|Occurred : 12/17/1999 05:45 (Entered as : 12-17-99 05:45 A.M.)
Reported: 12/19/1999 11:44
Location: Marietta, GA
|Light in N/NE sky headed S/SW-VERY HIGH UP in atmosphere...had appearance of a star, moving relatively slowly and straight (much like an airplane), but descended for a time then doubled speed and ascended upward until out of sight. No sound, no additional lights as angle changed.
I never thought I would contact you twice in one week(I called about a 2nd-hand report of a blue light over Atlanta earlier in the week.) I am not what you would call a "trained observer," but I am familiar with the basic characteristics of known conventional aircraft and flight, and I can tell when something is "out-of-the-ordinary". I am a very poor judge of height/distances/size, etc., but I am good with spatial relationships and observe things from that perspective. I have the benefit of a college education and have a critical and questioning mind. If this was indeed a sighting of a non-human or non-manmade craft, then it was VERY SUBTLE. It was about 5:45 A.M., and I had just returned home from work (I work at night), and was out walking my dog, who often stops and sits down in the driveway if she feels we have not spent enough time outside, so I was standing there with her and star gazing. I turned and faced North looking at a group of stars in the Northern sky (I do not know which constellation) when I noticed one of them (what I first thought was a star) was moving. This star-like light was EXTREMELY high up, to the extent that it looked about the same size and brightness as the stars behind it. It was moving in a straight path at a fairly slow speed, much like what you would expect to see from a regular airplane(in other words, no abrupt movements or turns, etc.) At first, I began thinking about what it could be, perhaps an airliner VERY high up, a satellite (seemed too fast for that), or some other type of spacecraft (I am uninformed about what is up there in orbit right now). As I stared at it, however, it slightly veered off its straight course and began moving more in line with my line of sight/where I was standing, and was getting brighter. After a minute or so, I could tell that it was getting brighter because it was descending. It was a very cold and perfectly clear night, so I had a ski-cap and coat hood over my head, so I began taking everything off to listen for a sound, and there was none. As the light began approaching the point of being overhead, and since it had veered off course slightly, I figured that as it passed, I would be able to see additional or blinking lights if it was a standard airplane, and at the very least I would hear a sound as it passed overhead, neither of which happened. The light, though brighter, maintained its basic appearance of a white, star-like light. As it got closer it seemed to level-off, but was still very high, and I got the feeling that it was coming down to look at or look for something (monitoring/patrolling?). At this point, I thought it might be a morning traffic or news chopper, but that was highly inconsistent with its original altitude when I first saw it. After about 30 seconds of flying at this height/speed, it seemed to increase its speed to what was approximately double its original speed, veered back left to its original path, and began to ascend rapidly. This is where I began to feel funny about this object, as its ascension seemed to cover an extreme vertical distance in a relatively short amount of time, which seemed like highly unlikely behavior from any type of conventional aircraft. Again, this with NO SOUND and NO ADDITIONAL LIGHTS-by this time it had already passed overhead, and there should have been some defining features if it had been a conventional airplane. As the light continued to traverse the sky, it was obviously climbing faster than it was moving horizontally, because it got so high that I could not see it anymore looking straight on. I offset my eyes slightly and continued tracking the light in my periphery, but after a about 60 seconds of this, it was completely out of view (UPWARDS, NOT ON THE HORIZON). In other words, it went so high up that it was no longer visible, and never fully traversed the entire skyscape from horizon-to-horizon. At this point, I had a very odd feeling about what I had just seen. Although it was not very dramatic, just the basic behavior of this "object" did not, in my mind, conform to any behavior, attitude, or flight plan that would be expected from any type of aircraft in near-space or in orbit. It seemed that the ascension (and as I later concluded, the first descension) was just too extreme for a conventional aircraft. Adding to that the missing sounds/additional lights that accompany traditional craft, it added up to be a very unusual sighting. Plus, I just felt strange after seeing it.