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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/12/2017 21:40 (Entered as : 08/12/2017 21:40)
Reported: 8/13/2017 7:53:53 PM 19:53
Posted: 8/17/2017
Location: Cottontown, TN
Shape: Flash
Duration:7 minutes
Brilliant white flashes of light in the sky observed by family of 5 in Middle Tennessee

The location is Walnut Grove, TN, which is just northeast of White House, TN, and approximately 30 miles north of Nashville. The sky was mostly clear with a few stray clouds and contrails, with no thunderstorm activity within a hundred miles of the area.

At approximately 21:40 on 12 August, 2017, I observed a bright white flash of light in the north, northeast portion of the sky at approximately 45 degrees. It appeared as if a star had flashed on and off and the size comparison of the light was the same if not marginally larger than a star.

As I continued to look in the sky I observed a couple of more flashes over the course of a minute, or so. I walked back into the house and told my wife what I had seen. I asked her and my 3 children to join me on the front porch to see if it continued and, if possible, to record and hypothesize what it could be.

At approximately 21:45 the light flashes had moved from the original point in the sky to nearly directly ov! erhead. As we watched the flashes continued in intervals of several seconds. A couple of the flashes appeared as strobes or camera flashes. At one point a streak of light appeared in what I could only explain as a bluish white laser or fluorescent bulb in the sky in the same vicinity. The entire event lasted only about six or seven minutes from start to finish.

My twelve year old tried to record our observations, but nothing of substance, other than our conversation about what we were seeing, was on the video.

This is not the first time that I had observed an occurrence like this. Approximately a year ago in the same general area and the same time of year, I saw what appeared as a star flashing on and off every few seconds. A short time before this I saw a similar event take place on the southwest horizon from our property. Researching several videos on the internet to find a reasonable explanation for what I had witnessed, here is what I found:

1. Iridium flare – While a solid hypothesis at first, upon reviewing videos online and reading the description of what it is and how this appears, this does not look at all like what we witnessed. The flashes we witnessed were brighter, crisper, and strobed, while the iridium flare “warmed up and cooled down” over the course of a few seconds. The lights we saw literally were like camera flashes.

2. Air traffic – We witnessed several air craft traversing the sky while this was occurring, and since we are in the flight path of traffic in and out of Nashville International Airport, it was another good hypothesis. However, the aircraft lighting, many of which are now LED, did not appear the same as the lights we saw nor did they have the same characteristics as the lights we observed.

3. Lightning – There was no lightning in the area, and no thunderstorm activity. The sky was mostly clear and mild with good visibility.

4. Meteor – While this was the reason that I was outside watching the sky in the first place, this was not meteor activity. The flashes were predictable and were easily distinguishable from meteors.

As I continued to research other UFO reporting sites, I came across a few others who observed similar flashes. These reports were from Michigan and Louisiana. Interestingly, the location where we saw the lights is nearly at (within a thousand feet of) the line of totality for the upcoming eclipse. Coincidence or not, this was very strange.

We are very curious to know what this was and to know if more saw the same thing. Meanwhile, we will continue to watch the sky for more examples of this, and will report our findings.