|Occurred : 6/11/2009 19:40 (Entered as : 06/11/09 19:40)
Reported: 6/11/2009 10:08:15 PM 22:08
Location: Mesa, AZ
|Brilliant cone-shaped light to the WNW of Mesa, AZ.
At 7:40p I went out to grill, looked toward Sky Harbor and noticed a brilliant light toward the WNW at about a 40-45 degree elevation a couple thousand feet above some whispy clouds.
I brought out my hunting spotting scope, and after focusing I saw it was cone shaped, upright, and clearly self-illuminated. I went out into the yard to look around to see if I could spot any stars at that time. I didn't see a single one.
I went into the house, brought out my 7" (dia) telescope and tried out various lenses. By this time the cone had gradually lowered in elevation, had maintained its brilliance, and moved slightly further south from where I'd seen it (total elapsed time about 5 minutes).
It stayed in our range for about 45 minutes or so. Toward the end of its visibility, it quickly diminished in light intensity, to the point where it appeared to be a faint star. We then lost sight of it behind a tree, and I had a hard time tracking it due to its dimming.
The light itself appeared cone shaped. The upper left corner appeared a bit rounded, the upper right corner was more squared. The light color itself I'd have to describe as what you'd see when looking at a fluorescent bulb; nearly a pure white. When looking through my Galileo telescope, directly below the bottom of the cone I saw a very small point of light. Unfortunately, because I had to rely on telescopes to spot the object, I was unable to get a photo of it.
There was plenty of air traffic around, but I saw/heard zero fast-movers, and having seen flares fired from both helos and fighters, I can absolutely confirm this was no flare.
My younger brother flies AH-64D's in Mirana. When returning to base tonight he heard several aircraft communicating with Williams Gateway tower explaining what they'd seen, and the word "balloon" was mentioned. Again, I've seen many balloons, to include both weather and hot-air, and this looked nothing like either of them.