ICE that fell from the sky and nearly hit a man in Holmfirth was probably a type of meteor, a scientist has claimed.
Prof Jesús Martinez-Frias, a planetary geologist from Spain, contacted the Examiner after reading about the mysterious ice fall in Netherthong.
A large chunk of ice fell from the sky and smashed into Leas Avenue on February 2, narrowly missing 24-year-old Sam Cappelman as he left his aunt Alison Greaves’ home.
Alison – who kept the ice in her freezer – thought it may have fallen from a passing airplane.
But research on the internet revealed ice from an airplane would normally have a blue tinge and this did not.
But after reading the report on The Examiner’s website Prof Martinez-Frias from the Centre of Astrobiology in Madrid – a research unit with links to NASA – said the ice was more than likely a Megacryometeor, an icy deposit formed in the earth’s atmosphere.
He said: “To our knowledge there have been three ice fall events in 2010 - in the UK, Spain and the USA, and more than 80 since 2001 affecting 16 countries.”
Prof Martinez-Frias’ team began studying mystery ice falls after a ten kilogram ice chunk fell from a clear sky and crashed through the roof of a warehouse near Madrid in 2007.
They analysed the chemical and physical composition of the chunk and concluded it was extremely pure ice.
The results proved the ice could have only been formed by atmospheric processes and could not have come from a cloud as a hailstone would.
He said: “We coined the term megacryometeors to avoid confusion with other atmospheric ice falls such as hailstones, blue ice and aircraft icing.
“Our hypothesis is that these atmospheric ice fall events are related with an anomalous behaviour of the tropopause (the lowest part of the earth’s atmosphere) and are probably related to climate change.”
More than 100 incidents of ice falls have been recorded, many before modern aviation.