|Occurred : 7/22/1988 10:45 (Entered as : 07/22/1988 10:45)
Reported: 2/25/2005 2:12:53 PM 14:12
Location: Lousville, KY
|That's no meteor, or satellite, or ANYTHING I've ever witnessed! =)
I apologize for the unclear date of the event. That is my best guess due to the fact that the reason my mother and I were looking skyward that evening was due to the fact that a newly found comet was supposed to be in the vacinity of Earth and observable with the naked eye. (the year could have been 07/22/86) I can imagine based upon what we saw that NUMEROUS other witnesses are available to report this one. So here are the details.
On the 5:pm news Channel 32, the ABC affiliate at the time in Louisville Ky., reported that a new comet would be passing within eyeshot of the earth later that evening within a specific constellation which I cannot recall. I have been a amateur astronomer since I was in 4th grade and possess a number of telescopes. I became excited about the comet news and later that evening forced my mother and sister to join me up on our second floor roof deck with a clear view of most of the mid-west sky. After locating the constellation, possibly Orion, which was directly overhead, after looking for several minutes I was dissappointed in NOT being able to see any comet at all. This was bizarre to me as the newscast was very specific and I thought my knowledge of the sky was reasonably good. My sister quickly lost interest and was looking down at her feet (something she regrets to this day) when the following occurred...in precisely the spot in the constellation where we believed the comet would be visible, my mother and I saw a spectacular METEOR whiz directly through the spot where the comet was supposed to be. I immediately reacted with a shout of excitement "DID you SEE THAT!" just as mom reacted with "WOW!" I have seen literally over 500 meteors in my lifetime and what happened next defies all knowledge of meteor behavior...
The moment the meteor's bright white light dissipated, I assumed it was just pure luck that we happened to see it instead of a much slower if not stationary comet within the same region. But as this though instantly crossed my mind. a second meteor appeared with the same intensity and duration only this time it was exactly on line with the first meteor but farther toward the horizon...in the direction of Downtown Louisville about 9-miles to the West. My mother also saw this second one. The second burned out immediately and then a THIRD meteor made its appearrance also on the same line as the first two! It then burned out and yet a FOURTH meteor followed on the same line now nearly at the sky's west horizon. This was an absolutely silent event which lasted roughtly 6-seconds.
When it was over I was speechless, as was my mom...but I mamaged a "...did you see that?" her response "yes." and THEN I went NUTS with excitement! It was clearly not a meteor as meteors do not switch on and off, and the on's and off's were in equal lengths/times. Judging by the speed and duration of the event, the object had to be moving a AMAZING SPEED to go from a point directly overhead to the west horizon in only 6-seconds at that altitude. And finally, I have seen satellites, and the shuttle, orbiting the earth in the past...and they were practically stationary compared to this thing.
I realize that we are talking about an event over a decade ago, but perhaps this description corroborated other reports you may have received.
If you care to discuss this further call me at 310-((number and name deleted)) =)
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that date of sighting is approximate. PD))