|Occurred : 6/3/2000 14:30 (Entered as : 06/03/00 14:30)
Reported: 6/8/2000 01:19
Location: Albuquerque, NM
|Saw a large, bright, spherical object being stationery in windy skies over the Albuquerque International Airport.
I'm a computer consultant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While driving south on I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to pick up my girlfriend at the airport, I noticed what looked like to be a super large baloon over the Placitas area (north of the Sandia mountains, just a few mile east & parallel to I-25). I was doing almost 80 mph the whole way and the object appeared to move in tandem with my car speed, maintaining approximately the same angle until I got to Albuquerque. I stopped at a bookstore and had the manager come out and look at it. It was entirely motionless then, translucent silver, and could have been a balloon. I saw the sun reflections on both the "top" and "bottom" sides of this sphere, relative to where the sun was at the time. It was a windy day in New Mexico, but this thing wasn't moving at all. I stopped again to pick up mail a few miles away; it still wasn't moving and I pointed it out to 2 other witnesses. Finally I arrived at the airport and the object was directly above me and slightly south. Figher jets were taking off, flying near the object, then landing immediately. I saw them do this 3 separate times (and I'm told by neighbors that fighers do touch-and-go often in this manner, though it was my first time seeing it). I met my girlfriend at the gate appx 3:21 pm and immediately pointed the object out to her through the airport window. Within a few seconds, it began moving directly west, slowly but noticeable. Within minutes the whole sky was covered with clouds and that was the last I saw of it. Whatever it was, it was hard to ignore and lent lots of excitement to my afternoon.
((NUFORC Note: We have learned that the object was a high-altitude balloon, launched from Fort Sumner, NM, by the University of Chicago. The FAA released a Notice to Airmen about the launch, we are led to believe. PD))