|Occurred : 1/18/2010 20:15 (Entered as : 01/18/10 20:15)
Reported: 1/19/2010 1:58:50 AM 01:58
Location: Seattle, WA
|Bright, flickering orange light
Walking southward on sidewalk, coming back from taking out garbage.
Saw to SE (over neighbor's house) object, about 30 degrees elevation, first thought it was aircraft with landing lights.
Single bright light, orange/red similar to color of sodium lights moving slowly toward me (moving to the north west). Light was flickering irregularly but not blinking in a pattern, no other color lights seen.
No sound from object, closing from ~ 4nm to 2nm (estimated based on ceiling and elevation, "2nm" being about 11,000' directly overhead). Single-engine propeller aircraft heard to the northwest, apparently over water, but not correlated to the object.
Based on altitude of 11,000' (reported ceiling) speed credible for either jet or turboprop aircraft, not credible for balloon (too fast) or meteor (too slow). Also based on observation that object entered cloud cover from below and did not emerge from it, object assumed to be gaining in altitude throughout observation.
Went inside to get binoculars (just inside front door) and 10-y/o daughter. Went back out, object still visible, now moving "faster" (probably same speed but closer), now clearly having turned perhaps 45 degrees to the left and moving toward the west. Nearly overhead, observed with binoculars, slowly disappeared into clouds. Still no sound. Not seen again.
Flight path not consistent with Boeing Field or Seatac. McChord AFB possible but unlikely.
Note: Both Weather Underground site (copied below) and Boeing Field report clear skies, but actually heavily overcast, altostratus. Weather Underground also reports light northerly wind, but actual observation was southerly at 5 knots.
Daughter (10 years old), also had binoculars but was unable to get them out of case in time and only saw it with unaided eyes, descibes as "a fireball in the sky, like a very very furry animal's tail, while the animal's tail was poofed up, like a very angry cat's tail".
Note: Daughter did not see object (she had been inside) until it was entering the clouds, I think this is what she means. Prior to that the object was a very distinct single source of light.
Other than the fact that the object was not in a typical flight path, nothing about it's movement or speed seemed irregular for a conventional jet or turboprop aircraft. What was striking was it's coloration, and the fact that it was clearly flickering or flaring, but not "blinking" in any regular pattern. Also substantially brighter than conventional aircraft.
Personal Background: Ex-Navy (navigation), captain US Merchant Marine, celestial navigation instructor, astronomy major in college (i.e., no, it wasn't Venus, a meteor or the ISS).
Daughter is a typical ten-year-old, but has been stargazing with me since she was a toddler.
Note: Your form asks for shape and number of "craft". I do not presume to know if this is a "craft" or a natural phenomenon or something else entirely. Just because we see an unusual light in the sky doesn't necessarily mean space-aliens are riding in it.
============================================================= Weather Report from Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com) Updated: 3 sec ago (2032pst) Clear (actually overcast, dense altostratus) 56.9 °F Humidity: 47% Dew Point: 37 °F Wind: 4.0 mph from the North (actually about 5kts from south/southwest) Wind Gust: 8.0 mph Pressure: 29.12 in (Falling) Visibility: 10.0 miles UV: 0 out of 16 Clouds: Clear - (Above Ground Level) Elevation: 30 ft