Location: Sydney (50 miles north of) (NSW, Australia), , Australia
Duration: 1-3 minutes
No of observers: 2
Reported: 2001-01-04 00:00:00 Pacific
Posted: 2001-02-18 00:00:00
Characteristics: Lights on object
truly bizarre "anomolous satellite-like" observation
21:20 local time (evening) Tuesday 2nd Jan near Sydney, Australia. (ie, Roughly Monday morning in USA.) 50 miles north of Sydney. Conditions perfectly clear, warm, 70 deg F., dark country area. Event happened roughly in Orion (roughly overhead at that time). I am an mildly experienced skywatcher, meteor-shower watcher, aircraft spotter and satellite watcher. I have a science degree major in phyics and math. I am 36 years old and own a programming company and was perfectly sober. At about 21:20 I noticed what looked exactly like a satellite moving through the sky, just as when you see a LEO satellite moving through the sky. Oddly it was moving on a North to South (approximately) track (perhaps 10 or 20 degrees west of North to 10-20 East of South, but not sure). Of course satellites generally move in east and west lines, not north and south lines. I thought to myself "cool, that must be a polar satellite". The point of light looked exactly as it does when you happen to see a satellite moving overhead. Similar magnitude. The speed was somewhat faster than the typical satellite. At one point there happened to be a conventional wide-body jet also overhead (on a normal track to Kingsford-Smith airport) for comparision; in short the object looked exactly like when you see a satellite (except it was wierdly going N-S). Amazingly enough the object deccelerated, and then STOPPED (!) I watched it clearly do this and kept concentration on it the whole time. I notied it's position relative to some stars (near the west-south 'foot' of Orion). Obviously I yelled in amazement, told my fiance etc. Then, maybe 10 or 15 seconds later I happened to see another identical "satellite", which was moving on a parallel track, but coming from SOUTH TO NORTH. The two tracks were maybe 1 or 1.5 degrees apart. Amazingly the first satellite (or whatever) then STARTED MOVING AGAIN, but this time NORTH, ie backwards, the way it had come from. IE, the first "satellite" started moving again (in the reverse direction) when the other one approached it (the first one staying about 1/2 a degree ahead of the second). Both then moved at the same speed and direction, in "formation". Although "unspectacular" this was (of course) the strangest and most bizarre thing I have ever seen in my life. Satellites don't stop, pause for a few seconds, and then go the other direction.
This witness called the NUFORC Hotline to report this sighting, and we found him to be exceptional credible. He has training in a number of academic subjects, as well as in other practical subjects, which significantly enhance his skill as an observer. We were very impressed with his report. PD
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