|Occurred : 1/7/2002 21:03 (Entered as : 01/07/02 21:03)
Reported: 1/7/2002 10:24:48 PM 22:24
Location: Turlock, CA
|5 White luminescent objects were seen in single file, equally spaced, East to West path and covered 115 degrees of sky in 10 seconds.
Particulars: Objects (5) were observed in single file, equally spaced, East to West trajectory (plus or minus 5 degrees). Objects had no navigation lights. Objects were white luminescent. Objects were observed for approximately 10 seconds and were first observed at 35 degrees elevation East (plus or minus 5 degrees) and last observed at 30 degrees elevation West (plus or minus 5 degrees). Objects did not deviate trajectory, but remained single file, equally spaced. Objects had approximatly 1 degree spacing (from ground observation point). No sound was heard.
Observer was in process of aligning Jupiter with 6.3mm eyepiece and looked up from telescope and noticed what first appeared to be meteorites, however, objects were only 1/2 speed of meteorites (compared to Leonid shower average). Jupiter was beginning to blurr slightly due to fog.
Hypothesis: Objects appeared to be in low Earth orbit, allowing sulight to be reflected, causing white luminous appearance. Objects may have been space debris, but unusual due to the exact same spacing between them. No classification set at this time. UFOs.
Observer qualification: 27 years in Aerospace environment, with full knowledge of all nonclassified aircraft, and limited classified aircraft. SR 71 experience, Air Transport experience with nightime identification capabilities for most aircraft.
Local Weather conditions: Ceiling: unlimited.
Visibility: at ground level, 1 1/2 miles; at 20 degrees elevation, 30 miles; at 45 degrees, stars are visible at 3/4 normal intensity.
Temperature: 46 degrees F Humidity: 97% Barometric: 30.25
((NUFORC Note: We spoke with this witness, and we found him to be an exceptionally good, and qualified witness. We do not know what he witnessed. PD))
((FOLLOW UP COMMUNICATION WITH WITNESS))
...What concerned me the most about my sighting, was the uniformity of all objects. I don't believe I've ever seen that in nature. My second concern was the speed appearing to be about half of what you expect a meteor to be - especially those that wander in from between Mars and Jupiter. I have not
calculated the estimated speed yet. I need to sit down and do this, my calculation can only be a guess at best, using 'apparent' altitude. If it was sunlight I was looking at, reflected from the objects, and it was 21:03 local, that makes the sun about 4 hours over the horizon, leaving about 1/8th of the earth curvature between myself and the sun, a rough guess puts the altitude at about 2000 miles for the objects to reflect the sun as they first appeared in the east. I don't think they were 2000 miles away, unless they were really big! For some reason I want to say they were above the tropopause, somewhere around 25 to 50 miles altitude. If they were meteors, then the beginning of atmosphere would be in this region (but they would leave a trail, albiet even a short one - and no tail was observed). Roughly, and with no figures to back this up, the objects covered over a 1000 miles
with an estimated altitude of 30 miles. This makes their speed to be slightly over 6000 miles an hour - very slow for a meteor, but not necessarily for the US government.
Another thing that bothers me is that their luminosity remained the same, and did not change.
This was an interesting sighting. I will continue to figure on this one. If I reach any conclusions, I will forward them to you, in the meantime please keep me posted.
Thanks very much,