Last week in Augusta, Maine, a large metal object fell from the sky near the Maine State House, nearly hitting a screener from the Maine Capitol Police.
According to a news release from Capitol Police Chief Matthew Clancy obtained by PEOPLE, “a large metal object crashed to the ground just outside the main entrance” on Friday around 12:30 PM.
According to Clancy, the “sleeve-like object” fell to the ground about six to eight feet from Capitol Police Screener Craig Donahue, who was passing by the entrance at the time. Two additional people saw what happened, and thankfully nobody was hurt.
The object did not appear to have caused “significant damage” to the walkway it landed on, as reported by the Portland Press Herald and the Associated Press.
Clancy told the AP that “it definitely shocked him.”
During an interview on CNN’s New Day, Donahue said of the “sleeve-like object,” “it probably would have left a pretty good mark.”
Clancy stated in the press release that the FAA “made awareness notifications to flights that were over the Capital area at the time” after being notified by the Augusta State Airport.
Clancy continued by saying that the FAA had determined the component was “likely from a large airliner on an international route.”
Speaking with PEOPLE, an FAA spokesperson said, “the FAA is aware of the report and is investigating.”
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As Clancy put it, however, “we are confident that we have eliminated other possibilities and agree with the FAA that the part has an aircraft origin.”
Even though the FAA thinks the object came from an aircraft in the sky, two experts who spoke to the Press Herald are skeptical.
Paul Cote, who works at Twin City Aero Supply in Bangor, Maine, told the outlet, “Most aircraft parts are made of aluminum and do not look that worn out.”
University of Maine at Augusta aviation program coordinator Greg Jolda agreed, saying that a plane of that size would have caused significant damage to both the original plane and the area it landed in.
According to what Jolda told the Press Herald, if the object came from an airplane, it would have had some horizontal velocity and not fallen straight down. It’s serious if a plane were going 92 miles per hour (80 knots).
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