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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 6/26/2001 22:20 (Entered as : 06/26/01 22:20)
Reported: 7/2/2001 21:36
Posted: 3/11/2003
Location: Rockford, IL
Shape: Light
Duration:15 minutes
We saw a large reddish light in the Southern sky, visible in one spot for about 10 minutes, at 10:20 pm, June 26, 01, in Rockford Ill.

I was just leaving a friend's house about 10:20 PM and she was walking me to my car. We had been standing there talking in her driveway for about 2 minutes when something caught my eye. I turned and looked at a LARGE reddish light, directly south of us, about 40-50 degrees above the horizon. The light appeared to be at least the size of my thumb nail when my arm was outstretched. I've been observing Mars for quite a while now, and I read that it was supposed to be at it's nearest distance from earth last week. I said "Wow! Look at Mars. It is HUGE tonight!" As I said that, I made about a 45 degree turn to my left and looked at my friend,and there, way up in the S.E. sky at about 70-80- degrees, was the REAL Mars, looking sort of pink, and maybe less than half the size of my little thumb nail. It was a clear night and the moon was out in the S. Western part of sky. (The light was smaller than the moon.) I personally witnessed the yellow light formations that have been seen repeatedly over Rockford in the last 2 years, plus I've got 2 videos of the same phenomena, taken by a friend who saw the lights at other times. (Peter,I sent you his 1st video, and if he ever copyrights the second one, as you suggested, we'll send it to you.)This new light was alone, at least we only saw one. The color was reddish brown, with maybe a yellow haze around it. We both thought it looked more oval than round,and to me the light shone out from top, bottom and sides the way the "Star of Bethlehem" is depicted, but that could be my eyes. I thought the yellow lights looked that way, too, but in the videos they are round.) We watched the light for about 10 more minutes, and I believe I saw it blink several times, and then it started to move slighty to the west. Within a minute or two, it went behind a large stand of trees. My friend lives 1.3 miles N. of East State street. (The lights are often seen by witnesses near State St.) Judging by the size of the light, it seemed relatively close, and we could still see the light glowing through the trees, so I got in my car and went to look for it, but by the time I got out to the main road it was gone. I did see 2 airplanes flying in the direction of the light--one while we were still looking at the light, and the other when I reached the main road. The airport is in the same direction, though, so the planes may have been a coincidence. I drove back to her house about the same time 2 nights later and stood in the same spot and looked for a long time to see if we could have seen a street light from E. State Street, or somewhere in between. There was nothing. I saw a stand of trees about 4 blocks south. I think they were the same ones. My friend and I are both teachers with masters degrees, aged 45 and 53.

((NUFORC Note: We wonder whether the witnesses might be observing Mars, currently visible in the southeast sky. We will attempt to look at the video. PD))