|Occurred : 9/14/2003 21:30 (Entered as : 09/14/2003 21:30)
Reported: 9/15/2003 11:15:46 PM 23:15
Location: Vernal, UT
|((NUFORC Note: We suspect that a "twinkling" star is the first possibility that would have to be ruled out. PD))
Wobbling bright "twinkling star" exhibits white/yellowish light along with bluish and red randomly flashing lights.
Riding in the passenger seat of a car East on Hwy 40 toward Vernal, UT, I watched what I thought to be a very bright star or planet in the low Eastern/Southeastern sky to the right of a 3/4 orange moon. As the moon rose in the sky and turned to white, the bright star remained in approximately the same position in the sky. I observed the light intermittently as I gazed at other objects (stars, Mars, the moon, planes). After approximately 10 minutes of this stargazing I began to think the light was twinkling quite a bit and uncharacteristic of any star or planet I'd ever seen. I was not aware the driver had also noted the odd characteristics of the light until he asked aloud, "Is it just me or is that star flickering a lot?" We both began to watch it in earnest at that point. We watched the flickering until we lost sight of it as we entered the hills, but not before deciding the white/yellowish light just might be intermingled with intermittent red flashes as well. We anticipated picking up the sight again once we cleared the hills some 5-10 minutes later, but were surprised to find it was not to the right of the moon where we'd "left it". We continued our drive into Vernal scanning the sky for the same light, possibly tracking across the sky at this point. Instead we spotted an identical light in the low Northern/Northeastern sky. We watched from outside the car for a few minutes noting now this light had definite flashes of red. The other witness got the binocculars and through these I saw definite bluish light as well. It was also apparent this light was not completely stationary. It didn't track across the sky, but seemed to "wobble" in place. After some time it became apparent it also moved from side to side at times, but maintained the same general visual position in the sky. During this time, another identical but brighter light was spotted in the low Western sky. Through the binocculars the red light on this object almost seemed to be circling around an object and t! he bluish light was even more visible. This object behaved in the same way, not stationary, but not tracking or moving rapidly. It disappeared below the horizon at about 23:00, but the light in the Northern sky remained in relatively the same position until we tired of watching it at about 23:30. The following night of 9/15/03 as stars were beginning to appear, we located the light in the low Northern sky easily just as before exhibiting the same colors. The light in the Western sky was not as low as the night before, but it was also earlier in the evening. Unlike the previous night, however, the Western light blinked out numerous times for a few seconds while we watched. We left these 2 lights in these positions to investigate the posibility of them being satelites as a family member stated he'd heard of "red white and blue satelite(s)". We can not find any information or mention of these on the internet. The only "red, white and blue" accounts were on this website, the most parallel account also occuring in Utah a couple of weeks ago some 3 hours drive time from here. The account in the Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City dated 8/23-8/28/03 is precisely what we saw in color and behavior and location, except we did not see them moving rapidly enough in one direction to say the lights moved out of sight or below the horizon as opposed to the Earth rotating and causing the position change. I could only surmise the light moved and disappeared below the horizon because the other stars in visual proximaty did not move out of sight during the same time frame. However, I'm unsure what effect altitude or distance from the Earth might have on an object's position in the sky and movement through the sky from horizon to horizon.
I know nothing of satelite characteristics except for the common white light tracking fairly quickly across the sky. (We also noted 2 of these moving across the sky the night of 9/14,in close visual proximaty to the Western light.) Are these colored, wobbly flickering lights possibly satelites as has been suggested to me? If so, could you elaborate on the cause of the patriotic colors and odd wobbly movement? Please do not contact me except to answer the questions I've posed or to request more details of this specific occurence.