Back in 2000-2001, just before my dad retired from the Detroit Board of Education, he was standing outside of the school that he worked at with a coworker when glowing hot blocks — one of which is seen above — began raining down from the sky around them. No aircraft were visible overhead, and being glowing hot, partially melted, and seemingly made of ceramic, I strongly suspect that this was space debris. At almost the size of a box of matches and with a mass of only about 5g it’s terminal velocity near ground level couldn’t have been very high, which would explain how they could have been hit by them and not injured.
I’d forgotten about this until my parents mentioned it to me this past weekend when I moved this object from it’s place of display while helping them around the house. My dad had recently read a news article about a woman who was hit by a small piece of a disintegrating Delta II and can’t help but think that maybe he and his coworkers should be added to the (very short) list of people on Earth who have been hit by space debris.
A number of other photos of this object can be see here. It’s a little dusty from sitting out for a few years, but the hollow cells and ceramic-like appearance are pretty visible.