|Occurred : 9/9/2004 20:35 (Entered as : 09/09/2004 20:35)
Reported: 9/9/2004 7:56:45 PM 19:56
Location: Racine, WI
|High Altitude Fast Moving light that changed direction 90 degrees in less than a second and continued at same speed.
My wife and I were out on our patio tonight in Racine, Wisconsin (about 20sm south of Milwaukee), at about 8:35pm. A beautiful night here in Wisconsin.
I had spent the early morning installing solar patio lights, and my wife wanted me to come outside and view my handiwork first hand. After viewing the great job I did installing the lights, she looked up at the clear sky and said...its beautiful, look at all the stars!..
I then noticed one light that was moving at a high rate of speed. It's altitude was very high. I am an airline pilot with over 12,000 hours experience. I started flying when I was 18 years old and I am now 39. I started in General Aviation and today my job is a First Officer flying passenger jets for a regional air carrier. I know the characteristics of aircraft and how they behave. This was no aircraft.
My wife and I both watched the object as it moved from WSW to ENE....and then it turned 90 degrees left (North) and maintained the same rate of speed. It made the turn instantaneously. I mean like a 90 degree turn that you would draw on a piece of paper. No aircraft that I know about can do that.
As a member of AMSAT, I also know satellites and how they perform. Satellites don't make 90 degree turns either. There were no NAV lights or strobes, just a ball of white light. I would estimate that its altitude at above 60,000 feet. In fact when it went by, I pointed and showed my wife and said look honey a satellite...and then about 10 seconds later in the blink of an eye.....it turned 90 degrees and disappeared from view within about 20 seconds. The luminosity of the object never faded. There was no sound or trail as with a meteor or bolite.
In 21 years of flying professionally, I have never seen anything like I saw tonight.
((NUFORC Note: The International Space Station passed to the south of Racine at 20:10 hrs. on this date, so if the time estimate by the witness is correct, the object could not have been the ISS. However, given that he is a professional pilot, we suspect that the time he indicates above is accurate, which would rule out a sighting of the ISS.
Please see report from same witness from Binghamton, NY, on February 22, 2006. PD))