|Occurred : 5/21/2002 19:56 (Entered as : 5/21/02 19:56)
Reported: 5/21/2002 8:05:29 PM 20:05
Location: Tampa, FL
Duration:@ two minute
|High Altitude Silver Disc, Heading West. Over South Tampa, FL. 19:56 5/21/02 Want Radar Confirmation.
I was inside about an hour before sunset, and my girlfriend yelled at me to come outside quickly. We live at the top of the interbay peninsula within Tampa Bay, of which at the foot is MacDill AFB. We regularly see airliners on approach to TIA, and tankers on approach to MacDill. This object was straight above the peninsula, heading West. At first it looked like a silver Mylar balloon, but to be that big, it would have to been very close. A balloon nearby is buffeted by air currents. This was flying in a straight line, at a steady pace. It did not have contrails. It looked like a one-foot wide Mylar balloon at 1,000 feet cruising at 100 mph. We are good at spotting different airliners, tankers, and other aircraft night and day. In the day you can see the silver cylinder of a jet. This was a wide round silver object.
I wish I could be more specific. It was only visible for a brief while, and at first was difficult to notice as my girlfriend was pointing it out. She saw it only because she was looking at the moon. If it was large, it was very high up, and moving fast, but not too fast to watch.
As for backgrounds, she is an ((profession deleted--financial)); I am in graduate school at the University of ((deleted)) ((deleted--pertains to space exploration and astronautics)). I hope to get my Master's in this to become a space advocate, perhaps working with NASA in some kind of outreach program. Let me state that I have never seen anything like a "UFO" in my life. Not that I didn't want to, just never did. The interesting thing is, I was four minutes away from beginning my Internet chat with my class, ((deleted--pertains to astronomy and exobiology)). Yes, this class examines the nature of the Universe, the chemical, geologic, and biologic issues in searching for life. Also the means of communication, but we haven't gotten there yet. No, I did not share this sighting with the class. This was only the second meeting of the Summer session. Didn't want to throw the class into chatter. I only mention this because of the interesting synchronicity, just as I was entering the class.
What I want to know is there anyone with access to radar tracking data that can pinpoint this thing? 19:56, over south Tampa, heading West, 5/21/02.
((NUFORC Note: Anyone can request radar data from the FAA, using a FOIA request, although the FAA has curtailed distribution of radar data from some types of radar equipment. PD))