NUFORC Sighting 139443

Occurred: 2018-04-13 20:30 Local
Reported: 2018-04-13 22:23 Pacific
Duration: 3 minutes
No of observers: 1

Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Shape: Light
Characteristics: Lights on object

Bright light in sky, slowly increase elevation and then faded. Second night in a row.

I am a semi-retired finance professional with an advanced degree. I rarely drink and do not do any drugs. I am also an amateur astronomer with a small scope, and because the airport is fairly close, a plane watcher with binocs on the outside table at all times. The point is that I am intelligent, sober, rational, skeptical, and I can recognize planes, man-made satellites (have seen 3), and stars/planets. What I saw was not one of these.

On 4/12, at 10:30 PM, took dogs outside for the normal business. As usual I looked at the stars. Visibility was good – a bit hazy at about 20 degrees and below from a dust storm earlier in the day but generally clear directly overhead with major constellations visible. Saw a bright flash (about as bright as landing lights turning on but much farther away and not in the flight pattern) due west at about a 70 degree elevation. The light was flashing at 15 second intervals (I measured it) which is too infrequent even for a plane at cruising altitude. It was moving south for about 3 minutes but moving too slow for an aircraft and much much too slow for a satellite. It also did not seem to be moving in a straight line (somewhat difficult to tell due to infrequency of flashes). Over this time the light gradually dimmed and took-on a slight reddish hue before it became too dim to see.

On 4/13 at 8:30 PM went outside for some fresh air. Looked up and saw the identical scene with these changes: I did not see initial flash and the direction was south/southeast. The sky was much clearer tonight.

Also, about 8 weeks ago I was up very early 3:00AM to catch a flight. Outside with the dogs. Looked up and saw a moving, steady light (no flashing or colored lights) about the size and magnitude of a typical star. It was moving slower than satellites I have seen before, and seemed much too high for an aircraft (my first thought was that it was a private jet a high altitude). The light moved straight south covering about a 20 degree arc and then quickly faded at about Orion’s shoulders.

The third sighting in the list very well could have been a satellite, but the other two were definitely neither planes, satellites, nor meteorites.

Posted 2018-04-19

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