Zig Zag Possible Explanation
Please read the Zig Zag Meteor post before reading this one.
For 13 years the zig zag meteor I saw had me puzzled. Then one morning I awoke with a possible explanation. After further research I am convinced that the explanation is plausible, and indeed the most plausible explanation I can find.
I believe that the object I saw was a meteor entering the atmosphere at a very shallow angle. The meteor was also possibly shaped in a way that made it somewhat aerodynamic. As the meteor began entering the atmosphere it then "skipped" back upwards, again began to descend and once again "skipped" back upwards where it made a final descent and disappeared.
I'm not proposing that the meteor actually came in towards the north, skipped up and then descended back towards the south, skipped up and descended back towards the north. Whilst these are the directions that I perceived the object to be travelling in I think this must have been an optical illusion.
As I stated in my original description, the object seemed a little slower than common "shooting stars" that I have previously witnessed. I think that this is because the object was actually also travelling away from my location. I saw the object travelling a little slower than it should coming in from south to north, but it was actually coming in at a low angle very fast towards the east-northeast. As it traveled I saw it glowing as it skipped off the atmosphere.
At this point my vision was obscured by the cloud, but if the cloud wasn't there I would probably have seen something similar to what I saw when it changed direction the second time. The object would have seemed to slow to a complete stop whilst the glow would have ceased. I suggest that at that point the object actually slightly changed direction towards the east-southeast as it skipped back up out of the atmosphere. The change in direction would not have had to be as abrupt as it appeared from the ground, but rather a slight change which appeared exaggerated when the object began travelling back downwards, again at a shallow angle.
Once more, the object skipped off the atmosphere in it's east-southeasterly direction (I perceived it as south from my vantage point) and it rose above the atmosphere, appeared to peter out and again appeared to slow abruptly to a stop as it once again slightly changed direction travelling away from me, seeming to stop, and curving around to a new east-northeasterly direction. It once again began glowing brightly and disappeared behind the cloud. This time it continued it's fall or completely burned up.
I know this combination of events sounds to be a little improbable, but from the research I was able to do I believe that meteors do in fact skip off the atmosphere and I can see no reason why they wouldn't. Given that a meteor can and did make the maneuver I described, there would be a spot somewhere on the ground where it would appear as this one did to me.
Why wouldn't more people have reported this strange sight? To see a meteor fall you need to be looking up in the right direction at just the right time. It only lasts a few seconds at most. I don't know how many people usually see each meteor as it falls, but I would surmise that each meteor fall would only be seen by a small number of people. Of that small number, only those seeing it from a similar direction as me would have noticed anything unusual. Viewers from north or south would have seen a meteor falling almost in a straight line, petering out, glowing again, petering out, glowing again then petering out for good. To the east of the meteor there was only ocean, so viewers from that direction would be very unlikely.
I'm not saying this is the only explanation. I would appreciate any other suggestions. Of course there is always the alien space craft explanation that could be attributed to it, but there is more evidence for aerodynamic meteors than there is for alien spacecrafts visiting us.
See links below regarding skipping meteors: