|Occurred : 9/9/2004 20:35
Reported: 9/17/2004 8:00:00 AM 08:00
Location: Racine, WI
|high flying object in near earth orbit
September 09, 2004 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 object that was moving at a VERY high rate of speed. Its altitude was very high. I am a pilot with over 12,000 hours experience. 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,(www.amsat.org) 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 rectangular structure that was dimly lit...not a glow. In fact when it went by, I pointed and showed my wife and said look honey a satellite...and then about 6 seconds later in the blink of an eye.....it turned 90 degrees North and disappeared from view within about 20 seconds.
I am no stranger to the night sky. I have built homemade telescopes and have enjoyed the stars and messier objects for at least 15 years. The "seeing" or turbulence in the air was non existent as none of the stars appeared to "flicker". Our position in observing the object: We were facing North, looking up between 75 to 80 degrees towards zenith. If I had to estimate the altitude, I would say..Low earth orbit, as for speed, I think it would have crossed from horizon to horizon in about 14 seconds.
After the object made the 90 degree left turn, North, the object never decreased in Luminosity, but with distance in the atmosphere, the amount of "air" we were looking through, made the object shimmer. So to try to make this description easier, My wife and I picked up the object on its trajectory at the 75-80 degrees from the zenith...and after its turn North, it shimmered out of view at about the 40-45 degree point from the horizon.
Unrelated to this sighting, I have seen 2 other unexplained sightings. One a black triangular object with white lights on each underside corner, in Plattsburgh, NY in 1993 on the shore of Lake Champlain, at an altitude of approximately 100. Each of the white lights was drawn-- in and out-- towards the center in a circular fashion. The lights did not propel downwards but just lit up&.sort of like the lights on the old disco floors. Those lights were circular in dimension. Since I was outside at 0230AM&.hanging a discrete HF antenna (dipole) in the trees behind the apartments, as it approached there was no noise, and no moon. I became very frightened and ran back towards the apartment building approximately 200 feet away, through about 2.5 feet of snow. Plattsburgh, NY receives lots of snow. As I got to the back entrance door&the lights extinguished and the object moved North, at a very slow speed. I did not know to check for missing time as I was unfamiliar with the term at the time.
The other instance was when I was flying a between KSYR and KPLB (Syracuse and Plattsburgh, NY) also in 1993 at FL250.
That object even turned its luminosity on and off, with our selecting our landing lights, on and off. Boston Center even acknowledged, no traffic within 200 NM and NO night Aerial refueling in the Military Ops area just NE of Syracuse and up into the Adirondack mountains. (KC-135s with Getty call signs) So the captain and I never repeated the story to the company or anyone else. But we found it to be very odd. The Unidentified object left our 1'oclock position at a high rate of speed toward our 6 oclock position. I never saw a structure, but the light trailed away a rapid speed. Weather that night....We were on top of an overcast layer....no moon. Anyway, I have had some interesting occurrences. Thanks for listening.