|Occurred : 7/4/2010 22:00 (Entered as : 07/04/10 22:00)
Reported: 7/7/2010 8:51:47 PM 20:51
Location: Gastonia, NC
|Zig zaging fireball
At about 10 pm on July 4, 2010, my 12 year old son and I were standing in our front yard shooting off fireworks. I was looking at the sky facing south when my attention was drawn to a very bright reddish light low in the sky. It was about the size of a star, but it was the brightest thing in the sky. I watched if for about 2-3 seconds, before I realized it was obviously moving directly toward my position. It was getting visibly closer and appearing larger by the second.
I called my son’s attention to it, and he also saw it. By this time it was not quite directly over our heads. I got a very good look at it. It appeared to be a round ball of reddish orange flame. It definitely had the appearance of flames, but there was no visible smoke or sparks. It was completely silent and moving in a straight line, south to north. I saw no visible structure of any type. There was no noticeable wind blowing at the time.
It passed almost directly over our heads. I turned around so I could continue to watch it as it passed by me on its way north. After watching it for a few seconds now from behind it, I saw it make a little series of zigzag movements, right, left, then right left, again. It then continued heading off to the north in a straight line until it disappeared from my sight.
It was impossible for me to accurately estimate the speed, size, or altitude, in the dark sky. If I was going to guess based on my gut feeling, I feel it was smaller (less than 3 ft. in diameter), rather than a large object and at a few hundred feet elevation, rather than higher. It was moving quickly relative to its size. The total time I watched it was about 20-30 seconds, maybe slightly longer.
There are a couple of things I am sure it wasn’t. It wasn’t a firework, like a rocket or mortar. It was totally silent, slower, and left no trail. It also did not look like any flare I have seen either. It was not smoking, sparking, leaving a trail, or appear to be dangling from a parachute.