|Occurred : 11/23/2003 21:15 (Entered as : 11/23/2003 21:15)
Reported: 11/24/2003 2:01:32 PM 14:01
Location: San Diego, CA
|4 sphere red chevron
i am a 36 year old architect in san diego, as well as an amatuer astronomer. i took several college-level chemistry, physics and mathematics courses when i was in the chemical engineering program.
my wife and i arrived home from the airport about 9:00 sunday night (11/23/03). i walked out to my truck to grab a cigarette, and walked around to the backyard with the dog. it was rather chilly for southern california, and the skies were beautifully clear. cassiopea was directly over head, as was andromeda, and orion was fully above the eastern horizon.
as i was looking directly overhead a flying chevron of reddish lights flew across my field of view, heading in a perfect south to north direction. they were completely steady in their apparent magnitude, and did not blink or change color. i believe there were 4 such objects, flying in what looked to have been a 5-point chevron formation that was missing one point on it's extreme limb. the size of the grouping was about the size of the full moon, or maybe one's fist at arm's length. despite the clear night, the extent of san diego's light pollution prevented me from determining if the shape defined by the points of lights blocked out the stars behind it, but my feeling was that they were distinct and separate objects.
the grouping moved incredibly fast, travelling from directly overhead to beyond my neighbor's house to the north in no more than 3 seconds. as the formation approached a point near my neighbor's tall palm tree, it very rapidly faded from sight as if passing throught the earth's shadow, similar to many satellites i have observed in the past. the formation glided along on a perfect and absolutley silent path, also very much like a satellite in low earth orbit. a couple of seconds later a passenger jet making it's final approach to Lindberg Field passed through the same area of sky, although this was travelling east to west, and making all the noises one would expect to hear from a low-flying jet just several miles from it's target runway.
my initial thoughts were that due to it's south-north axis of travel, total silence and apparent encounter with the earth's shadow, i was viewing a series of military satellites flying in a constellation formation, or perhaps a NOSS satellite.
what disturbs me, however, are serveral inconsitent items: 1. the ruddy objects did not appear as points of light, but rather as very distinct spheres with a measurable diameter. if the objects were indeed in low earth orbit, they must have been incredibly large, several times each the size of the ISS (Int'l Space Station). if it was not a group of objects but one single object, the size of the object would be measured in miles, and not in feet. i have seen the ISS several times, and it never appeared more than a very bright star.
2. if it was a satellite, there should be no reason for it (them) to be the color red. we see satellites because they reflect white sunlight off of their metal chassis or solar arrays. the quality of light also did not seem to have the quality of reflected (speculative)light.
3. the velocity of the object(s) seemed to be incompatable with the speed of other objects in low earth orbit. it moved much too fast to maintain an orbit about the earth - it seemed it would rather be flung out of the pull of earth's gravity.
4. if #3 is true, that means the object(s) were probably flying very low overhead and withoug making any noise! if they were not in low earth orbit, then they could not have disappeared because of entering the earth's shadow, but instead disappeared through some other means.