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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 6/4/2004 23:05 (Entered as : 06/04/2004 23:05)
Reported: 6/4/2004 10:33:35 PM 22:33
Posted: 6/18/2004
Location: Galena, IL
Shape: Light
Duration:30-40 seconds
Moving star like light, flashes, changes direction, then fades away

My wife and I live in the country outside a small tourist town in NW Illinois where the skies are clear and relatively pollution free. This night we were sitting on our deck star gazing and tracking satellites. We are only able to see a small portion of the west and northwest sky above and between the trees in our yard from this vantagepoint. It was a partially clear night with a sporadic cirrus partial overcast. We observed many planes and satellites. The satellites were very visible when the sun reflection was prominent and would fade as they tracked across the sky. Additionally, these lights would fade and reappear as they past through the wispy clouds. Pretty typical sky watching fair. At this time of year, at this time of night, the Big Dipper is at about 1:00 to the W NW. Perpendicular to the bottom of the cup of this constellation and at a distance near equal to twice the length of Big Dipper is a bright star (planet?) As I was gazing in the general direction of this bright star, another apparent satellite appeared over the treetop. It came out of the west and was the same brightness and size of the star. It was tracking toward us just to the left of it. I called my wife’s attention to it and we watched it move. Perhaps it was the viewing angle, but it seemed to slow in the sky. Then there was an appearance of a momentary horizontal flash that emanated outward from opposite sides of this light. The total length of this flash was perhaps a centimeter at arms length. The light then returned to its original size and brightness and changed direction. As it traveled to the right, it got smaller and smaller, then turned orange or dim red and faded from view. Interestingly, right after the flair manifestation, a shooting star was observed behind and to the left of the light. (It was quite distant, only travelling an inch or so at arms length.) At no time did this strange light travel past my sight line with the bright star, always staying to it’s left.

((NUFORC Note: Flash from Iridium satellite. Please see schedule from <>

04 Jun 22:43:41 -2 33° 49° (NE ) 29.1 km (W) -7 Iridium 64
04 Jun 23:09:24 -5 28° 248° (WSW) 16.3 km (W) -7 Iridium 18
05 Jun 02:27:42 -4 23° 303° (WNW) 22.0 km (E) -7 Iridium 49
05 Jun 22:37:40 -4 33° 51° (NE ) 16.5 km (E) -7 Iridium 67
05 Jun 23:03:27 -3 29° 250° (WSW) 26.4 km (E) -7 Iridium 39
06 Jun 03:53:55 -8 54° 275° (W ) 3.2 km (W) -9 Iridium 91