Occurred: 1999-08-05 05:15 Local
Reported: 1999-08-07 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 30 seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: Meridian, ID, USA

Shape: Orb

A white light, typical of visible orbiting satellites, moved erratically on a westerly course in the pre-dawn sky.

The object appeared almost overhead, about 80 degrees above horizon, heading generally west south-west. It appeared to be a satellite (of which I have observed hundreds over the years), similar in speed, tracking and intenisity of light (which was steady, non-blinking), until making several sudden, major course changes, which included coming to what appeared to be a complete stop. There is an all-night service station/convenience store about 100 yards directly west of my location that is brightly lighted all night. The object was bright enough to be easily seen, even over the lights from the C-store coming from the same general direction. I observed no strobes, beacons, or sounds coming from the object or its general direction that might identify it as an aircraft. Boise's Gowen Field is about 8 miles east south-east of my location and there is a lot of military and commercial traffic arriving and departing nearly all day and late into the night. However, there is seldom anything flying in the area between about midnight and 7:00 a.m. I am a private pilot with several hundred hours of PIC time logged and recognize how both military and general aviation aircraft are typically lighted. The light given off by the object was silvery-white, not incandescent or florescent, and of the intensity I have observed from satellites over the years. It diminished only when the object passed behind a thin stratus cloud layer in the west, which was the remnant of some small, localized thunderstorms that had been in the area the previous afternoon and evening. The object remained visible through the clouds for several seconds. It made at least 5 course changes of as much as 70 degrees during period of observation, but its overall progress of travel remained generally westerly. The object faded from view upon passing behind more dense area of cloud layer and was lost.

Posted 1999-08-10

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