|Occurred : 3/26/2008 20:21 (Entered as : 03/26/08 20:21)
Reported: 3/28/2008 3:49:26 PM 15:49
Location: Valrico, FL
|Pink light does high speed flight from Tampa to Kennedy Space Center 5 minutes before shuttle Endeavor lands.
Peter: Since 1984 I have been broadcasting space shuttle launches on a network of radio stations across the country. I have media credentials issued by NASA and am considered an authority on space hardware and systems. The UFO phenomena has always interested me but until 8:21:28 PM, March 26, 2008, I had never seen one.
I have a whole slew of computers and monitors in my home studio from which I broadcast the launches when I can’t get to the Kennedy Space Center. Upon entry and landing I plot all the trajectories and landing paths. On the 26th of March the shuttle Endeavor was waved off the first landing attempt due to weather conditions being unfavorable. That attempt would have brought the shuttle in over Miami and up the east coast of Florida. The second attempt meant an atmospheric entry interface and landing approach directly over my head in southeastern Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay).
The evening was perfect for satellite watching; the weather was cool and dry and the sky completely clear. I had already plotted the tracks for the ATV and ISS as well as STS-123. The ATV was in the same orbit as the ISS only about 1,200 miles ( 5 minutes) in front it. Having just undocked from the space station, the shuttle was also in the same orbit except about 326 miles (1 minute) behind the ISS. So, orbital mechanics being what they are, there is absolutely no way for the shuttle to ever overtake either the ISS or the ATV.
The ATV was scheduled to go over my house at 8:20 PM and the ISS at 8:25 PM. The shuttle, which by that time, would have been entering the atmosphere and slowing considerably, would be going over at about 8:33:40 PM on its way to an 8:39 PM landing at the cape.
Gazing intently at the patch of sky dictated by my computer, we could not see the ATV, it was just too small and dark. At 8:21:28 we noticed a pinkish light moving across the sky. Initially I thought it was the ATV, albeit late. Then the pink light veered off course and silently zipped in a highly controlled movement across our heads (several neighbors had come out to watch, too) to the southeast and then turned toward the northeast as if headed toward the Kennedy Space Center which is directly across the state from us. It made the trip from right above us to the vicinity of KSC in about 1 to 2 seconds. I knew then that the object was not the ATV so my thoughts went to the shuttle. Problem being that at the altitude the shuttle flies by the time it gets to Tampa we get twin sonic booms off the nose and tail. This “UFOish” object produced no sonic boom despite the fact that it seemed to have been moving at thousands of miles an hour.
Just as I was pondering the pink light, the ISS went by overhead at 17,500 mph in its orbit. Very bright but, compared to what I had just seen, laboriously slow. It took the ISS a good 2-3 minutes to move across the sky compared to only a second or two for the pink light. I have never seen anything travel that fast, including supersonic jets at closed to the public media events.
I went back into the house and NASA-TV’s George Diller was saying that the shuttle was “…now just 9 minutes from landing at KSC and about 150 miles off the coast of Florida over the Gulf of Mexico.” Going back outside, sure enough, right on schedule, I was greeted by the twin sonic booms that must have rattled windows all over the Bay area. The shuttle, however, was too dark to be seen without night vision goggles to pick up the residual heat from its reentry.
Having watched many launches from my front yard, I have a keen awareness of exactly where the Kennedy Space Center is from my front door… exactly 142.6 miles to the parking lot at the VAB.
I’m not saying it was alien, I don’t know what the little pink light was, but, whatever it was, it was not a plane in the conventional sense of that word. At first I thought its altitude was orbital but as it moved away from the orbit of the ISS, first to the southeast and then curving around to a northeast heading, it didn’t seem to be all that high. If I had to guess I would say maybe about 10,000 to 15,000 feet.
Well, that’s about it.
Enjoy your silo.