The National UFO Reporting Center was flooded by reports after masses of people watching fireworks displays in Illinois and Missouri observed a brilliant bluish object streak across the sky. Following is a sampling of witness reports, in their own words.
We were at a local fireworks display. Just before dusk, I looked up in the sky with my son and saw a large green object shooting across the sky like a comet, but at a much lower altitude. It was just above the clouds and did not have a trajectory of any firework. It was traveling parallel to the ground from east to west. Looking up, it traveled from approx. 11 o'clock to 2'oclock and lasted approx. 5 seconds then disappeared.
7/4/97 21:00:00 BELLEVILLE IL
WHILE WATCHING MOVIE AT DRIVE-IN THEATER, THE ENTIRE AREA LIT UP FOR SEVERAL SECONDS WITH A BLUE-GREEN LIGHT.
I WAS WITH MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER WATCHING A MOVIE AT THE SKYVIEW DRIVE-IN THEATER. ABOUT 15-20 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE THE ENTIRE AREA WAS LIT BY A VERY BRIGHT BLUE-GREEN LIGHT FOR 3-5 SECONDS. AFTER THE LIGHT WAS GONE I LOOKED OUTSIDE THE CAR BUT DID NOT SEE ANYTHING ELSE. BEING THE FORTH OF JULY I PRESUMED IT WAS SOME SORT OF FIREWORKS. HOWEVER, THERE WAS NO SOUND ASSOCIATED WITH THE LIGHT. THE DRIVE-IN WAS ALMOST FULL WITH APPROXIMATELY 100-150 CARS.
7/4/97 21:10:00 Lonedell MO
Ice blue object, resembling an "<" flying south to north
7/4/97 21:15:00 Mark Twain Lake, Monroe City MO
Adults + children sitting on lake bank awaiting fireworks,see a bright blue ball streak fast across skyline, decend and seemingly to go into lake, but no sound was heard or splash seen.
Family members, adults and kids, sitting on lake shore at dusk. The sky was beginning to become dark, water in front of us, many trees across from us. We were watching the sky for the fireworks. Out of the northwest sky a brite blue ball assended to streak north to south and then descend as if into the lake. But no sound was heard or splash seen. A boat passed by the spot soon afterwards. We all thought it was a shooting star until wesaw a report with a picture on a local tv station with a video, and realized that was what we saw.
7/4/97 21:15:00 Elmwood IL
Unusual object descended from clouds. Not a firework, never came up from the ground.
Standing in my backyard watching the fireworks display to the southeast, I was distracted by a bright flash, when I looked high to the direct south a bright light pulsed from the cloud cover above. As I observed it briefly could clearly see that it had a very bright blue center with a bright green aura and a medium length tail. It was descending at a straight 45 degree angle with no decrease in speed or no loss in trajectory, it stayed true to its descent until I lost sight of it. It disappeared behind the horizon line with no flash signs of impact.
7/4/97 21:15:00 OAKVILLE MO
BRIGHT OBJECT OVER HEAD MOVING WEST . GREENISH COLOR MOVING SLOW AND THEN TAKES OFF FAST WITH A LONG TAIL. THEN DISAPPEARED MOVING WEST.
WHILE WE WERE WATCHING HOME FIRE WORKS THIS ROUND LIGHT COMES OVER HEAD RIGHT WHERE WE SITTING. IT WAS MOVING FROM EAST TO WEST WHEN IT WAS ALMOST OVERHEAD IT TOOK OFF REAL FAST AND IT LEFT A LONG TAIL AND THE IT DISSAPPEARED, OR THE LIGHT WENT OUT. THERE WAS ABOUT 30 PEOPLE SAW WHAT I SAW.
7/4/97 21:15:00 St. Charles, MO (Outside of St. Louis) MO
St. Charles, MO, before fireworks show. A blue ball (??) of light streaked across the sky, I'd say east to west. There was no noise. It just disappeared after about 5 seconds. It did not change direction, just dissappeared.
Friday, 7/4/97, approximately 9:15pm, St. Charles, MO. This is about 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. My family and I (as well as probably 30,000 others) were at the St. Charles river front to watch fireworks. It had just started to get dark and we knew the fireworks would be starting any time. I was looking into the sky to the south of where I was sitting and I saw a light streak across the sky. It went in an east-west direction. It was pretty bright. It was blue, maybe blue-green. It made no noise at all. It traveled in a straight path for probably at least five seconds. Then it just disappeared. It did not change direction, it just disappeared. It didn't even fade out. It was obviously not a firework, but I didn't know what it was. I figured it must have been a firework, or a plane on fire, or an asteroid or something. But it was really too bright for any of that. It didn't actually have a tail, it was more of a streak of light. Fireworks started 15 minutes later. I am a computer systems analyst. My girlfriend is a cash dept. supervisor. My father is an engineer for McDonnell Douglas. My friend is a cab driver. We all saw it and asked 'what the hell wast hat?'. Today I heard reports that others had seen it in Collinsville IL. But nothing was said about in St. lousiest. Charles.
7/4/97 21:15:00 St. Charles MO
Observed a blue-green light crossing the sky from Northeast to Southwest (paralleling the Missouri River).
While waiting for the 4th of July fireworks to start, my wife and several friends were looking up at the night sky when the "light" crossed the sky. There were broken to scattered clouds at about 2-3000 feet, and the light was visible through the clouds, but obviously above them. Given the color, I assumed that some space "junk" had re-entered and, containing a lot of copper, was burning up on re-entry. Based on the speed of the object, we thought it was going the speed of a meteor. All observers are college educated: engineer, teacher, pilot, and others. None had been drinking.
7/4/97 21:15:00 Granite City IL
Fourth of july celebration.
We was watching the firework celebration, approx. 21:15. A few minutes into the event, a bluish green light come from the east to the west. Looks like it wasn't much higher than the big aerial display. It flew almost into the fireworks and was gone, we only seen it for about a second or two. it was pretty neat. I imagine a lot more people there saw it but I dot know. Thank you.
7/4/97 21:15:00 St. Louis MO
Rapidly moving blue-green in sky over fireworks spectators
On the evening in question, I was in the crowd near the Gateway Arch waiting for the fireworks display to begin at 2140. At approximately 2115,I was looking up at helicopters that were moving around the river and immediate airspace over the city near the Arch. At about that time, I happened to notice an object, moving at an extremely rapid rate through the sky, almost directly overhead. The duration of the event was so short that I thought that it might have been some kind of meteorite or something similar. The object was bluish-green in color, like a streaking fireball in shape, and moving east to west at a speed much faster than any aircraft, flare, fireworks, or shooting star/meteorite I have ever seen before. The light gave off no observable sound, nor was there some kind of sonic boom or anything of the sort. I commented on it to my friend who missed it and wasn't interested in my observation. I overheard others in the crowd in my immediate area comment on the light, so I'm pretty sure that there are others who can comment on seeing the light. I am writing this, only because I happened to see a report in the news today about a similar series of observations across the river in Illinois.
7/4/97 21:18:00 Chesterfield MO
Above us a bright bluish light appeared which lit up the sky then diminished to nothing.
Above us, a bright bluish globe of light brightened the sky just after dusk. It rose in intensity, then diminished to nothing, in about two seconds. The observers were both electrical engineers who were watching a distant fireworks display on July 4th. Neither observer had previously experienced such phenomena.
7/4/97 21:20:00 arnold MO
greenish streak traveled east to west.
During a fireworks display put on by the city of arnold, mo...which started about 2115 hrs after about five minutes, a bright greenish streak traveled across the sky about 6 - 8 degrees south of straight up. the streak didn't go from horizon to horizon...but traveled about half the distance...in the middle. it did not appear to be a meteor..there was no trail as such..it had the same brightness and density through out its travel..it just appeared to disappear...there was no apparent sound or other physical discription...and due to the color...many thought is was from the fireworks display..but...the arc of travel made that impossible..
7/4/97 21:30:00 St. Louis MO
Blue light that shot across the sky horizontally.
Under the St. Louis arch on July 4, 1997 right before the fireworks began a strange blue light shot across the sky. It lit up the entire sky. It was a teardrop shape and it disapeared after about 3 seconds. I dont know how many people saw it but there were other reports in nearby towns this weekend and others have video tape of the sightings.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Florissant MO
Several of us had just finish watching the 4th of July fireworks when we saw a bluish/green light streak across the sky. It seemed to appear from nowhere and disappear just as quickly. Elevation was rather low, about cloud level.
At about 21:30 on the 4th of July several of us saw a bluish/green light just streak across the sky. It was only visible for 1 to 2 seconds but was moving very fast from an east to west direction. It appeared that the elevation was only about cloud high. It was moving so fast it was difficult to get a shape but reminded me of a tip of a flame from an aircraft engine. However, this was moving much too fast to be an aircraft and we did not hear any noise. The observers were a family group. Males and females, ages 18 to 45.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Hazelwood MO
Green, half-capsule shaped object, streaking North-South across the sky. Disappeared half-way across.
saw something unusual Friday night (7/4) with my boys (7 and 6). Didn't think much about it at the time. It got us talking about shooting stars and stuff. Heard it on the radio today (KMOX) and thought I would pass this along. I'll start by saying I am not a UFO fanatic, I don't believe in aliens or beings from other planets. But I certainly saw something unusual the other night. It was between 9:15-9:45, we were waiting for fireworks (the show started at 9:45). My 6 year old noticed it first, and caught my attention. It was green, bullet shaped (like half a capsule. A rounded edge, flat back. No stream or tail). Streaked across the sky, and vanished about half way across. It moved quite quickly, maybe I saw it for 2-3 seconds before it was gone. At first I thought it was some unusually fireworks (but thinking it is very large). Then it disappeared as a firework would, but with no explosion or fanfare. Just gone. It was quite large, perhaps as large in sight as a full moon. If I have my bearings correct, it streaked from North to South. I was at White Birch Park in Hazelwood, MO (St. Louis county), facing McDonnell Blvd., it streaked from my left to right.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Florissant MO
Author's Summary : bright blue and white light traveling across the sky from east to west.
after fireworks display ended at the Florissant Civic Center, in Florissant, MO, myself and 2 others I was seated with witnessed a bright blue and white light moving from east to west.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Gerald MO
A bright blue light appeared out of nowhere. And shot across the sky.
It was a bright blue round shaped object. with a white glowing back ground. that all of a sudden shot acrosse the sky at about 9.30 p.m. we were all sitting outside watching fireworks when about 20 of us saw what had happened.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Historic St. Charles Riverfront MO
Oval-shaped ball of bright light (bluish-green) dashed through the sky at a high speed then disappeared within seconds.
My father, stepmother, friend, and I were on the riverfront at Historic St. Charles. We were all seated on the same blanket and looking into the sky. A little off center from directly above us a bright flash of light, somewhat bluish-green, streamed through the sky. It took the shape of a small oval. It was moving at a fairly high rate of speed. Then within about two seconds the light disappeared. Everyone in my party and including a friend of my father's who was also at the same event saw it. I thought it could be a firework malfunction but no sound can from it and it was located far from the barge where the fireworks were being launched. The fireworks that were shot off didn't even come close to the place in the sky where the ball of light was minutes before located. The light also moved horizontally through the sky.
7/4/97 21:30:00 St. Charles MO
Bright blue-green ball. From North East traveling towards south west. Almost directly overhead. Duration less than 2 seconds, about 15 degrees distance.
Observer is an amateur astronomy buff with particular fascination with meteor showers. Would readily classify object as "fire ball" meteor. Waiting city of St. Charles fireworks display, hundreds of people present. Time is approximate within 10 minutes. Estimated movement by extended fist, trail was just slightly longer. Was on the other side of clouds making it to high for fireworks. Were observing from well lit public park.
7/4/97 21:30:00 Bellville (3.5 SW of Scott AFB) IL
Royal Blue light moving very fast, east to west almost directly overhead. Small teardrop shape.
While watching 4th of July fireworks display (from Belleville Area College), the royal blue light was observed directly overhead on an east to west heading (parallel to IL Route 161). Sighting was about 3.5 mile SW of Scott AFB IL. Object was moving very fast and had no real shape that could be noted, if anything teardrop with a white sparkling contrail. The object was NOT in the area or vicinity of any fireworks being displayed and was potentially observed by thousands of individuals watching the fireworks. I offer the number of observers as 2+ as a neighbor and I were talking as we both saw the other than fireworks light.
7/4/97 21:35:00 Millstadt IL
blue light traveling due west ended in red flash appeared to be close overhead. I think it was space junk or meteor due to similar sightings over a broad area.
Due to the fact that the object was on a precise east to west trajectory, in line with the earth's rotation, I would guess that it was probably space junk burning up in the atmosphere.
7/4/97 21:40:00 Collinsville IL
A blue light streaked across the sky at high speed for a couple seconds. It was accompained by a crackling of burning sound.
We were watching a fireworks display in our town when an extremely bright blue light streaked across the sky. It was hard to make out any definite shape due to its speed but it travelled with a tail behind it in a east-west direction. The observers in my immediate party were between the ages of 14-48. They have professions including study, homemaking, and education.
7/4/97 21:40:00 near St.Peters/St.Charles
but too high to tell MO Author's Summary : I was shooting off bottle rockets w/ my friend and i looked up and saw a bright blue light , way too high to be a firework , and too bright to be an airplane.
I was shooting off bottle rockets with my friend. I looked up and saw a very distant (vertical distance) ,but it seemed that it was large , blue , hazy circle shape , off to the south. it was a color a little lighter than cobalt. It looked like it was staying still. My friends mom was on my deck and i asked her if she saw that and she said yes. i asked my friend ,who was shooting off bottle rockets because i wasn't at the mom (ie turns), just as i said look at it and it sounded like he said yes , i looked away and then it was gone. it was way too high to be a firework, and way too bright to be a plane or helicopter, plus i couldn't hear any noise like that because my neighbors had stopped shooting off stuff for about 30 min. it was high enough that i couldn't tell if it was over St. Charles County, or over St.Lous County because we are very close.
7/4/97 21:45:00 MILLSTADT IL
BRIGHT BLUISH BALL OF LIGHT WITH TAIL, ILLUMINATED A 2000 SQ. FT. AREA FOR ABOUT 5 SECONDS.
7/4/97 21:45:00 East Alton IL
We saw a bright blue-green object streak across the southern sky at a great rate of speed, travelling from east to west. It seemed to change course slightly before disappearing, moving northwest. This seems to have set it apart from meteorite or firework activity.
See above for description. (blue-green object moving east to west in southern sky over the Alton, IL area at 9:45pm on July 4, 1997.) I'd like to add that it was brighter than any of the fireworks that neighbors were launching at the time. It lit up the yard for a moment --not brightly ... but, more so than moonlight or fireworks. Slightly less than lightning. The fact that it moved so smoothly and quickly made me think it was a shooting star ... a close one because of the "thickness" of the trail. But, it shifted course a little, heading more northwest than west, which I found odd. Then it disappeared. think is odd.
7/4/97 22:00:00 St. Louis (Kirkwood) MO
Saw saucer shape - bright light hovering for about 10 minutes over Kirwood MO.
As stated above, there was a large saucer shape with lights covering the saucer which were blinking. There were 2 distinct lights - one red and one green which were flashing. My neighbors and a friend all witnessed the event. On the news tonight - July 7th, the local news covered the story and provided the internet address for reporting. Other witnesses are available.
7/4/97 22:00:00 Old Valmeyer Bottoms-Valmeyer IL
Blue bullet shaped light appeared 200-400ft above ground level. Traveling slightly slower than a meteorite, and lasting approx. 30 seconds, then simply fading. The object was traveling in a East to West direction.
12 people noticed the object, as we were watching a fireworks display ( about 2-3 miles away.) The object simple appeared in the sky, and was traveling from the Illinois bluffs towards St. Louis, Roughly E to W. All people noticed the object, half saying it was a meteorite, the others saying it was part of a fire work that had strayed. Niether of these two theories would work because 1) the object was very low as compared to other meteorites we had seen, and 1) we set up about 2-3 miles from the fireworks display therefore no stray objects could have traveled that distance.
7/4/97 22:30:00 Frontenac MO
A streak of greenish and white light across the sky
My wife and I and some family members were out side enjoying a
We were on our deck when all of the sudden a bright bright! light
streaked across the sky just above us the first thing we all said was
that was a ufo. I have never seen anything like it in my life it was a bright
greenish cigar shaped light with a thin streak of white light behind it.
The one thing we all noticed was how strait and steady it was as strait as could possibly be. There was no sound at all. The object seemed to be moving at the speed of light. It sent chills through me as I saw it and my wife and sister. We all believe this was without a doubt a ufo. We were watching the local St.Louis News and heard that other people saw the same thing some distense away.
7/4/97 22:30:00 Columbia IL
Neon light blue ball passing east to west across the sky
Round light neon blue ball from east to west horizon in a few seconds