|Occurred : 8/13/2011 21:20 (Entered as : 8/13/11 21:20)
Reported: 8/13/2011 8:30:00 PM 20:30
Location: Tonawanda, NY
|Fireball travelling steadily over Tonawanda, NY
August 13, 2011 at approximately 9:20pm. Fireball Thirteen of us were at a backyard barbecue in the town of Tonawanda, NY in the Green Acres neighborhood with Niagara Falls Blvd. to our East and the 290 to our North. The full moon was to my back, and I was facing a clear sky with stars. I glanced up and saw a large brightly lit ball traveling across the sky from south to north (slightly southwest to northeast). At first it had a bright white center that was encased in a red/orange-red outer flame-like rim. It emitted a beam of white light both upward and downward in the shape of a paper cup so that it kind of looked like a bow tie tipped on its side. The downward beam of light was only half as strong as the upward one. The sides of the beam did not dissipate as would be expected, but had crisp, slightly angled lines. The top and bottom of the beam did fade as you would expect.
I got the attention of the other guests and pointed at the sky. The beams of light turned off simultaneously as if you would flick a switch, and the center became red/orange-red/ pinkish red. The fiery ball continued to travel across the sky at a steady rate. It did not change in size, direction, or altitude. It did not emit any sound. It was about 10 degrees off from being completely overhead, and it did not appear to be as high as an airplane. (We have a large airport a few miles from here and we are used to seeing planes coming in for a landing and taking off.) It was about the diameter of a pencil eraser held at arms length. Someone in the group thought that it must be a hot air balloon, but I didn’t see a basket below it or a balloon above it when the beams of light were shining. Also, the fiery ball appeared to be larger than a hot air balloon flame. The overall diameter of the ball did not change, although the intensity of the “flame” varied. (ex. When it got bright! er, it did not appear to get larger.) We observed it for approximately 1-2 min. It was first spotted at about the 10 o’clock position and we lost sight of it at the 3 o’clock position due to trees obstructing our view. The winds were from the SE at 140 degrees and were 6 mph. The visibility was 10 mi.