|Occurred : 5/28/2001 20:15 (Entered as : 05/28/2001 20:15)
Reported: 5/29/2001 18:13
Location: Schaumburg, IL
|Slow moving East Moving light intecepted by fast moving North Mover
As a business owner, I often work until as late as 11PM -12PM and take my dog to a grassy area near our office where I stargaze and she does her business. On 5/28/2001 at 10:10PM CT in Schaumburg, IL I witnessed the following event while walking my dog in the office park where I work. Visibility was moderate to good and the moon was clearly visible in the high SW sky. I normally witness slow moving lights at least every other night which I generally assume are low orbiting satellites or other orbiting man made objects visible to the naked eye. This night proved to be no exception when I sited a slow moving light, which came into my visible horizon from the center of the constellation Orion on about a 15 degree arc westbound. The slower then normal movement and higher than normal arc suggested a higher orbit to me. The light was of the same power relative to the constellation, constant, clear and easily discernable. After approximately 35 seconds the light was approximately 20 degrees past straight above me in my eastern horizon when a very fast moving light appeared overhead (I was lying on my back, looking up and slightly NE so "overhead" means S/SE). This light crossed from my Southern horizon a few degrees east of due north to the first light in not more than 5 seconds. Its speed initially startled me. This was too slow and deliberate and visible for too long to be falling debris or a meteorite. Also, it was about twice as bright as the first light. I took these facts to mean it was a very low altitude satellite. My heart literally skipped a beat as the odds of catching two visible satellites crossing paths flashed in my mind. Rather than simply cross paths, however, they met exactly. The brighter, fast moving light was not visible after the intersection and the slower dimmer light seemed more slow and more dim and in fact disappeared within another 10 seconds. While the first of these facts may be explained by the slow moving object exceeding my eastern horizon, it was at least 1/3 higher on that horizon when I lost site of it than in the Western horizon when I first sited it. I see no simple explanation for the disappearance of the fast mover 20 degrees past directly overhead when I sited it at least 90 degrees in the Southern Horizon. I returned to the site today with a compass and took accurate readings from the very place I sat the night before (the grass was still pressed down). The data above should be exact to within about 5 degrees. The amazing fact is that I did not look at my watch. A friend did call me when I just left the office on foot with my dog and the phone log read 9:45 on my friends phone. It takes me 7 minutes to walk to our spot and as it was chilly night here, I started thinking about leaving after only 15 minutes. I own a software consulting company here in Schaumburg Illinois and consult for a specialty coatings company that caters to the U.S. Navy and U.S.A.F.
((NUFORC Note: We spoke at length with this witness, and we found him to be an exceptionally skilled observer and reporter of objective fact. Under ordinary circumstances, we would have assumed that a witness who reported such an event would be describing two satellites, which happened to be visible in proximity to one another. However, the witness in this case had allowed for such a possibility, and had rejected that on the basis of facts of the case.
Further, we observe that an orbitting body in polar orbit, traveling to the north, would not enter the Earth's shadow. We share the witness's interest in this sighting. PD))