NUFORC Sighting 173813

Occurred: 2019-01-02 02:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 2023-01-09 12:46 Pacific
Duration: ~10 seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: NA, -, USA
Location details: Pacific ocean crossing, ~ half way between Hawaii and the U.S. west coast

Shape: Orb
Characteristics: Lights on object

High altitude light that flashed on/off over the course of ~10 seconds.

First of three sightings that I'm reporting. Distinctly different from the second and third sightings in location, type, and duration.

This first sighting was flying an all-night flight from Hawaii back to Denver pre-Covid (probably the winter of 2018/19 – I didn’t document the flight/date at the time). I was a Denver-based B757/767 FO at the time and would fly Hawaii trips three to five times a month. During this flight, the Captain was resting about half way across the Pacific from the Islands. The dome lights were turned off, so only the cockpit instrument lights were lightly illuminating the interior of the cockpit (my preferred practice while night flying). I was leaning forward and looking out and up through my front window (star gazing). At position 11:00 high (really high - well above normal airliner or business jet traffic), I saw a bright flash of light that lasted about a second or so then dimmed, followed by another flash that then dimmed, followed by a third flash that then dimmed, those first three were in exactly the same spot relative to the background stars. Those three flashes were followed by a fourth flash at the same time interval, but it had travelled directly east from the first three about a degree or so, then a fifth flash directly east of that about a degree - travelling the same distance each time. Each of the five flashes lasted about a second or so, with a second or so in between when it dimmed. It wasn't the Starlink constellation, as I've seen them on a couple of different occasions, and it wasn't a satellite or the ISS (which I've seen at least a couple of dozen times). It wasn't aircraft traffic, as it didn't have the normal position lights and the first three flashes were in exactly the same location. Finally, it wasn't a meteor. Normal objects in orbit don't stay in the same relative position, then shift suddenly to a different position. I don't recall the exact flight number, date, or time of night, as at the time, I wasn't inclined to track such things. It certainly baffled me, and in retrospect, I really wish I had tracked the flight number and recorded the time/position on the orientation chart (plotting chart).

Posted 2023-03-06

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