|Occurred : 8/15/2009 22:06 (Entered as : 081509 22:06)
Reported: 8/15/2009 9:05:55 PM 21:05
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
|Bright orange light in Eastern Sky 90+ second event
At 10:06 PM at 42.949780,-85.603561 we witnessed an object in the Eastern sky moving from approximately SSE (150 degrees azimuth) to N (010 degrees azimuth) at an elevation of 30 to 35 degrees. Our iPhones did not have the ability to resolve the image. The object passed below a bright object (assumed Jupiter) and was two to three times its brightness and its observable arc width. It was significantly brighter than any other object in the sky. We were in a boat at the time, and the reflection of the object in the water was distinctly apparent. The object displayed variable random intensity as if a glowing fiery ember, consistently appearing orange to amber in color, and slowly inconsistently dissolved at the end of its track. The entire event lasted approximately 95-110 seconds. It is also notable that the object seemed to alter course by 5-10 degrees east of track at approximately 65-70 seconds (030-035 azimuth) into the event.
We contacted http://www.nuforc.org/ and were subsequently advised that this object was seen in the same time frame from Massachusetts to Chicago, possibly fractured into multiple objects.
We were advised that this is too slow for a fast moving meteor atmospheric impact or grazing event. We saw several of these (meteors) which are very white and short lasting within the preceding sixty minutes. This was not an aircraft, displaying normal anti-collision strobe lights and red, green, and white navigation lights. This was not a satellite in low-earth-orbit transitioning from day to night. We saw several of these pass into the eclipse of the Earth’s shadow prior to this event and the object did not behave as if reflecting solar light. Also, it would be abnormal for a satellite to orbit in this Southeast to North Northwest direction.
There are four people that witnessed the event on this boat. I am an experienced Airline Transport Pilot with 6000+ hours flying and have not witnessed anything similar prior to this.
((NUFORC Note: We spoke via telephone with this witness, and he sounded to us to be unusually sober-minded, and he seemed to be an excellent witness. PD))