|Occurred : 12/17/2000 18:00 (Entered as : 12/17/00 18:00)
Reported: 12/17/2000 19:51
Location: Sebastopol, CA
|Glowing yellow disc north of SF Bay.
On arriving home shortly after dark, I noticed an odd light low in the southeastern sky. Getting out of the car, my son and I watched a perfectly round, light yellow ball glow eerily for at least ten minutes. The ball was about 1.5 to 2 degrees in diameter. In binoculars, it was an unevenly lit ball that would occasionally flare up brightly or dim down to nothing. Although it did not change position in the sky while we watched it, we did notice a wobble that on close inspection appeared to be the motion of this ball around a central axis. My son says that when I entered our home to retrieve the camera, he observed the ball fall and rise 3-5 degrees with a falling-leaf type motion. Although an entire disc could be seen, under magnification, the glow of the disc was not even. It was more brightly lit at the 7 o'clock position, and faded to near darkness at the 2 o'clock position. Though this seems more consistent with external lighting, none was observed, and both of us feel that the object was emitting visible light. No other lights were associated with this object. Although estimating distance of this object would be very hard, my guess would be at least five miles, maybe as far as twenty five. The ball remained fixed in the southeastern sky, 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon. The lighting of the object appeared to be internal. I thought maybe it was a balloon or blimp lit internally for some reason, but it did not seem to move or behave the way I'd expect. Except for the axial motion, the object I observed was rock-steady in the sky. We first saw it about 18:00, and about fifteen minutes later, it just winked out. The lights of several aircraft were observed in the same binocular field during the sighting. The object did not appear to react to the aircraft, or vice versa. I did take photographs with a 35mm camera and 200mm telephoto lens, but I don't expect much