|Occurred : 12/26/1999 19:00 (Entered as : 12/26/99 1900CST)
Reported: 12/28/1999 21:16
Location: Springfield (South of), MO
Duration:40 seconds +/-
|Crew of B757 at FL330 passed on south side by white light making at least 200 knots more than we were. We were at .80 Mach and G/S of 483knots. Queried ATC about possible military target passing us, Memphis Center had nothing there.
While flying at 33,000 feet on a commercial flight from LAX to CLT on Dec 26, the 2 pilot crewmembers and 2 flight attendants were observing an earth satellite passing overhead from the cockpit of a B757. It was well past sunset at about 0100Z 27 Dec 1999. The earth satellite appararently flew into the terminator (it disappeared while high overhead). Within a moment or so, a white lighted object overtook and passed us in fairly close proximity. The object was first noted south of our west to east course at a distance estimated to be from about 2 to 5 miles. It appeared to be at nearly the same or a slightly higher altitude. The object showed only a bright white light that appeared to be slightly disturbed by turbulence, or very slightly pulsating. It's course appeared constant as did its alititude. It passed us and faded rather quickly from sight in a very brief amount of time, perhaps as long as forty seconds. A query was made to Memphis Center ARRTC as to any possible traffic. The controller said he had nothing on his scope that could be what we saw. We saw nothing on our TCAS, set to observe other transponders within 4,000 feet of our altitude and withi;n 20 miles of horizontal distance. No red (left wing)position light and no fuselage red rotating beacons were sighted by any of the witnesses. No magnetic or electrical disturbances on our aircraft occurred. At least one passenger noted the object pass by our craft from the passenger cabin.