NUFORC Sighting 84396

Occurred: 2011-10-07 21:35 Local
Reported: 2011-10-07 21:45 Pacific
Duration: 1 minute
No of observers: 2

Location: Lake Geneva, WI, USA

Shape: Sphere
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aircraft nearby

Orange ball of light making no sound crosses sky in a south-to-north transit

Tonight's skies were clear at the time of our "sighting", and my daughter and I were observing the moon with a spotting scope while waiting for Jupiter to rise above the trees east of our lot. There was regular commuter air traffic at high altitude from west to east, just south of our position. Lower in the sky to our south, but slightly west of our position, we observed a ball of orange light moving in the sky that was peculiar in several respects: first, unlike an aircraft, it exhibited no strobe or other marker lights. Second, in its undeviating travel, it was moving due north; as it passed us, it made absolutely no sound--we had been able to hear the faint whine of jet engines at an apparently much higher altitude, but this object made no sound at all. I was hoping to hear something-the buzz of a propeller that would explain what we were observing-any sound at all, but there was none. Finally, the apparent size, shape and luminous output of the obje! ct remained constant as it crossed the sky from horizon to horizon.

The object appeared to be traveling at approximately the same altitude as many small aircraft we've observed over the years at our location: approximately 4,000 to 5,000 feet MSL. This object appeared to be moving more quickly than most aircraft in our area, completely transiting the sky in about a minute.

The object appeared to be an orange sphere (deep orange-red at the perimeter, a similar color to an NBA basketball at the center, where the glow was brightest). Its luminosity was similar to an aircraft landing headlight, but this glow did not change during the entirety of its transit, neither to diminish nor to increase as it passed. This indicates one of two things: a luminous sphere (which is what it appeared to be); or an orange-colored landing light aimed directly at us during the due-north travel of the object (obviously improbable).

The object appeared to be similar in size to the cabin of a small aircraft, such as a Cessna 182, though the transit appeared to be faster than a typical propeller-driven aircraft; . The object appeared to pass within a half mile or so to our west at the indicated altitude, at about 30 degrees declination from zenith. Again, per GPS it was moving due north (not magnetic).

Posted 2011-10-10

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