|Occurred : 6/15/2012 22:50 (Entered as : 06/15/12 22:50)
Reported: 6/15/2012 11:04:44 PM 23:04
Location: Gainesville, FL
|Series of amber orbs transiting NE to SW, singly, in pairs, and in threes, about 15 total.
On 15 June 2012, in Gainesville, FL, USA, (29.7N, 82.7W), beginning at approximately 22:50 and continuing until 23:00 EDT, my wife and I observed approximately 15 separate amber to orange-amber-colored glowing objects (orbs) that traversed the sky from northeast to southwest. There was no moon, a thin, high cloud cover we’d had at sunset had by then completely dissipated, leaving a cloudless sky. Winds were calm with the occasional light gust from the N (according to weather station MC9837, closest to our home: http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=MC9837&month=6&day=15&year=2012) My wife and I are amateur stargazers and I had just finished drift-aligning our 203mm diameter Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope in preparation for some DSLR astrophotography. My wife was visually observing Messier 13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, and I was readying my Vixen flip mirror camera mount. I happened to look up and saw two orange-ish/amber lights passing almost directly overhead, just south of the zenith and very near the star Arcturus, in a southwesterly direction and seemingly in a line approximating NE to SW. I did not notice them until after they were to the west of the meridian.
Our view of the sky is limited by trees surrounding our property, and we only have a clear view 60 degrees above the horizon to W, 15 degrees above the horizon to N, 30 degrees above the horizon to E (but with a large tree partially obstructing as high as 50 degrees to the NE), and about 20 degrees above the horizon to S. Thus, my view of those first two objects ended very soon after I saw them as they disappeared behind the tall trees to the SW.
I got my wife’s attention with an exclamation along the lines of “what the hell was that?”, and when she looked up from the telescope, since it was pointing ENE at Hercules, she noticed an amber object through the trees just rising above our neighbor’s roof line (about 15 degrees above the horizon from that orientation) almost exactly NE. We soon saw a second such object, same color, and slightly to the north of the first. Our view of these objects was intermittent as they passed behind tree limbs, but the entire time we observed them we could see them climbing higher in the sky, passing just north of the star Vega, as they appeared to approach. As they cleared the tree we could see them clearly, although they simply appeared to be featureless orbs of light, larger than a point source (therefore unlike a star), but smaller by far than the disc of the moon.
As these objects passed the meridian on a general SW heading, one of them seemed to fade, then briefly brighten, then fade out completely before the other one, whose apparent brightness hadn’t varied, disappeared from view behind the trees to the SW. The entire transit, from the moment we first observed them until they were lost to view due to the trees to our west, took about 30 to 45 seconds.
Almost as soon as the pair of objects passed overhead we saw 2 more such amber lights moving through the trees, originating at almost the identical spot where we saw the first pair, and also travelling SW at about the same rate. They were soon joined by a third amber light a bit to their north. All three of these objects tracked somewhat further north than the first set of objects, but still travelling from NE to SW and at the same apparent speed as the earlier objects (transiting in about the same amount of time).
We continued seeing objects such as these appear above the roofline to our NE, watched them arc overhead, sometimes in pairs, sometimes singly, sometimes in threes, for the next 10 or so minutes. In all, I would say we saw at least 15 distinct objects, all of them tracking from NE to SW, some further N, but most nearly overhead. A few of the objects we initially detected above the roof line (at least 3) disappeared completely before clearing the tree and emerging in clear sky. Another one, in an initial group of three, faded out and then re-appeared as its companions crossed the meridian to the W.
The apparent rate at which all of the objects arced across the sky did not seem to vary. They all took about the same amount of time to cross our field of view. It is impossible to estimate the altitude of these objects without having any referent to their actual size. None of them showed any type of blinking navigation or anti-collision lights as do aircraft. We could not detect any sound from their passing; no noise of engine, no whoosh of air, nothing. I was able to capture some short video of a couple of these objects, but the capture was made using a handheld cell phone, and so is of poor quality.
I’ll close by saying that my wife and I both hold advanced degrees. She is a Professor and I am a research scientist, with over 40 peer reviewed publications as either first or contributing author. We are sober, intelligent and well-educated individuals who stand to lose respect and credibility by making claims of UFO sightings. Yet, that is exactly what we saw. These objects flew across the sky, and they are completely unidentified. We can’t speak to their origin, but neither one of us has ever seen anything like them.