 rocket, says the two-stage rocket is “designed for reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.” Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket.
Local law enforcement was aware of the incident, receiving multiple calls about bright lights in the night sky.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk could not be reached for comment.