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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/9/2004 23:15 (Entered as : 08/09/2004 11:15 PM)
Reported: 8/10/2004 9:40:45 AM 09:40
Posted: 8/11/2004
Location: Lake Zurich (sub of Chicago), IL
Shape: Flash
Duration:1--2 seconds
A sudden extraordinary occurance in the sky...seeing at near range a ufo...traveling fast, low, horizontal as a ball and streak.

I live in Lake Zurich IL about 15-20 miles north of O'Hare Airport. The area also has several smaller airports. Given this location there are always planes in the sky...of varying size, propulsion, direction, height, color etc.

I have a Lab (dog) and walk him 4 times a day. Our last walk of the day is between 10 PM and 12 PM. While the dog takes himself for a walk, typically I check out the night sky...stars, falling/shooting stars, low flying and high flying planes. I claim no particular knowledge or skill, in making observations of atmospheric or man made airial objects.

At about (I wasn't wearing a watch) 11:15PM...I was standing still just doing what I normally do...checking the position of the Big Dipper...noticing some distant moving lights in the sky, which always turn out to be aircraft lights. The sky was clear...visability very good. Having set the background, I was totally relaxed, and just observing the sky when a bright white light flashed across the sky in front of me. There was, by my judgment, a white...ball...that left a streak. It took that object one maybe two seconds to pass through my field of vision. I had no time to turn my head..my eyes seemed to pick up a moving light not much before it was just to the right of the direction I was looking. My eyes just followed the white ball/streak till trees cut off my line of sight. I just stood there, amazed, thinking (and still thinking)- what the hell did I see? And there was no sound that I could hear.

Here are descriptive facts as my mind recorded them:

1) This ball and streak was traveling HORIZONTAL to the ground, moving north to south (direction of O Hare Airport), at a speed that I (former accountant) calculate very crudely (I'm just trying to get a ball park idea of speed)...at a speed of 18,000 mph.

2) Now the following is very difficult, because obviously I was not at all prepared for a special observation, and its longevity was very,very brief. I tried to guess at the height and distance it was from me. Again, I am very familiar with aircraft flying at various altitudes and distances. Nevertheless,this observation was difficult to nail down. The altitude was low...and I am perfectly aware of spacial illusions...and because of the size of the object and speed...all making me question each of my own conclusions. I feel the object was surely under 5,000 feet, possibly under 1,000 feet and ...somewhere in that range. And it did not seem very far away...here, as a very rough guess, I would say it was about 5- 10 miles away...just as a crude guess.

3) This bright white ball ( as near as I can tell) left a streak or tail that went back about 2-3 miles...but of course, if I'm off in height and distance then my sense of distance for this streak would be distorted.

In summary, this occurance was like seeing a shooting star, traveling low and horizontally, at an incredible speed.


((ADDENDUM REPORT FROM SAME WITNESS))

This is a supplemental report and inquiry.

In my report filed yesterday 8/10/04 I failed to state the size of the UFO.

My guesstimate would be - about 10 feet. Otherwise in reading case histories on this site I was shocked to note that many cases involved circumstances much like I experienced.

I have a few questions:

1) For a very crude calculation of speed (i.e. how fast is "fast"?) I made a simple (and I know it's simple, really). Using my best judgment I estimated the distance that I saw the UFO cover at 5 miles (I had trees to my left and right...so my field of vison was narrowed). My estimate of duration was one to two seconds (and though it was a blink) it could have even been three seconds...but lets go with one second. So for this calculation the object was going 5 miles a second, then multiplying 5 miles times 60 seconds...we get 300 miles per minute, which is then multiplied by 60 minutes to the hour...and we're up to 18,000 mph. Remember, this is a crude calculation (strictly to determine a "ball park guess". Now, if my sight duration was 2 seconds that would cut the guesstimated speed to 9,000 mph...3 seconds would bring the speed down to 6,000 mph. This calculation alone is not enough. If we had several such calculations, we might be able to draw some fairly good conclusions. But by this conclusion I "m pretty confident this object was going many times the speed of todays aircraft.

2) After filing my initial form on this site, I called the FAA. The man I spoke to was responsible for taking UFO sightings. He was nice enough, but he questioned me like I was an pilot returning from a mission. After all, I had a 1 -2 second experience that happened because I was casually looking at a small piece of the night sky. Again, he was nice but he had edge of skepticism that I tolerated (after all under similar circumstances I might act the same ). Toward the end of the conversation he asked if I ever saw a meteor? I have seen many a shooting star or falling star and I might have seen a meteor shower years ago. I said that I don't think it was a meteor...and besides this object was going at a fast, constant speed, horizontally - parallel to the ground. His answer was...just as you can point a gun in any direction...a meteor can go in any direction (...???). I said I didn't know that. At this moment I don't believe that bit of information...I'll check it out. Before ending the call, he was nice enough to tell me there was a sighting a half hour earlier in California. And it was possible one object could have been in both places that night.

3) Again, taking crude and possible numbers...30 minutes into 2100 miles equals 70 miles per minute...times 60 minutes...and that says on a direct flight from LA to Chicago in 30 minutes the object was going 4,200 mph. Of course, the object might have gone to several places only to end up in Chicago. If that were the case the calculation would be wrong and the speed much faster. Anyway, based on what we have we know there is a possibility the object is doing it's traveling over the US at a speed of ...between 4, 200 mph and 6,000 mph (or 9,000 mph, or 18,000 mph).

4) FINALLY, as already explained in the original submission, I'm within the O'Hare radar reach...is it possible to inquire of the FAA if the O'Hare radar picked up a UFO on Monday night around 11:15pm? And if they would...would they tell the truth? Would an object streaking at a fantastic speed even show up...and if it did would they conclude it was just a "bug"? ((personal information deleted))