|Occurred : 1/18/2007 23:50 (Entered as : 23:30)
Reported: 2/6/2007 4:28:42 PM 16:28
Location: Joao Pessoa (Brazil),
|Woman witnesses peculiar triangular craft move across the night sky.
After having a long nap from 7:00 until 10:30 p.m., I got up and stayed awake, while my husband and daughter went to bed. I was searching the Internet for maps to locate McNaught comet (C/2006 P1) in my place (Latitude: 7° 06', South. Longitude: 34° 53', West), Joao Pessoa, Brazil. I was upset because I realized it wouldn't be easy to see the comet from here.
I went to bed thinking about the comet and stayed observing the nice spot of clear sky I have trough my large bedroom's window (6th floor) which is always kept open during the warm summer season. I have a nice view from here since there are no buildings around and we are only 100 m from the beach - in fact, from my window, I am facing the sea and "Ponta do Seixas" - the eastern most point of the Americas.
There were no clouds neither the moon and I was observing the sky and the constellations (The Southern Cross, The Great Dog, Orion...) when I suddenly spotted what, at a first sight, looked like a tiny cloud blown by the wind - I felt strange because it was moving quite fast. When I observed it properly, I have noticed its triangular shape without a clear contour made up of some faint points of white light (I could not count how many points - may be six or seven...). The delta shaped "thing" was traveling soundless from southeast to northwest in a peculiar way with its wider angle pointing sideway (even a delta shaped airplane would not fly with one of the wings heading!). I then realized that could be a formation of orbs.
It was difficult to guess the altitude but it could be compared to a commercial plane flying at 3000 m or more. It soon went of my visual field (passing over my roof) - I run to another room, facing north, and in a second I could spot the triangular shape again. I observed it until it faded into the light sky of the city (away from the sea) I doubt a person who was not intentionally watching the night sky would ever have noticed that "thing" - I had the impression it was traveling camouflaged...
I must add to this report that I have an engineering background and a considerable experience in observing the sky (I was an amateurs junior astronomer while at the university).
Since then I have made a lot of suppositions and calculations: I have taken a time average of many repetitions of my movements again and I found time of observation=20 seconds.
Altitude (h): I had to guess - my first impression is (h > 3000 m) = 3 km . Reason: I am used to observe things closer than 3 km by just looking out from my window, boats, people at the beach, cars, planes - at smaller distances I see more details even at night.
Length (L): since the thing's longer side comprised approximately a 2º angle (2 full moon size), which equals 0.255 rd and then, L = 3000 x 0.255 = 76.5 m
By estimating angles I could also calculate the speed (s) of the "thing":
1. Supposing h = 3 km, then v = 954 km/h !
2. Supposing h = 6 km, then v = 1908 km/h !!! (In this case the length would be L = 6000 x 0.524 = 153 m !)
3. I don't want to suppose any higher because that would mean faster and bigger!
In fact, they looked like faint stars (+6 magnitude) (as I can see Pleyads M45 with the naked eye) - I was not able to count them but they were more than 5 and less then 8 points of light spread over the triangular area.
At that time my street and the region around is always completely silent - just the sea at a distance, no restaurants are open and everyone else at home (2 more people) were asleep. I would have heard the sound of a plane or anything like if closer.
Clear glass windows measuring 1.50 x 1.20 (half of them open), no wind blowing (it is terrible warm by this time of the year) - 6th floor without any other apartment building around (only houses). Good visibility!
There are only 4 commercial flights per day arriving at Joao Pessoa since the main airports in the region are in neighbor cities (Recife and Natal) and even though, the local airport is 30 km to the west away from here. I don't think this direction (Southeast to Northwest) is a flight corridor - I see some planes from South to North (over the sea) and the ones arriving here, I see at a distance East to West. I will observe more carefully from now on! As I have estimated, the "thing" was really faster then a plane at cruise altitude.
The additional impression I can tell is that at first I thought it was a tiny cloud... when I realized it was to fast and had points of light I was really frightened because I found strange, what appeared to me like a "flying blade". I have even said to me - "Oh my God, what is that? I just calmed down when I thought it could be transparent, or, less frightening, a formation of smaller points of light.
I have made a simple drawn of what it looked like.
The blue shade is just an ilustration as it was in the same colour as the dark sky.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the incident is approximate. PD))