|Occurred : 9/5/2005 22:15 (Entered as : 09/05/1905 22:10)
Reported: 9/8/2005 9:22:58 PM 21:22
Location: Bothell, WA
|Star-like object changing luminosity while meandering from SE to NW direction before vanishing
I was in my backyard last night around 10:15pm looking up at a very clear and starry nighttime sky. As I was scanning the sky a very bright star-like and star sized object caught my eye from the Southeast. When I turned to look at it I initially thought it was Venus or some other very high altitude plane. However, the light was very bright and after watching it for only a few seconds, its luminosity changed and went back to just an ordinary star brightness. I noticed that it was also moving in the Northwest direction so I continued to monitor its path.
As I watched it move to the NW it looked like one of the numerous satellites I see all the time so I was about to turn away and find something else to look at it when I began noticing that this light was not moving in a straight line. It was meandering right and left in a slow s-styled motion. From my ground vantage point it looked like it was maneuvering through an obstacle course. The speed of the object remained constant and it was still heading in the overall NW direction but it would jog right and left about 8-10 degrees every 15 seconds or so.
I have never seen a satellite or plane change directions before like this at such a high altitude. The change in direction seemed purposeful.
I had been watching this first object for about 3-4 minutes when I noticed a faster moving companion object 10 degrees below it and gaining on the first. Both objects were coming out of the Southeast and headed to the Northwest. This second star-like object had the normal star luminosity and was travelling 3-4 times as fast as the first object. This second object was not moving in any sort of irregular pattern. It seemed like it was traveling on a very straight line. I could see both objects in my field of view and as I watching both, the first object flared up again. Extreme luminosity. It was intensely bright. The luminosity coincided with second object below overtaking the first object above. This time the intense brightness lasted only a second before returning back to normal star-like brightness. Then a couple of seconds later the first object went dark. It completely vanished. I could still see the second object continuing to the NW but my first object just turned off or disappeared. About a minute later the second object left my field of vision and I could no longer track it.
((NUFORC Note: Description seems consistent with the flare from an Iridium satellite, but neither Iridium satellites, nor the ISS, was visible from Bothell on the date, and at the time, indicated by the witness. PD))