|Occurred : 10/1/2005 00:57 (Entered as : 10/01/2005 00:57)
Reported: 10/10/2005 10:31:23 AM 10:31
Location: Orland Park, IL
|Red lights over Orland Park
On Oct. 1, 2005 between 0057 and 0103 hours CST, I observed three red lights in the eastern sky. I do not know how long previous to that they had been visible. I was advised of the lights by a family member who had just arrived home by automobile. The lights had been visible to the family member while driving east on 151st St. between Route 45 and 94th Ave. (approximately 5/8th mile north and ¼ mile west of and 5 minutes from home).
Following are my observations: The three lights were approximately 40 degrees above the eastern horizon. For comparison they were about the same distance above the horizon as the star Belelgeuse was at that time.
I am 6’ tall. With my left hand and arm fully outstretched, when the south (or right) light was lined up along the right edge of my pointer finger, the north (or left) light was lined up with the left edge of my middle finger.
The southernmost of the three lights was due east. The northernmost light was about the same distance north of due east as Betelgeuse was south of due east.
The lights were of a brightness similar to that of the anti-collision lights seen on commercial broadcast antennas.
The color was similar to that of the red LED on the tape recorder I was later making notes into.
The planet Mars was much higher in the sky, almost due south and almost overhead. The lights were much brighter and much, much redder than Mars.
The lights pulsated, meaning the brightness varied, but did not disappear. Pulsation was independent of other lights.
The lights were equidistant from one another.
From a drawing I made during the sighting, the lights were at an angle of about 45 degrees from the horizontal with the south light being the “high” light.
When I first sighted the lights, the middle light was slightly out of line with the other two lights, being slightly above an imaginary line drawn between the two outer lights. The middle light slowly drifted closer to being in line with the other.
As a whole, the group of lights was almost stationary, with just the slightest drift to the north.
A commercial type airplane flew from north to south during the sighting, and appeared to be between me and the lights. I am very familiar with the commercial air traffic in this area due to our being under one of the approach paths to Chicago Midway airport. What was unusual was the altitude of the aircraft. The aircraft was at the low altitude that I normally see inbound craft at while in the approach pattern to Midway. The aircraft was heading south, away from Midway. Southbound craft are normally much higher in the sky and under full power. Perhaps he had been asked to tale a look.
The sky was exceptionally clear. In the Chicago area you do not get nights this clear very often, usually only in the dead of winter. The weather at Midway Airport at 0053 Oct. 1, was 58 degrees, clear, SW 9.
Although I assume totally unconnected with sighting, family member did see white meteorite trail in sky almost overhead going south to north during sighting.
During the sighting, I observed a neighbor looking out his second storey window. I verified that he also had lights in sight. He also confirmed this later in the day.
Family member and I agreed that we would maneuver by automobile to get a better fix on location of lights. We went inside to collect cell phone, police/air scanner, tape recorder, etc. Another family member stayed outside to observe. By the time I came back outside lights were gone. Family member who had stayed outside had seen lights disappear. We did drive around the area for a while but were unable to reacquire lights. Did not hear anything on scanner concerning lights.