Fact Check

Video Shows 'Fireball' in the Sky As EgyptAir Flight Disappears from Radar

A purported video of a fireball streaking across the sky at the same time an EgyptAir flight went missing actually shows Russian rocket debris from 2015.

Published May 19, 2016

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
A video shows a ball of fire streaking across the sky at the same moment an Air Egypt flight went missing.

On 19 May 2016, EgyptAir Flight 804 carrying 66 passengers disappeared from radar as it flew over the Mediterranean Sea from Paris to Cairo. Shortly after the news of the missing plane broke, a video purportedly showing a ball of fire streaking across the sky at the same time the EgyptAir flight disappeared from radar went viral on social media:

Greek officials are said to be investigating reports from residents claiming they saw ball of fire in the sky at the same time EgyptAir flight MS 804 went missing.

Although this video does depict a real event in the skies, that event did not occur at the same time as, nor was it connected to, the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804. The above-displayed footage was actually taken in December 2015 and captured debris from a Russian rocket as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere:

A white ball of light with a fiery tail that streaked across the night skies over Arizona was debris from a newly launched Russian rocket re-entering the earth's atmosphere, the U.S. Strategic Command said.

The fireball, seen over Arizona, Nevada and California, triggered its own firestorm on social media, as observers on the ground shared videos and photos of the fireball flying through the sky and pondered whether it was a meteor or space debris from a fallen satellite.

The complete story of what happened EgyptAir Flight 804 is not known at the time of this writing.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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