|Occurred : 1/6/2007 16:30 (Entered as : 01/06/07 16:30)
Reported: 1/7/2007 6:43:31 PM 18:43
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
|Bight point of light drifting slowly over the Monterey Bay 1/6/07
At about 16:30 on 1/6/07 in Boulder Creek CA I noticed a point of light very high in the south east sky at roughly 120 degrees by compass. At first I thought it to be a star or planet but then realized it was much too early. The sun, albeit low on the horizon, was still up.
While laying on my back with a small pair of binoculars I watched for some 10 more minutes. The object still appeared as a point of a bright white/blue light. I couldn't hold the binoculars steady enough to make out a shape. At times it appeared slightly circular but I can't be certain of that point.
I briefly pulled the binoculars away to watch with the naked eye. All this while the object was ever so slowly drifitng toward the northwest. After perhaps a minute the object winked out. I quickly resumed the observation with the binoculars and found that the single point of light had seperated into two points of light. These two points were moving away from one another. Within the next 30 seconds I lost the visuals altogether.
I thought this might be a high altitude weather balloon so I started a search on the San Francisco/Monterey National Weather Service. By chance I checked the the Short Range Composite Radar Loop and noted that there were 4 very strange echoes detected at frames 16:27 (PST), 16:37, 16:46, and 16:56 on the MUX radar. The echoes were detected to the west and had a generally northern movement. I couldn't save the radar images but I did manage a screen print of the 16:27 image.
I then checked the winds aloft on the NWS website and found that the winds from the surface up to 42,000 feet were all generally blowing NW to SE. So if this was a balloon it had to be much, much higher in the atmosphere where the wind was blowing in the opposite direction. I then sent an email to the Answers@NOAA describing the situation and if they might think it to be a very high altitude balloon. They had no idea.
So I'm sending this along to you. Later that same evening when Orion rose over the horizon I tried using the stars Rigel and Aldeberan to estimate the approximate positions of this light and it's motion through the sky. By this rough estimation I concluded that the object was first seen at about +5 degrees declination (above the ecliptic). It then drifted roughly -1 hour of right acension to about +15 degrees declination over the course of 15 minutes.
Sorry that's the best I can do, and moreover I was home alone.