|Occurred : 5/25/1998 12:05 (Entered as : 05/25/98 12:05 am)
Reported: 5/25/1998 17:20
Location: Madison, WI
|2 events separated by about 3-5 minutes
While smoking a cigarette on the porch and watching my girlfriend drive off, what I initially thought to be a shooting star caught my eye. I thought it was a shooting star because of its speed, but realized once I was actually watching it that it wasn't. The object very faintly glowed a dull brown that would have been hard to see if the motion hadn't caught my eye. The length of the object was approximately the same as the apparent width of the full moon. It was wider than it was tall: probably a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio. I only caught a second of its east to west motion before my line of sight was blocked by the garage. I hurried down the porch and fell in the process. I was unable to see the object when I stood up -- it was moving pretty quick. I estimate that it covered approximately 20-30 degrees in about 1 second as I watched it. I looked in the direction that it had been traveling for about three or four minutes. A single flashing white light emanated from near Arcturus. It blinked 3 or 4 times, progressively getting brighter with each blink. After the final bright blink, which I estimated to be the same luminosity as a medium-bright Venus, it was no longer visible. There were no clouds in the sky, and I could ses faint stars in the location where it had been blinking. There was only a slight haze and the blinking was much brighter than the dim stars that I could see. Thios event lasted approximately 3-4 seconds. I watched for a few more minutes, but all I saw was a satellite traversing the sky in the east -- quite distant from the location of the other two objects. I have worked at this location for nearly two years and I spend considerable time outside at night smoking cigarettes and watching the skies. I have never seen a bird reflecting the street lamps at night -- that is the only the possible explanation for the first object that I can think of. If it was a bird, I probably would have seen the reflection changing as the bird flapped its wings, but the shape of the object and the glow remained consta! nt. The second object may have been an airplane, although it was quite high for the blinks to have been that bright. Usually when a plane turns you can make out different colored landing lights or something, and they usually don't just disappear as the second object did. I usually only see airplanes while watching the skies at work, but I have sighted a group of 2 UFOs on another occasion. Other than these two instances, the skies over my work are pretty boring. I am going to contact the Dane County Regional Airport to see if they received other calls or tracked anything unusual last night. Other than that, it's just another frustrating sighting.