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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 10/17/1998 16:00 (Entered as : Oct. 17, 1998 16:00 approx.)
Reported: 12/12/1998 00:14
Posted: 3/21/2003
Location: Pensacola Beach, FL
Shape: Fireball
Duration:approx 2 min.
Perfectly round flame colored object growing larger and then vanishing within an instant.

On Pensacola Beach looking south over the Gulf of Mexico, at about four P.M on a bright clear day I saw what I thought at first must be the afterburner of a military jet flying directly away from me. I quickly realised that this was not the case as this flame colored, perfectly round object was growing larger, rather than getting smaller. This object continued to grow larger and brighter, maintaining its perfectly round shape. I was alone at the beach but there were approximately six to eight people nearby, and I looked to see if the others were seeing this object, they were watching it as I was. This object grew to the approximate size that a silver dollar would appear when held at arms length. (Its size increasing probably 500 percent during the event lasting maybe two minutes.) Then this object vanished completely in a fraction of a second, it did not fade out, it was big and bright in the daylight sky one second, and totally gone the next second. Within one minute of this object vanishing, those of us on the beach were buzzed by a low flying military helicopter. I do not know whether this was a coincidence, or some sort of message to those of us who had observed this, but this helicopter flew directly over us at no more than 150 feet in the air. I did not speak to any of the other witnesses on the beach with me, because for some reason nearly everyone there immediately started packing up their belongings to leave right after the helicopter flew over, and for reasons that I cannot explain I too left, although my normal course of action, as it seems to me now would have been to stay and watch a little longer to see if this object reappeared, but I left with an uneasy feeling that I cannot explain.