|Occurred : 5/29/2002 23:40 (Entered as : 05/29/02 23:40)
Reported: 6/11/2002 4:35:34 PM 16:35
Location: Keaau, HI
|Sphere of Light on the Island of Hawaii
At 11:30PM on May 29, 2002, I was using my desktop computer, having just set it up after recently moving into my just-purchased home in Hawaii from New York earlier in May. Suddenly all the lights went out. A power outage. I quickly decided "time for bed!" So I went through my new custom of walking throughout the first floor rooms, closing the windows before retiring upstairs to the master bedroom. Only this time, it was pitch dark. As I went to the little rear left bedroom, I went to the open window which faced east and watched as the whole area was without lights. I could see the large light standards near the high school about 1.5 miles away which were the only operating lights that I could see. I could hear an occasional vehicle go by on Volcano Highway three blocks to my left (Northwest). I stood there enjoying the wonderful, sultry trade winds blowing directly into my window on this beautiful, mostly clear evening. The moon had risen to my right (Southeast) Suddenly, slightly to the left (North) I saw a sphere of blue-white light coming in this general direction. I figured it was a helicopter with a searchlight coming to investigate the power outage situation...maybe to locate a transformer out of commission. But I have seen MANY helicopters with searchlights, having lived in Pasadena, CA, where the police use them nightly; and in New York City, which has more choppers than any city in the world. They have a definite beam of light (this didn't) and, of course, helicopters make lots of noise (this was totally silent).
I could still hear the traffic go by on Volcano Highway and this object was "hugging the treeline" as it made somewhat acrobatic moves and an "S-turn" or two. As I looked at it, I figured that it was no more than 1/4 mile from me and the light source had three distinct "spike-like" beams emanating from it. Almost like an astronomical image with a diffraction pattern. One beam went straight up (0 degrees), another to the lower right (120 degrees) and another to the lower left (240 degrees). As it kept moving, I was aware that I would shortly lose sight of it as it passed behind the outcroppings of my neighbors' properties across and down the street. So I ran upstairs where I should get a longer view of it. It took perhaps 6-7 seconds to get upstairs, but alas, it was gone. I never saw it again.
I was anxious to see an explanation of the power outage. In the Hilo Tribune-Herald of two days' hence there was an article. At 11:30PM a blown transformer caused a power outage in Kurtistown, Mountain View, Keaau, and the Kawailani section of Hilo. The Kawailani section of Hilo had its power restored at 11:41PM (which is right after I saw it) and the other areas (including mine) had their power restored around 12:45AM.
I have looked for anomalous objects all of my life, and this is the first one that I have seen fairly close by that I really could not explain. I possess a degree in Astronomy from Caltech.