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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 10/24/2004 23:27 (Entered as : 10/24/1904 23:27)
Reported: 10/24/2004 11:48:55 PM 23:48
Posted: 10/27/2004
Location: NA, OH
Shape: Cylinder
Duration:2-5 seconds
Bright flash lightens up night sky, object fires across sky at unbelievable speed...

On Sunday night, October 24, 2004, at 23:27 I was driving through Ashland County in Ohio around mile marker 197. I was in a van on I-71 heading towards Columbus. All of a sudden the entire sky turns bright. So bright in fact, that it looked like the middle of the day. This “flash” of brightness lasted about 2 seconds before the sky faded to dark black again. Although the moment was brief, I can recall certain aspects of the event. First off, I was staring into the horizon and/or just above it since I was driving (about 85 mph). I immediately thought to myself that a serious lighting bolt just dashed across the sky. But I also thought that never before had I seen one light up the sky like that. As I was thinking that, it immediately occurred to me that there were no clouds in the sky at the time and that I had not seen other lighting activity. As I was thinking this I was leaning towards the driver’s side window to look outside and up. As I did, I noticed a black/dark, long tubular object (I couldn’t guess its size/length) “take off” from with the middle of the sky. The term “take off” is used lightly here. There was no slow and steady acceleration. Instead, it looked like it went from 0-300 in 1.0 seconds. The only thing I could see was that it went in a West/Southwest direction. And the only reason I could see what direction it went in was because the sky was still slightly lit up, but fading fast. In it’s wake, this object left what could be quite normally explained as a jet stream (??), or the white, long cloud-like formation we see planes leave in the sky. But this stream was different in the fact that the outer streams were a bright fiery red/orange. The middle of the stream was white. These bright red/orange streams hung in the sky for about 5 seconds before they turned to white streams and simply faded away like thin clouds. I should explain that the reason I didn’t follow the object was because my brain knew it was too far gone. If you would have seen how quickly it jettisoned across the sky, your brain would also have “known” that it was visually untraceable. Therefore, I focused on the “stream” above me.

I called the FAA around 01:45 on Monday, October 25, 2004 to inquire about others who may have reported something similar. The person I spoke to mentioned that he saw “numerous” reports on his way to his desk that had been filed tonight regarding this event. He mentioned that they will be following up with the National Weather Service to see what other explanations may be available. He was quite interested when I told him about the fiery stream and the object appearing out of nowhere. He also said that it could be a meteor, but that meteors do not usually behave in this fashion.

I can understand lighting, and skies lighting up, and even meteors (although I’ve never seen one that close). But what I can’t understand, and this is the reason I’m reporting this, is that the object I saw “took off” from within the middle of the sky. First off, how did it get there? Second, why did it take off immediately after the bright flash? And lastly, but more importantly, how the heck does an object move across the sky at that great a speed?

((NUFORC Note: Possible meteor. PD))