|Occurred : 1/20/2000 21:30 (Entered as : 1-20-00 21:30)
Reported: 2/17/2000 17:17
Location: Bradenton, FL
Duration:app. 1 min.
|Waiting for the lunar eclipse at Bishop planetarium, I noticed it in the sky due east and I didn't realize it wasn't a plane at first.
On the night of the lunar eclipse, a friend and I went to the Bishop planetarium to observe it. They had set up many lg. and sm. telescopes to see the event. All of them were trained either on Saturn, Jupiter or the moon.
The night was chilly and very breezy and they had set up an area apart from the 'scopes with tables and chairs and partial cover to sit out of the wind. My friend and I had been sitting there for a few min., I was facing east, she west.
Approx. 9:30 p.m., I was looking at the east sky and noticed a red light thru the branches of a palm tree on the edge of the property. At first I thought it was a tower light. Then I noticed it was moving and thought perhaps it was a plane.
When it cleared the top of the tree I noticed it had a tail behind it and at that point remarked to my friend, "Look at that".
She turned and exclaimed, "What the hell is that?!" This was echoed by the other three people sitting near us, a mother and her two teenage sons.
The five of us watched this red ball of light for approx. a minute. It seemed to be heading southwest. After that the tail disappeared and it turned dullish white and seemed to change its direction to a much more West.
Then suddenly it was gone, but only for a few seconds. It came back in the same spot it had been and continued on for a few more seconds then disappeared.
After talking about it for a couple of minutes between us, I walked over to the group by the 'scopes and asked random people if any of them had seen it. No one had. They had all been looking at the moon or planets.
I find this really ironic because had someone with one of the smaller 'scopes seen they could have gotten a real good look at it.
Also the local television crews were there covering the eclipse. THE OBJECT: It looked approx. (proportion in sky) to be about 1 and 1/2 cent, with a tail about the same length. It was reddish/orange in color then dull white.
It never glowed like a distress flare and definitly wasn't one. Also it traveled over land not water. It also was not a meteorite. I have watched the last 3 showers and others before that it didn't even vaguely resemble one.
The entire event only lasted a couple of minutes, 1 of the min. I didn't know what I was looking at, the other min. with the five of us observing and still not knowing.
MY FRIEND AND I: She is a retired plastics molding machine operator and I am a registered LPÑ in good standing.
PETER, I talked to you last night 2-17 about 3am. Here’s the promised report. I spoke to my friend and she will probably send a report of her own in the next day or two.
You can reference it by the name FLORIDA SIGHTING. For the next questions: The object glowed about the same as a dim star. It had a tail but did not leave any kind of trail.