|Occurred : 6/11/2009 19:30 (Entered as : 06/11/09 19:30)
Reported: 6/11/2009 9:53:19 PM 21:53
Location: Tempe, AZ
|extremely bright balloon-like object at high altitude, drifting west for 45 minutes/tiny lights appeared below at times
At 7:30 local I saw a very bright (twice as bright as Venus at it's brightest)light about 25 degrees in altitude, to the Northwest. I use a pair of binoculars to see that it was actually spherical...sort of shaped like a hot air balloon, but not nearly that exact in shape. It was extremely bright even in the setting sunlight. There were scattered high clouds, likely 30 to 40 thousands feet high and this object was behind them at times. While the clouds were moving briskly towards the NE this blob-like light was slowly drifting westward. After about 15 minutes it dimmed somewhat and (again through binoculars) then tiny little lights, almost like embers started appearing below the blob. Each one only lasted for 4 to 10 seconds. These lights seemed to "fall" from the blob, but some moved laterally...they were very small, but a couple seemed to move upward briefly, before dimming out.
I continued to watch as this bright blob for almost 45 minutes as it slowly drifted west and dimmed to a pale blue color as the dusk became night time. Only after a deck of clouds obscured it, did I give up the watch.
I have to imagine thousands of people in central and west central Arizona saw this thing. Again, it had to be very large, because it was above the high clouds and at a very low angle for me. At it's brightest period it was not homogenous, it seemed to have some motling (sp?)some variance in it's brightness or on its surface.
If it was some huge balloon. I don't understand why it was so bright and more importantly, how the heck it was going west when the upper air flow was out of the southwest.
I did take video of this object, but my zoom wasn't great enough to reveal any shape.
((NUFORC Note: Possible high-altitude balloon. PD))