What Makes Eyewitness Observations Suspect?

At the time of the Great Fire, people said they saw burning material falling from the sky.  Today investigators think it might be possible that people were seeing bits of a falling meteor. If that were true, it might explain how simultaneous fires broke-out in geographically distant places.

Do you think such reports were believed in 1871?  If not, why would those same reports be considered credible, or potentially credible, today?

Does the map, depicting the line of fires, support the claim that the fires (in three separate states) could have been started by a meteor shower?  Why, or why not?

Why does the exact cause of the Great Fires still matter?

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