|Occurred : 8/26/2003 21:00 (Entered as : 08/26/03 21:00)
Reported: 8/31/2003 10:02:36 AM 10:02
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
|Bright stationary orange light of short duration near Mars
My wife and I were on Myrtle Beach at about 21:00 to observe Mars. The sky was very clear and many stars were visible over the ocean horizon. There was a slight haze over the water that obscured the horizon.
As we sat on the beach watching the sky, there appeared a bright stationary light with a orange huge high in the sky. It was as intense as Mars and for a moment looked as though there were 2 Mars. The light persisted for several seconds and winked out. We continued to watch and the light appeared again in a different location, it appeared first on the left of Mars and then on the right and slightly lower in the sky. Again the light appeared and blinked out after 2 seconds.
We were really excited as this was like nothing we had ever seen before, it changed position but not in a straight path. After about 20 mins. 2 lights appeared together to the left of Mars both appeared and winked out after about 2 seconds. The last sighting was to the right of Mars and low on the horizon, the light was partially obscured by the layer of haze and shone more red in color.
We observed Mars for several more nights and looked for the lights, they did not reappear.
The night was quite and what aircraft traffic was in the sky was clearly visible. One thought I had was that the lights might be the afterburners on some military aircraft out over the ocean. I have never observed them at night and do not know how they would appear. I mention this because there is a military base near by and I did see 2 F-16’s earlier that day. They were very load and flew out over the ocean. The lights we saw were stationary and we heard no aircraft noise.
((NUFORC Note: We do not know what the witnesses observed, but we believe one possibility to explore would be landing lights on approaching commercial or military aircraft. Just a guess on our part. PD))