Occurred: 2016-10-03 05:00 Local
Reported: 2016-10-03 03:05 Pacific
Duration: 4 minutes
No of observers: 2

Location: Belchertown, MA, USA

Shape: Fireball
Characteristics: Lights on object

Very loud disturbance. Three red fireballs low in the sky descending slowly overhead.

At 5:00 am on October 3, 2016, my son and I were awakened by an incredibly loud, ripping or tearing sound coming from outside. We looked out a south window and saw 3 fireballs moving East and losing altitude. The whole thing was over in under 5 minutes.

Very loud disturbance. Three red fireballs low in the sky descending slowly overhead. (Addendum)

2 Addendums:

1) Weather conditions Monday morning during the sighting: Pre-dawn dark with pea soup fog. Lights from aircraft took on a fiery, blurred and diffused glow.

2) This article appeared the next day on wwlp.com: "TSgt Amelia Leonard of Westover Air Reserve Base told 22News that five F-15 fighter jets left Westover at around 5:00 A.M. Monday. Leonard said that the pilots had stopped at Westover to rest in-between long flights. Leonard did not disclose where the jets were coming from, or where they were going."



Official says fighter jets taking off early mornings from Westover for overseas mission 'are in the fight' CHICOPEE — Officials at Westover Air Reserve Base said they have been flooded with complaints about fighter jets flying overhead and waking residents up at 5 a.m. and earlier.

Officials apologized for the inconvenience and are warning residents the early morning flights will continue this week and possibly other times in the near future.

"These are not practice, they are in the fight," Lt. Col. James Bishop, chief of public affairs for Westover, said. "They are supporting operations overseas." For security reasons, Bishop could not say where the F-15 fighter jets are heading, but he said Westover is simply a stop-over spot for them. The crews are also coming from different bases, including Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, and some may be returning from Europe as well.

Bishop said he has not received a schedule beyond this week and could not release specifics on when the jets will be flying overhead this week for security reasons.

Westover is the closest base in the United States to Europe, so crews are stopping at the base to refuel and allow pilots to get some sleep. The base is a common location for stopovers of a wide variety of planes because of its location, Bishop said.

Westover is not involved with the mission, and officials have limited information about it. The base is really just serving as a "garage" for the planes, he said.

The complaints are mainly because of the 5 a.m. takeoffs that are waking people up and have also frightened people because they are so loud and atypical. The actual flight paths vary depending on wind conditions and many other factors, Bishop said.

Pilots are taking off so early because of the time difference between here and Europe. When they leave at 5 a.m., it is already 10 a.m. in England, Bishop said.



Witness indicates during a telephone conversation that the news report, which reported that the noise had been caused by F-15 fighter aircraft, which were thought to have been headed to Europe. We have requested an addendum statement from the witness, and will add it here, if one is submitted. PD

Posted 2016-10-11

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