|Occurred : 6/17/2008 11:00 (Entered as : 6/17/08 11:00 pm)
Reported: 8/25/2008 11:06:17 PM 23:06
Location: Colle D'Valle Delsa/ Scorgiono (Italy),
|Dim light, like a faint star, moving in a zigzag, changing course abruptly, very, very high in the sky, at a very high speed.
My husband and I were on vacation in Italy in July. We rented a house in the country, in the Chianti region of Tuscany, and went out late to watch the sky — which was incredibly clear — and look for shooting stars and satellites. We had gone out two consecutive nights before that to do the same thing.
That night, we had already seen several shooting stars and two satellites when we spotted a third. It was a very faint, distant white light, traveling south to west (I think) very high up in the sky — like a dim moving star. At first, the light traveled at a steady straight pace, acting like a normal satellite. Then suddenly, after about ten seconds, it veered north, traveling VERY fast (It just took off). It traveled north for about five seconds, then veered west again and proceeded at its normal steady pace for about another ten seconds. Afterwards, once again, it suddenly veered north, moving very fast, repeating the same pattern. After about five seconds it veered west and then disappeared after a few seconds (or I lost track of it).
While moving west, the light seemed to move like a typical satellite. But twice it changed directions toward the north, extremely quickly, moving in a neat zigzag (though it was less of a Z formation and more like a step). The first time it veered, I yelped and sat up (I was laying down flat on a lawn chair, looking straight up). My husband, who has undergraduate and graduate degree in physics, agreed that it moved like a satellite at first, but then changed directions very quickly — too quickly in his opinion to be a satellite. He’s a bit of a skeptic but he agreed that it was a rather weird sight.
We’re both certain it wasn’t a plane. We’re not experts but love to watch the night sky, and often have contests to see who can spot the most satellites. I also often check my sightings against the NOAA page to see if they match. I didn’t in this case, because we were in Italy, in the middle of nowhere, with no Internet. At any rate, it definitely looked like a satellite despite the fact that it changed trajectories fast.
I’m not an expert but it certainly was an eye-popping site. Looked like a satellite but moved like nothing I’ve seen before.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that date of incident is approximate. PD))