Skydiver’s Helmet Cam Captures a Falling Meteor Almost Hitting Him


For the first time ever, a meteor has been captured on camera falling through the sky after it has finished burning. And that’s not all: the baseball-sized space rock nearly slammed into the man behind the camera.

The incident happened back in the summer of 2012, when skydiver Anders Helstrup and other members of the Oslo Parachute Club took to the skies above Hedmark, Norway. Helstrup documented the jump with two cameras fixed to the front and back of his helmet.

Helstrup tells NRK (the largest media outlet in Norway) that on the way down he felt “something” happen, but didn’t know what. It was only after landing and reviewing his camera footage that he discovered something shocking: a rock had fallen from the heavens and missed him by just a few yards. Here’s the footage:

Helstrup then reported his story to the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway and shared it with the community of meteorite experts. The experts are convinced that Helstrup has in fact captured a “dark flight” meteor for the first time ever.

“It has never happened before that a meteorite has been filmed during dark flight; this is the first time in world history,” geologist Hans Amundsen tells NRK. He says that the stone can’t be anything but a meteor based on its shape, and that it was most likely a piece from a larger meteor that had exploded 12 miles above Earth’s surface.

Most of the time, meteoroids burn up after entering our planet’s atmosphere, but sometimes larger ones survive the journey and enter what’s known as “dark flight.” This is when the rock stops burning up and begins to fall to the ground at terminal velocity. Amundsen estimates that the meteor was traveling at around 186 mph when it whizzed past Helstrup.

What’s the likelihood of another skydiver capturing the same thing on camera? Not very good at all: Amundsen estimates that you’d have a better chance at winning the lottery three times in a row! Now that’s a once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment.

Credits: Still from helmet-cam footage by Anders Helstrup/DarkFlight. News segments by NRK

  • skurge2144

    This story is…. out of this world. ¬¬

  • Banan Tarr

    “dark flight” lol that’s a pretty fancy phrase for the word falling :)

  • Joey Duncan

    ya, “free falling” might also come to mind instead of trying to come up with a new phrase.

  • Ralph

    What would’ve happened if it hit him? “It would’ve split him in half”

  • Federico Montemurro

    He rocks

  • Matt


  • Vin Weathermon

    Bet for awhile there they weren’t sure if it wasn’t just a giant frozen gob of latrine poo from a 757.

  • Uniblab

    It’s an astronomical term, not something made up for this story.

  • David Eslick

    Meteor Bert: Oh, afraid so. See that peanut? Dead giveaway.
    Joe Dirt: Uhhh, no, that’s a space peanut.
    Meteor Bert: No, afraid not. That just a big ol’ frozen chunk of poopy.

  • Deveron

    I’m still reeling at the fact that Zhang called it a Kodak moment.
    Oh wait, this must be about throwback Thursday.
    Good explanation, me! :P

  • JoeThePimpernel

    You can bet there are ten thousand people on the ground looking for the thing.

  • KH

    Could have been packed with the parachute from his last drop?

  • AdviceKrugman

    I call B.S. Just pack a metorite-looking rock in your parachute and voila… Where’s the loud crack from its sonic boom?

  • Joey Duncan

    That’s obvious, I was kidding because industries love to adapt new terms for their use instead of using existing ones.

  • SiriusPhotog

    I’m not a professional astronomer but it is a serious hobby of mine and I have never heard the term “dark flight”. Also, if you Google it, nothing comes up in reference to a falling meteor, just some crappy movie.
    I’m not sure what he captured but that term sure is made up.

  • prometheus1010

    Google “meteorite dark flight” and you will see relevant results.

  • rickb8

    It was probably blue ice, not a meteor.

  • Luca

    So, where did it land?

  • Eden Wong

    Sonic boom?! LOL Krugman, brush up on your high school physics. Start with “terminal velocity.”

  • Paparazzo

    You didn’t look hard, I googled “meteor dark flight” and found endless references to the term, a lot dating back several years. All referring to those meteors that don’t completely burn up and once they enter the heavier atmosphere they slow down to terminal velocity and stop burning. The term is not made up.

  • Duncan Idaho

    Jeg kan ikke vinne i lotto, men jeg kan bli truffet av en asteroide!

  • SiriusPhotog

    Thanks. That’s a new one for me.

  • Vin Weathermon

    That’s the term I was looking for….not “frozen gob of latrine poop”….have to remember that one.

  • dokgu

    Before reading the article I was hoping for a full-sized meteor. Meh, disappointed but nonetheless it was cool.

  • Rodrigo Abello

    That could of turn out Ugly …..lucky guy after all.

  • akovia

    I was watching carefully and mostly saw the closed captioning banner in the middle of the frame. Editing, anyone?

  • Topic_goes_here

    “Dark Flight” directed by Ridley Scott. Michael Bay?

  • Ryan

    Terminal velocity in a vacuum is what exactly? Then when it hit the earth’s atmosphere, there should have indeed been a sonic boom along with a loud explosion as the heated meteor broke into pieces. I’m not buying this one either. Not that it had to be packed with his parachute, another skydiver above him could have dropped it just as easily.

  • Dave

    I with you on this one.

  • Foo

    “Dark” refers to the phase where the object has ceased burning.

  • SocialMediaImpact

    i’d rather win the lottery 3 times in a row

  • eastman

    Hasn’t this store been posted a bit too shortly after April Fool’s Day …?

  • lars2874

    Just God’s poo! Hard as a rock.

  • @JacksonCheese

    Meteors explode in the upper atmosphere all the freaking time, and they’re rarely heard or witnessed because they happen way up high. This is fragment from one that exploded overhead, and is now falling at less than the speed of sound, hence, no sonic boom.

  • Bob

    In dark flight it has slowed down to the point it is at terminal velocity, same speed as any other rock falling through the air.

  • MrReddog1962 .

    OK wave the BS flag-too slow to be a meteorite. Damn thing would have been almost supersonic-not lazily turning like it was. Someone used it to weight their parachute above him and it popped out when they deployed. Amazing what people will believe. Slow news day?

  • jacobjg

    Absolutely MUST be a hoax. The meteor would be traveling at X MILES PER SECOND. No way to capture it on film. Zero chance. Punked again!

  • Astronomer

    No way. Meteors go WAY too fast to catch as a “sharp” object. B.S. Publicity. We’re talking 1,000’s of miles per hour after decelerating from 10s of thousands of miles per hour.

  • Crissa

    As they lose mass, they slow down into the lower atmosphere. ‘terminal velocity’ still applies to them.

    Elsewise they’d do megatons of damage to the surface even as tiny objects.

  • Crissa

    And how many miles are they from vacuum?

  • SoftwareDeveloper

    or it’s just a stone which fell out of his opening parachute…

  • John-Michael

    Not true. Not all rocks fall at the same speed at terminal velocity. You have to take into account weight and drag.

  • John-Michael

    They believe it’s from a larger meteor that broke up way higher in the atmosphere. Nothing would be just now creating a sonic boom at that elevation. That happened several minutes before.