|Occurred : 6/25/2001 21:15 (Entered as : 06/25/01 21:15)
Reported: 6/25/2001 18:51
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
|Intense white light surrounded by a mist over Punta Gorda Florida
9:15 pm. June 25th 2001 my wife and I walked outside to see a friend off, and looked toward the east and at what I would estimate to be about 25,000 ft., there was an intense white light similar to an aircraft landing light, but more brilliant and appeared to me surrounded by a mist. This object lit up the entire cloud of mist, and appeared to also be shining downward, lighting the entire area below it. We watched as the object appeared to be moving to the west, when it suddenly shot vertically at about 45 degrees to an almost indeterminate altitude and moved at great speed to the southeast and disappeared from sight. The cloud which extended vertically and appeared to be several thousand feet high continued to glow white for several minutes after the object departed and drifted directly overhead, having moved from east to west. From our home here we often watch the Space Shuttle launch, and this object was way too far south to have come from the Kennedy Space Center, and we saw no indication that this object came from ground level. I am a former Police officer and pilot, and can judge altitude and speed pretty well, but this object, accelerated from almost zero to what had to be 3 or 4 thousand MPH in a burstand was gone. My wife and I are ardent sky watchers and frequently spot sattelites and the ISS, and can tell you that this was neither, and the intensity of the very WHITE light is inconsistent with the orange-yellow glow of a rocket, and I am familiar with just about every OTHER kind of conventional aircraft there is.....I have been involved with Warbirds, and almost every thing that flies, and this doesn't fit ANY type of aircraft I know of. The event was of too short a duration for me to get to a camera, so regrettably, I missed this one.
((NUFORC Note: We believe that the cluster of reports that appear her for the evening of Monday, June 25, 2001, were caused by the launch of an ICBM by the U. S. Navy from the Kennedy Space Center at approximately 2115 hrs. (EDT). We are grateful to the FAA Military Liason office in Jacksonville, FL; the USAF 45th RANDS unit; and the Naval Operations and Testing Unit ("NOTU") for their assistance in our attempt to determine the cause of these reports. A similar test was conducted by the USS West Virginia submarine off the east coast of Florida on March 07, 1998, which caused similar reports. PD))