|Occurred : 11/23/2009 17:40 (Entered as : 11/23/09 17:40)
Reported: 11/23/2009 7:21:20 PM 19:21
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Duration:approximately 7 minutes
|Bright red noiseless light traveled south to north at an altitude of 7,000 -10,000 ft for 7 minutes before blinking then disappearing.
It was a clear night and I was outside putting up Christmas lights. I stepped back from the house and looked up to check the lights when I noticed a bright red light in the southern sky. It was a little lower and to the left of the moon, about 45 degrees above the horizon. It was about 3 times as large as Jupiter and about 3 times as bright. I watched it for a while expecting to see some navigation lights appear as it approached me. As it got closer I saw no additional lights and noticed it made no noise.
I ran inside to get the binoculars so I could get a closer look, as it was flying almost directly overhead. Through the binoculars I saw no discernible shape to the object, just a bright red light quietly going across the sky. It maintained the same altitude and did not flicker or change direction. I decided to run inside to get my camera to take some pictures. I managed to get a few shots, however as I am not that skilled with my camera while taking night shots, I had some trouble getting the auto focus to act right. The pictures show a red (out of focus) spherical light. As I watched it travel north off into the distance it then started to blink and went out as if someone had turned off a switch. I believe it blinked about 5 times prior to it disappearing.
Besides the moon, this was the brightest object in the sky. I would say the entire event took about seven minutes and when I went inside to write down the specifics I noted the time was 5:47 P. M. central time. I live about 30 minutes west of St. Louis Lambert airport so I see airplane traffic all the time, most of which travels west-east. I hardly ever see any traffic flying south-north (especially this low).
About 10 minutes after the event I saw a plane coming in for a landing at Lambert airport, this object was roughly at the same altitude. I am not that good at guessing altitudes so I was using this as my guide for an estimate. My spouse said that my “incoming plane analogy” would indicate an altitude for the object of about 7,000 - 10,000 ft. Please note it was not a plane or helicopter. The body of a commercial plane at that height and directly above can clearly be seen on a cloudless night. Additionally, engine noise and navigation lights for a plane should be easily discernable, none of which were observed.
Again, the red light maintained the same altitude, did not flicker, made no noise and maintained a roughly south to north path. I have never observed anything remotely like this before.