NUFORC UFO Sighting 2315

Occurred: 1997-01-02 19:15 Local
Reported: 1997-06-29 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 30 minutes
No of observers: 2

Location: Austin, TX, USA

Shape: Light

Summary : While viewing M42 through telescope, we witness 3 anamolous moving lights, two with scope, one with naked eye, approx. 10-15 min. apart.

On the night of 1/2/97, at approximately 19:15, my husband and I were viewing M42 (in Orion) from our balcony through our 10" Mead LX200, with a 6.7-mm eyepiece.The night was clear, and we had never seen such depth of color in M42 before - it was beautiful. I witness a small (star-sized) orange light travel roughly east to west(top to bottom of eyepiece) in about 3/4 of a second. I immediately looked at that area with my naked eye, as did my husband, but we saw nothing. Approximately 10 minutes later,my husband was viewing M42 with a 15-mm eyepiece. He, too, witnesses a small "yellow-orange" light, traveling at the same apparent speed - although he describes its movement as "erratic".Again, our attempts at immediate naked-eye confirmation yield nothing. We continue to observe M42 in the hopes that we will see another light. This time, we alternate: oneviews through the scope while the other observes M42 with the naked eye - at this point, we have ruled out satellites ("erratic" movement of the second light) and insects flying in front of our lens(none observed with naked eye - lights are in focus through scope - lights are visually quite small). Approximately 10-15 minutes later (19:45), my husband is viewing through the scope,and I'm watching Orion like a hawk. With my naked eye, I witness a white light, again visually star-sized, "come out" of the bottom star of Orion's sword, travel in a small curve or hook, and then travel at a visualangle of about 45 degrees. It moves in a straight line until it is approximately under the right star of the belt, and it simply "turns off". This takes about 2 seconds.The previous night, my brother and his friend were over observing M42 and Betelgeuse (19:00) and reported seeing "shooting stars" through the telescope. My husband and I are amateurastronomers, and have seen meteors, satellites, airplanes - all of the "reasonable" explanations. These three lights do not fit in with those explanations. We have attempted over the past few months to figure this out, but cannot. I can only say that we both have had an unshakably strange feeling about these observations, and I decided that posting this sighting might bring other observers of this phenomenon to us.

Posted 1999-01-28

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