|Occurred : 5/26/2001 23:20 (Entered as : 05/26/01 23:20)
Reported: 2/14/2006 11:28:05 PM 23:28
Location: Big Bear, CA
|Bright yellow and dim blue points that maneuvered and finally climbed straight up and out of sight
On Saturday, May 26, 2001, at around 11:20 pm, at the RTMC Astronomy Expo, my friend and I were walking down the road to get to our car when I noticed a bright object come over the hills (from the south west?), moving very much like a satellite, only it was brighter than a satellite. I ran to the car to get my binoculars naively thinking that if this was too bright to be a regular satellite, maybe it was the International Space Station. When the object was about at zenith, it slowed to a stop. My friend and others camping in the area exclaimed in surprise when this happened. I trained my binoculars on the object and discovered that it was actually two objects, one glowing bright yellow that we had been following with our naked eyes, and the other much dimmer and glowing a deep, deep blue. While the yellow object was now moving very slowly and steadily, the blue object seemed to orbit tightly, rapidly, and haphazardly around the yellow object, constantly changing directions and speed.
After meandering around the sky above us for maybe 1 or 2 minutes, it began to climb. I could not judge its altitude. People around us thought it was anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 feet up. Through the binoculars, I guessed that it was about 1,000 to 10,000 feet up and climbing, but who knows? Eventually, the blue object slipped behind the yellow object and I never saw it again. At that moment the yellow object began to gyrate rapidly and wildly in a small area and seemed to leave a short trail. I thought maybe my binoculars were shaking, but this was not the case since the background stars were not themselves gyrating.
The object continued to climb quite rapidly until it was difficult to see even with the binoculars and then we lost it.
I'm guessing this whole thing lasted about 6 minutes, and the whole time we did not hear a sound from the objects.
It is certainly possible that this was some kind of hoax since the RTMC might be a tempting target for hoaxers. I also considered aircraft from a nearby airport, but its behavior and appearance were unlike any aircraft I have ever seen, and it did not make a sound. The RTMC is held up in the mountains at a YMCA camp. The air that night was cool and very still.
I tried to see if at any point the space between these lights would block out the stars behind it, but I could not come to any conclusions mostly because it was always moving and was small even in the binoculars. Funny that I had a nice digital video camera in the back seat of the car and didn't even think to use it! About a year after this happened, I contacted an organizer via e-mail. He saw it, too, but felt that the object was "in the hundreds of feet up", and given the venue was probably a hoax of some kind.
I'm a computer programmer and my friend is a mechanical and electrical engineer.
The location of the RTMC can be found here: http://www.rtmcastronomyexpo.org/index.html