|Occurred : 9/23/2002 04:00 (Entered as : 09/23/02 04:00)
Reported: 9/26/2002 10:48:41 AM 10:48
Location: Idaho City, ID
|At 4 a.m., star-like, brilliant, flashing red and green colors, seemed to change shape to a thin line under binoculars.
My husband, a geologist, and I enjoy watching the sky -- eclipses as well as auroras. We currently live in a rural area where skies are often clear and the stars are very bright. Upon awakening at roughly 4 a.m. 09/23/02, my attention was immediately drawn out the window to a brilliant star-like object to the SE, approximately 15 degrees up. It seemed exceptionally bright, especially since the landscape was flooded with competing moonlight. The object was flashing and pulsing red, green and white light --occasionally a flash would light up the immediate sky around it. It first seemed motionless, yet very slowly passed from view behind the pines that surround this location. (I was keeping my head stationary on the same place on my pillow.) I had binoculars by the bed and trained them on this object as it reappeared through the trees, as I lay still. Well, through the binoculars the object seemed to change shape. At one point it was like a v-shaped pale pink blob, at another point it changed to a thin horizontal line, and at another stage a thin vertical line. This was peculiar and puzzling! (In my mystification, I have been searching for explanations ...possibly the changes were created by the optics of the window glass?? Or atmospheric effects?) The intensity of the light faded, and when it passed behind another ponderosa, I waited for it to re-appear, but it did not. There was no sound associated with this object. Other than the surrounding forest, which blocks some of the sky, thanks to our elevation and sparse population we have very good night sky viewing conditions --we've spotted the ISS and enjoyed the Perseids. I have not seen anything to compare with the brilliancy, flashings, colors and odd shape/behavior of this object. I emailed staff at the Bruneau Dunes Observatory, who responded that I probably saw a planet or giant red star, though they couldn't really say without a better location. I haven't seen the object again; will try to make early morning observations to attempt to find a natural explanation, and will contact your site again if I feel I have found an answer.
((NUFORC Note: We, too, suspect that the object is a celestial body, probably the star, "Sirius." We will check with the witness again to see whether that might be the explanation. PD))