|Occurred : 7/26/2003 04:00 (Entered as : 07/26/03 04:00)
Reported: 7/29/2003 7:35:40 AM 07:35
Location: Dardanelle (2 mi. from Logan, on Hwy. 22), AR
|Moving ,blue star-like object changes to bright yellow, going form north to south.
My nephew was spending the night with me and my parents. He's 11 and I'm 20. He likes to come out at our house, sit on our deck, and stargaze and watch the bats we have in the area. I like to do the same things, so I always go out there with him. My mom got up early since she was off of work that night. She joined us out there for a while, but decided to go in and brush her teeth, so she never saw it. It was between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. CST when this occurred. We had seen aircraft flying overhead that night and saw lights that we always dismissed as satellites. About a minute, or two after my mom went inside I was looking westward in the sky and saw a bright blue light that looked just like a star, but it was moving. I thought it was just another satellite at the time, but I noticed right away that it looked brighter than the normal satellites we see in the sky. Most are usually hard to see, but this was clearly visible. It was going north to south. I told my nephew to look at it, so we both were watching it. Then about 10-15 seconds after I first saw it, it turned from blue to a very bright yellow. That's when I had my first real doubts about it being just a satellite. In about 5 seconds period it slowly turned a very bright yellow and then dimmed back down to blue and then continued out of sight past some pine trees. I say slowly since it was like a dimmer switch being turned on and not like an explosion, or something that happens suddenly. It flashed a little bit when it turned yellow. It also doubled in size, or got brighter. It never stopped on its path, slowed down, or sped up, it just continued on the same path, going to same speed. It wasn't going extremely fast, about normal for a satellite, or plane. It didn’t appear to be a meteor, since it didn't streak across the sky, leave a trail, or break up. The light just changed color and got brighter. There were planes in the area, but it's normal for this area, but this didn't act like the lights on a plane. It ! also made no sound. My nephew went back in side to get my mom, but it was already gone by the time she got there.
((NUFORC Note: We suspect that a tumbling rocket booster would be the first possibility to be ruled out. When then catch the light from the Sun just right, they reflect it so that an observer on the ground sees a flare of light as the rocket continues on its way in orbit. PD))