|Occurred : 8/26/2003 22:30 (Entered as : 8/26/03 22:30)
Reported: 8/27/2003 4:58:07 PM 16:58
Location: Patriot, OH
|bright light flashed on and off
A family member and I had been observing the planet Mars in the southeast sky. We decided to move around the house to the northside where we could just skywatch for awhile longer. From this vantage point, away from the dusk to dawn light, we could see the Milky Way and some of the constellations.
In the distance was a bank of clouds and heat lightning. About half the sky was clearly visible to us and the moon had not risen. There was no wind blowing.
At the time of this sighting, I had turned my gaze to the west and was looking for meteors, when my family member exclaimed, "WHAT is THAT?". When I turned around, she was pointing to a spot just in front of us and high up. At that time, I saw nothing but stars. She went on to say, "There was a bright flash of light and then it went out." As I kept searching the area she was pointing in, she continued, "It didn't have any blinking lights."(referring to navigational lights).
Since I didn't have my watch on at that time, I would have to guess that it was approximately 20 seconds from the first time she spotted the light until I saw it.
It seemed to blink on again almost in the same location she had been pointing out to me. In a spot where nothing had been visible previously.
This time, the light had a definite circular shape and slightly blue. Not the bright white flash she first saw. It was on for a split second and then went out. I ran into the house to get the binoculars and check the time. We searched the sky, but saw nothing else.
At one point, a thin haze of clouds moved over that portion of the sky, so we gave up looking.
Neither one of us observed any vapor trails or any indications that it was a meteor. There was no aircraft noise.
I checked with the data base tonight of the iridium satellites and found that one was in the area at 21:18. What we saw happened later.
I'm a nurse by profession, an amateur skywatcher, and have some knowledge of aircraft, having lived around airports and air force bases in the past.
((NUFORC Note: We wonder whether the witnesses might have observed a tumbling rocket booster in orbit, but if that was the case, the object would have moved to a different point in the sky between flashes. PD))