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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 2/1/2003 08:00
Reported: 2/1/2003 08:25
Posted: 2/25/2003
Location: Atkins (near), TX
Shape:
Duration:
Telephoned Report:

A man called from the vicinity of Atkins, TX, to report that both he and his grandchildren had witnessed a green, self-luminous object move toward the Space Shuttle very quickly, seemingly from the southwest, as the Shuttle streaked across the Texas sky. He estimated that the witnesses first noticed the object an estimated two seconds after they had first witnessed the Shuttle in the sky to the northwest.

The grandfather reported that, at first, he did not trust his eyes, and said nothing. However, a second or two later, his grandson asked what the "green thing" in the sky was.

NUFORC hasn't received their written report, yet, but we include below the grandfather's e-mail, which we received February 4th, 2003.

((BEGIN FOLLOW-UP E-MAIL #1 FROM WITNESS))

Peter,

I spoke with you just minutes after the shuttle disaster on Saturday. You were kind enough to listen ((to me)) regarding the bright green light I saw running parallel with the shuttle prior to the shuttle's explosion.

I was there with my grandchildren watching for Columbia's re-entry....we watched it from horizon to horizon and I can't imagine having a better overall vantage point than the spot where we stood.

I told you that I would send a detailed description of what I saw...green light, explosion, sonic boom, etc. But before I do that I ask that you "hear me out" so to speak. It'll take about a paragraph and then, if you still want me to, I'll send the detailed story. Actually I suppose that I'm asking what you would do if you were in my position:

On May 23rd, 1959, I had a very "up close and personal" encounter with two UFOs. Since that time I've had sort of a "been there, done that" attitude regarding UFO's. I don't try to convince anyone one way or the other, but I'm always very irritated when, through someone's stupidity, the idea that we are being visited by extarestrals is "debunked." Which brings me to the green light and the shuttle. We now know that pieces of tile were being ripped off Columbia over the west coast, and of course that would be most people's explanation for the green light. I wish I could rationalize the light away with the tile theory. I've tried. But I can't get my mind around this thing for several reasons. Why was it at such a great distance from Columbia? Why was it closing the gap between itself and the shuttle? What could have come off Columbia at that point that would burn such a bright, unremitting green? And most importantly, why wasn't the green object leaving a smoke trail? My eight year old grandson said it all when he asked, "Grandpa what's that green light following the shuttle?"

In any case, you probably see where I'm going with this. This is a terrible tragedy for a lot of people and the world as a whole. People are not in the mood for, what they would no doubt consider a quack, coming out of the woodwork. So my question to you, Peter, is...do we say a whole lot about this now? Or anything at all for that matter? It could cause emotional pain to many people and badly damage ufology.

It occurs to me at this exact moment that you yourself might think I'm a nut case. So for the "unofficial" record I'll tell you this: Although I don't have a clue what the green object was, I don't believe for a second that it was anything from the shuttle.

With that little bit of bravado I'll close. Let me know what you want me to do now. Let me know too if anyone else has reported anything similar to what I've told you. Misery likes company you know.

God bless you and yours. ((name deleted))

((END FOLLOW-UP COMMUNICATION))

((BEGIN FOLLOW-UP #2))

Peter...
If I'm not mistaken I told you in our phone conversation on the 1'st that the green light approached Columbia from the south. That was an oversight on my part...it came in from the north as stated in the following report.
I hope the report will be of use to you. Feel free to edit it for brevity if you like. Let me take a moment now to thank you for the wonderful work you do. I often wonder where individuals like yourself get the time and energy to work their miracles. I am in awe of you.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In making this report on what I saw Saturday, February 1, 2003 I'm well aware that it will be offensive to a great many people. The loss of the shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven has left, to countless millions, deep sorrow, great pain, and confusion. The wounds will be slow in healing. It is not my intention to cause additional pain or hinder the healing process for any human being on this planet. What I saw may have had nothing to do with Columbia's demise...yet it may have had everything to do with it. I'm able to rationalize away much of what I saw, but in the end I'm stuck with questions that I simply can't get my mind around:
On the morning of the shuttle disaster I walked with three of my grandchildren to the front yard of my home for the purpose of watching the shuttle's re-entry. It was 7:45 a.m. central time, the sky was perfectly clear, and we were 35 miles north of what would turn out to be Columbia's ill-fated path. We stood looking to our west, the sun to our backs. When the shuttle first appeared it was quite visible in the clear, blue sky and was, of course, a great distance away. For the first few seconds I saw nothing that looked out of the ordinary. If the shuttle's tiles were indeed breaking away as we are now told I saw no sign of it. I expect we were too far away at the time and the tiles were in too close proximity with Columbia.
However, as the craft came closer to us I saw, far to the north of Columbia, what can best be described as a bright, invariant, green light. It appeared to be moving at a greater speed than was the shuttle, and was clearly closing the gap between itself and Columbia from the prospective of latitude. It did not vary in intensity, traveled a straight line, and more importantly, did not leave a trail of smoke. All of which prompted my eight year old grandson to ask, "Grandpa what's that green light following the shuttle?"
At a point still to out west, though much closer, the green light passed behind the shuttle and did not reappear. The shuttle was, of course, giving off quite a lot of smoke at the time although the craft was still, to my untrained eye, doing quite well. But a few short seconds later I saw what appeared to be small pieces of material breaking away from Columbia, giving off a lot of smoke as they slowly dropped behind. In a very short time Columbia was directly to our south. At that point it appeared to explode"...there was a flash of light and large pieces broke away, leaving the trails of smoke filmed by so many people. I felt sick to my stomach as we stood for several more minutes watching everything disappear to the east. Then came the sonic booms.
I don't know what else to say. Many people besides us had to have seen the green light, although in the beginning it was too far away from Columbia, I think, to appear on the videotapes. The primary questions I am left with are as follows: If the green object was something from the shuttle why was it initially so far away from Columbia? Why was the light traveling on a path that intersected that of Columbia? And why, when everything else was leaving a smoke trail...why wasn't the green object
smoking?
This is what I saw. I have made my report and now I can start trying to forget the horrible sight of seven good people dying. Through the whole ordeal a lot of stuff was flying through the skies that Saturday morning. Feel free to rationalize away everything I've said. I only wish that I could. God bless those who lost family and friends and
God bless America.
((initials deleted))
East Texas

((END FOLLOW-UP #2))