|Occurred : 6/5/2011 22:56 (Entered as : 06-05-11 22:56)
Reported: 6/7/2011 1:09:15 AM 01:09
Location: Lawton, OK
Duration:~ 1 min., 30 sec.
|Luminous flying sphere observed near Lake Quanah Parker, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Lawton, OK
A friend and I were out star-gazing in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge on the night of June 5th, 2011. We were parked at the Lake Quanah Parker Dam Spillway 'turnabout'/fishing area, standing on the pavement facing Lake Quanah Parker (due North) and observing the "Big Dipper" just overhead when we observed a a very bright stationary object.
The object was positioned just slightly to the right of center between the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor and just below the constellation Draco. The object did not appear to have any clearly defined edges when perceived by the naked eye or when viewed through binoculars (Bushnell 12x21 compact.) The glow of he object appeared to be almost a cream color, not quite white, but not quite yellow.
The object's luminosity and apparent diameter appeared to be fluctuating at regular intervals of approximately 1/30th of a second. The objects diameter (when at its smallest) was roughly the equivalent of 5 normal stars, or approximately the size of the planet Jupiter - viewed when it appears closest to Earth. When the object appeared largest, its apparent diameter was close to 7-8 stars or nearly twice the size of the planet Jupiter.
The object appeared to remain motionless for more than a minute (at the location mentioned above) and then suddenly it began a steady arc in a northern direction (toward the constellation Draco) then curved gradually south-eastern (making a tear-drop shaped loop) and proceeded onward in a south-easterly path, now at a much more rapid rate of speed. From the moment its motion began until it disappeared somewhere near the far south-eastern horizon, 18 seconds had elapsed.
The object did not appear to be flying low to the ground, (seemed significantly higher than normal aircraft would be flying) though without any clear reference point or measurements, it is not possible to discern the object's actual size, speed or altitude.
The object did not appear to make any audible sound(s)and no discernible effects were apparent regarding; nearby mechanical devices (cars, cell phones), persons, plant or animal life.
My friend and I are both amateur astronomers, experience with military as well as more than 15 years each with astronomy/stargazing. We have lived in the immediate area for 8 and 10 years respectively and have never observed an object like this, or in this location.
Neither one of us knows what this object is, but we are both clear that it is neither traditional military nor civilian commercial aircraft. The object's motion is neither consistent with a meteor or any other known natural phenomena. While consulting the NUFORC director, I was informed that the international space station was not visible from that location and at that time.
Weather: 78 degrees F., light occasional winds at 10-15mph., slightly humid, two faint displays of apparent distant lightening occurred approximately 35 min. prior to observation of this object.
Air traffic: Civilian/Commercial air traffic was high just prior to the sighting but there were no aircraft within the area of the object, at that time.
NOTE: When observing the same area the night following this observation a fast moving military aircraft was observed making 7 great loop-like passes of the entire wildlife refuge as well as the nearby military base (Ft. Sill, Army Post) within a time frame of 16 min., and at a fairly moderate altitude, slightly lower than normal air traffic in that region. Neither of us has ever observed this kind of military behavior in the decade or so that we have both lived in this area. Ft. Sill is well known for its loud artillery training exercises, but never for it's military flight maneuvers. The nearest Air Force installation is Altus AFB in Altus, Oklahoma, ~45 miles west of the location of the sighting. During the sighting, attempts were made to photograph the object by the use of a built-in cell phone camera, no image was clear, the screen frame appeared entirely black.