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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 10/24/2004 22:15 (Entered as : 10/24/1904 22:15)
Reported: 10/25/2004 7:12:31 AM 07:12
Posted: 10/27/2004
Location: Wheatfield, IN
Shape: Flash
Duration:6 seconds
Gradual bright white light at night illuminating the eastern sky and ground followed by a streak in the sky

Driving north on my way to work at 10:15 pm I saw with my peripheral vision on my right side (east) the sky lighting up a brilliant bright white light. As I turned my head to face east, the light became so bright that it illuminated the inside of my car and all of the surrounding landscape in my field of vision. This white light was a gradual brightening, not a flash like you would see at a fireworks display. It was VERY bright, many times brighter than any white flash firework and also very high in the sky. Also, this event appeared very close to the local power plant (NIPSCO). I estimate that from the time I first noticed the brightening of the sky to my east until I had my head turned to look in that direction, about 2 seconds had passed. As I watched the eastern sky I never did see the source of the illumination, I could only see the illumination fading very fast. It took about 1 second for the sky to go from bright white to darkness again. Then immediately after this, a yellow / orange double streak appeared in the sky similar to a contrail but it was diffused and had "sparkles" inside it. This streak "drew" itself from the bottom (what would be closest to the ground) going UP. This streak did not come from the top of the sky going down, it appeared moving UP. I could tell this streak was very large in the sky and "drawn" faster than any contrail I have ever seen. The streak disappeared as fast as it came. I stopped my car to continue watching the eastern sky for about 5 minutes and no other events occured. At work, two of my friends saw the same thing and as I described it to them they both agreed that it happened just as I have said here. One of the 2 friends that saw it said that the white light illuminated the inside of his truck like an arc welder would, and he has tinted windows on his truck. Also interesting is that this friend lives about 30 miles from me and it seems we both agreed on the intensity of the light. It was VERY bright. The other friend lives even farther away from me (about 50 miles) and it illuminated his car just as brightly.

I noticed here: http://www.nbc5.com/news/3846130/detail.html?z=dp&dpswid=2265994&dppid=65172 that there was a plane that was forced to return to O'Hare airport shortly after takeoff because of flames shooting out of an engine. If you read this article you will see that this was not what I witnessed. I live about 60 miles from Chicago to the southeast. Lake Michigan is northwest from where I witnessed the event. This plane was headed to Brazil which I imagine the plane would be on a southerly course. The event took place in the eastern sky, almost due east from my position in Wheatfield, Indiana. I estimate that the streak was several miles away in the sky, maybe as far away as 50 or more miles. Also, there was no mention of a tremendously bright white light in the sky in the article. I have never seen anything so bright in the sky.

The article says that a "boom like thunder" and explosions were heard, the event that I witnessed was completely silent as far as I could tell. Please contact me if you need further details. Also I would like to know if anyone else has reported this event to you. Incidentally, a friend of mine at work said that the local Chicago news has been reporting UFO sightings over Indiana for the last couple of weeks or so.

((NUFORC Note: Possible meteor. PD))