|Occurred : 10/20/2003 16:05 (Entered as : 10/20/2003 16:05)
Reported: 10/21/2003 12:51:55 AM 00:51
Location: Memphis, TN
|Round circular object, small cross section
Clear day with small patch of cirrus clouds overhead. My friend asked what that was over my right shoulder just above the tree tops. The event occurred next to the Memphis Airport, 1/2 mile west and about 3 miles south of us. I turned and observed a Black round object facing me about 5 miles sse just observed over the tree tops. We thought it was a large bird circling. It was not. As the round portion turned downward, we saw a cross section very thin that made the object appear to disappear. As it continued to turn or move, the what I call top portion turned toward the sun and was very reflective. It appeared to be silver, yellowish, and had what looked like a structure or beam across the top red in color. It was going in a NE direction very slowly and rising slowly. As it continued a tumbling motion, the top portion fully faced us. We observed the red beam and the color of the top appeared to be yellowish. It continued to do a tumbling motion. We observed what I call the bottom, it was all black and round. As it went over the airport, appeared to move north. When it looked like it was almost past the airport, at about 3-4000 FT, a small aircraft moved below it at about 2,000 Ft. Once that aircraft moved away, the object appeared to go NE and gain altitude slowly. At no time did we observe noise from this craft, no lights, no string or rope. We watched it till it got so far we couldn't see it anymore. Once we went inside, I called the control tower to see if they have anything or observe anything. Nothing noted from them. Note: I work in the aviation industry, am a veteran and had a similar job in the USAF. Have been a aviation buff for over 30 years. I know the sound of aircraft, navigation lights, etc as this is a part of my job. If this was a balloon, it would have to have been a very large one and at least round on the bottom, top, and have a very small cross section. It would also have to tumble in the wind and go with the wind. The wind was out of the SW t! o W at 10-15 knots.