|Occurred : 9/22/2005 19:30 (Entered as : 09/22/2005 19:30)
Reported: 9/22/2005 9:21:29 PM 21:21
Location: Chandler, AZ
|Glowing trail of orange-white light low in the sky accompanied by super-bright, blue-white light high in the sky.
I arrived home from shopping and parked my vehicle in the garage. Neighbors were walking westward down our cul-de-sac street when they passed in front our driveway and asked "do you see the light in the sky?' I stepped out of the garage and walked down the driveway approximately 20 feet to the street in order to see a trail of glowing orange-white light low in the western sky. This trail of light had a "switchback" appearance to it and originated in the west and traveled across the low horizon towards my location in the east. This trail glowed quite brightly with varying intensities across the length of the trail for approximately 10-15 minutes and then slowly disipated and disappeared.
Above the trail of orange-white light low in the sky appeared a very bright blue-white light traveling northeast to southwest high in the sky at a constant altitude. This bright blue-white light illuminated an obvious and very large "cone" of smoke or spent gas behind it as it progressed across the sky. This light burned much shorter than the low trail of light glowed - perhaps 5-7 minutes. When the bright blue-white light extinguished it did so with a momentary super-intense bright white flash. After the high, bright blue-white light extinguished the extremely large "cone" of smoke or gas eminating from behind the light was still visible for approximately 10 minutes until it too disipated and disappeared.
Throughout the event I was looking at the western sky with binoculars and sighted 5 aircraft that appeard to be helicopters operating along the low horizon.
Local radio news reports broadcast on KFYI AM 550 in Phoenix, AZ reported the event as a "top-secret satellite launch from Vandenburg A.F.B. in California". I have witnessed several night launches of missles, rockets and space launch vehicles (some from Vandenburg A.F.B.) and none of these previous launches left a "switchback" trail of orange-white spent gasses in the atmosphere. Further, if this was a vertical, space-vehicle launch, what explains the bright, blue-white light traveling northeast to southwest across the sky at a constant altitude and then extinguishing with a flash? I could understand the news report as a "satellite launch" if the launch vehicle went out of control (creating the "switchback" trail of orange-white light) and the launch was pre-empted by ground control and the vehicle destroyed. That would also explain the "horziontal", northeast to southwest travel of the bright, blue-white light at a constant altitude, the "cone" of smoke or gas behind it and the momentary super-intense bright white flash just before the light extinguished.
((NUFORC Note: Vandenberg AFB missile launch. PD))