|Occurred : 5/11/2004 22:40 (Entered as : 05/11/104 22:40)
Reported: 5/11/2004 10:41:42 PM 22:41
Location: Lakeland, FL
|East Lakeland sightings
The objects were first observed while traveling north east along Interstate 4 west of Lakeland just east of County Line Road. The objects numbered in two at this point and kept in a linear formation. The colors of the objects were yellowish in color at this distance. At one point, the objects appeared to make a 60 degree angle to the eastern horizon. The objects were kept in view for about 10 minutes until one of the two observers picked up there car at a local church where it was parked. The other observer who was driving at the time of the first observation continued to his home. I then decided to drive in the direction of the lights and fueled up my car at the Sunoco at the corner of US 92 and Combee Road. After that I regained sight of the objects and turned onto Reynolds Road in order to keep the objects in view. At this point two more objects appeared to the south of the first two objects. These objects were close in angular separation. Upon reaching the stoplight at CR 540A, I noted several cars parked about 200 feet within the road that leads to Travis Vo-Tech center. Then turned east then turned into the PCC/USF campus in order to have a safe location to view the objects. It was noted that there was a red pickup truck located in the western most parking lot situated in such a way that the occupants may have been observing the objects in question. At this point the objects were about the brightness of Jupiter and had an orange-red color. The best color estimate would be that of the plume of an Atlas booster. I noted the car of a PCC employee that I know and decided to try to get him to witness the object. At this time he was on duty as the night security guard. I walked into the security office and told him what was being observed. He stepped out and observed the same lights in the east that I had. Five other employees also observed the lights. One I know personally and four others I do not know. The lights now were separated by approx 20 degrees of arc horizontal. The other two ! lights that were to the south now were not visible. The light then faded to invisibility. After the pair faded, another light approx. 10 degrees above the set that faded came into view. Once again lights to the south came on and were visible through the branches of nearby trees. The lights were observed through a pair of 7x35 binoculars. The light showed no structure. The lights faded again and the first pair came on again. After several minute, the lights faded and they were not observed from that point forward. At the time the wind was blowing roughly out of the east to southeast at a speed of about 5 to 10 mph. At first we though we maybe observing the burners from hot air balloons, but soon noted that the objects did not move over the period of the observations. Also the objects appeared as point sources, but they did exhibit some twinkling. We also did not observe structure. We made some other guesses as to what we were observing (flares dropped during military activity) but could not come up with an adequate explanation at that time. The Avon Park Bombing Range is about 30 miles to the southeast of Lakeland, the objects could have been military activity? I am an amateur astronomer with 22 years of observing time and have a BS. in Physics, the other observers had varied backgrounds.