NUFORC Home Page
Web Report Indexes : by Event Date | by Location | by Shape | by Posting Date

National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/17/1999 02:30 (Entered as : 02:30)
Reported: 8/27/1999 09:31
Posted: 8/30/1999
Location: Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge (Kennedy Space Center), Flori, FL
Shape: Fireball
Duration:30-45 sec.
While camping out overnight on the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, at around 2:30 a.m. 8-17-99 I witnessed what appeared to be a large light blue glowing object moving across in an easterly direction across the horizon.

While camping out overnight on my birthday (8/16/99) on the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge (which includes property bordering the Kennedy Space Center) at around 2:30 a.m. 8-17-99 I witnessed what appeared to be a large light blue glowing object moving across the horizon in an easterly direction. Earlier in the evening I had witnessed (at around 12:30 a.m.) the launch of a satellite from KSC, then continued fishing (as my campsite bordered the mosquito lagoon and Indian rivers), until about 2:00 a.m. At around 2:30 a.m. I exited my camping tent to toss a few logs onto the fire, hoping that the increased light from the fire would ward off a few raccoons, which had been keeping me awake by their scampering around the campsite. As I had left my flashlight in the tent, I utilized what little campfire light remained to scout out some of the numerous fallen tree limbs surrounding the tent (for firewood). While peering around in this semi-darkness I was startled in that I noted wooded area around me began to lighten and even pronounced shadows appeared behind the trees surrounding me. Looking up through the trees I could see that there was something very bright emerging in the Western Hemisphere, but I couldn't make it out due to the tree cover above me. I was perplexed by this and while at first thinking "Holy smokes, I've never heard of the cape sending up two rockets in one night (as it was that pronounced a light)" quickly reasoned that the light was coming from the direction opposite of the launch facilities. So, I quickly moved through the brush to a point jetting out toward the open lagoon and witnessed the following: What I saw was a steady light blue glowing object moving from the east out toward the ocean. I immediately determined it was a meteorite, as it seemed to leave a slight glowing orange-white contrail behind it. But as I continued to observe it, that initial impression seemed improbably for several reasons. It didn't move as quickly as one would think a meteor would. It seemed to move at a speed slightly faster than a commercial airliner. As it neared it became nearer the object's brightness increased significantly - and by - that I mean it was frightfully bright. When it was at it's nearest, I'd guess 20 - 30 miles off, it produced enough light to have read a book - it literally seemed like daylight. As it passed, I could somewhat discern (especially as it proceeded away) that the intensity of the object varied - from bright, to less so, back to it's full intensity. It continued out easterly and over the ocean until disappearing over the horizon. I at first stood just staring in shock trying to recall all the details of what I had seen, as I figured that since such an event would be widely reported the following morning, and because I was up and awake and in such a perfect environment for viewing it (being away from the city lights), that my testimony about it might be important. After a few moments (probably 5 minutes) I witnessed two helicopters flying very quickly out from the direction of KSC toward the northeast. I mean they were moving at top speed. I simply thought to myself concerning them - "good luck catching that sh*t!" and wandered over to the opposite side of the campsite to view the KSC launch area and VAB to determine if there were any other noticeable signs of activity there as a result of the event, but couldn't discern such. I might have heard a slight (difficult to describe) sound during the event, but the surrounding water's activity may have be partly to blame, so I would offer that possibility as a fact, only that I believe I might have noted a slight sound from the object during the event. I did not report the sighting for two reasons 1). My girlfriend slept through the entire event (in the tent) and believing she'd suspect I was acting like a crackpot, decided I'd best keep it to myself until getting back to town in the morning where the event would be collaborated by others, and 2). because one is not normally permitted to camp out in that area during launch activities and I did not want (and still do not want) my presence there to be made common knowledge. Therefore, I'd request that this report include only that I was camping in the mosquito lagoon area ONLY. After returning to town I noted (and in days to follow) I've not run across anyone else who sighted the object (which seems hard to believe - but I suppose I've just not run into them). Well, two days ago I related this event to a friend of mine who laughed it off, giving me the same dreaded reaction I had avoided by having told no one else sooner. Then, this morning, he called me and informed me that he had been up late last night and listened to a radio program (yours?) discussing a similar event, around the same time, but in Mexico. He told me your web site listing "ufocenter.com" and recommended I pull it up on the web for any information. And here I am. Don't know what else to add, other than that you may contact me if desired. ((name deleted))