NUFORC Sighting 133582

Occurred: 2017-04-12 20:00 Local
Reported: 2017-04-13 10:52 Pacific
Duration: 3-4 seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: Asheboro, NC, USA

Shape: Light
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object

Very fast moving bright blue/white light

Traveling home from Chapel Hill, NC, last night (April 12, 2017, at about 8pm) towards Monroe, NC (driving southwest), I observed a very intensely bright light ball moving extremely fast across the sky near Asheboro, NC, but in the rural part of Randolph County. This was obviously not a plane or helicopter because of the lack of signal lights and the absolutely incredible speed.

My first thought, after ruling out planes and helicopters, was perhaps that I saw a *huge* meteor; but, the object was different enough that I couldn't rationalize a meteor. For example, it did not appear to travel like meteors I have seen in the past which appear high up in the atmosphere and quickly burn out. In terms of assessing the possibility of larger, lower flying meteors, the object did not have the characteristic "burn trail" or "tail" that a low burning meteor typically has (at least in my experience of seeing photos of low meteors). This object was clearly moving horizontally across the sky at what appeared to be a constant altitude with no trail.

The object was an intense blue/white light ball, and it appeared to have a very slight haze near it, but this "haze" could have been an optical illusion, given the brightness of the object and the speed with which it moved. Any "haze" that was present was no larger dimension than the diameter of the light ball, so it did not seem to fit with a meteor trail.

I first saw the light ball when it was just about the center of my windshield as I was driving. It moved to my left, traveling southeast, and across the sky to the horizon or tree line in an elapsed time of only about 3-4 seconds. So, this light ball was clearly moving at an incredible speed whether low in the sky or higher than I suspected. I estimate it to have been lower than 500 feet, but that is clearly only an estimate, as I have no way of knowing its true size or altitude.

Again, unlike a meteor, the object did not burn out - it simply moved out of my sight at great speed. Regardless of what it was, it was a fascinating experience. This is the second time in the past 2 years that I have seen a fast moving object in the general area of central NC, once it the daytime (a "craft" of sorts previously reported here) and this bright, nighttime ball of light.


Dear Mr. Davenport,

In response to your questions (my answers are given in brackets):

As you faced the object, what was the approximate direction you were looking [I was on the road, so I only know the general cardinal direction, assuming a line between Chapel Hill and Monroe, NC. I did not think to look at my car direction indicator, so the best I can say here is that I was driving Southwest and generally looking in that direction. Unfortunately, given the nature of winding roads in the rural counties, I cannot confirm the absolute direction of my vision]

..and the angle of elevation above the horizontal plane [I had to move a bit to see it past my visor in the car, so it was up past 30 degrees for sure, but it was not by any means 90 degrees from the horizontal. My best estimate would be about 45-55 degrees from horizontal line of sight]

...Was the object in the northern sky, or the southern sky, from your vantage point, [Southern]

..and was it traveling from your left to right side, or right to left? [the latter, right to left]

Sorry I can't be more exact with some of these questions. The entire event took me by complete surprise. I am pleased to know that others reported this event. I would love to know what you find out about the light, if indeed you are able to identify it. Is there a means by which I can stay abreast of any updates? Would you publish any such findings?

Thank you and best regards,


Posted 2017-04-13

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