|Occurred : 10/22/2008 15:55 (Entered as : 10/22/08 15:55)
Reported: 10/22/2008 8:59:43 PM 20:59
Location: Knoxville, TN
Duration:1 to 2 min.
|Four short and closely grouped contrails observed in clear skies
On October 22, 2008 at approximately 15:55 while traveling west on Interstate 40/75 between mile markers 379 and 376, I observed what appeared to be three relatively short jet aircraft contrails grouped closely together traveling in a southwest direction The sky was clear. Other long contrails were visible in other areas of the sky, particularly to the south. The altitude of the three contrails seemed to be similar to typical jet contrails.
The three contrails seemed unusual to me. The contrail lengths were relatively short compared to others in different areas of the same sky. The two most westward contrails were relatively close and in parallel. A third contrail was close behind. After observing these objects for about 20 to 30 seconds, it then appeared that there were actually four contrails. The fourth contrail seemed to be close to the forward two. The flight paths were apparently straight and the movement seemed to be consistent with high altitude aircraft speed which I have routinely observed.
These contrails apparently were evaporating rather quickly. After about 60 to 90 seconds after the initial observation, the contrails disappeared, one by one. The last one observed was the trailing contrail.
At this point, my initial impression was this phenomena could have been some type of debris entering the earth’s atmosphere and breaking into three or four relatively large pieces. I was not able to determine if the contrails were actually due to aircraft. I did not have access to any type of optical devices or cameras. There was no observed points of light associated with the contrails.
There was one other observer besides myself. My background is in chemistry and radiological safety. The other observer is a registered land surveyer.
My question would be, "Has any local radar station observed these objects at this location and time and made any identification?"
A response via email would be welcome if this observation warrants an investigation.