|Occurred : 7/4/2010 22:00 (Entered as : 07/04/10 22:00)
Reported: 7/14/2010 6:49:16 PM 18:49
Location: Fort Calhoun, NE
Duration:20 to 30 min.
|On July 4th Looked like 1 round fireball, but was 3,, 55 Pictures
I live in a small town of Fort Calhoun about 860 people (not much light at night) on the top of a hill so the stars are real bright. This is about 8 miles North of Omaha, Nebraska.
On the night of the fourth of July, I was standing out at the end of my driveway taking pictures of fireworks with a Canon 40D SLR with a digital image stabilizing lens that is 70-300mm zoom. (About $3000.00 worth of equipment). I was not using a tripod, but hand held so I could move around to catch the fireworks.
The front of my house faces straight West. The night had a broken cloud base, more open than clouds.
At approximately 9:55 pm I noticed a reddish orange light to the South, South west from where I was standing about 2 to 3 miles away coming from the Bennington Nebraska area. It was moving very slow to slow to be a plane and heading almost straight North. It had no blinking lights at all. It was just above the cloud base.
I had my camera set on manual mode and was running the shutter speed between 4 and 8. I took a few pictures of the light and after zooming in on it I could see that it wasn’t one light, but three real close together. We have had helicopters come by and at about that distance before and we could not hear a thing when normally we could. After watching it for about 5 minutes, I went back to the house to get my wife and show it to her. Of course she saw it also.
They continued to travel North until they were just South of my location, then took a 90 degree turn to the East for a very short distance (guessing ½ to 1 mile) then another 90 degree turn back to the South. Looking at the night sky it would be like the directions of the eraser end of a new pencil. After watching them head back South about ½ the distance from when I first noticed them. It was like someone threw a light switch and the lights went out. Gone. Way before they would have flown out of sight.
About 10 to 15 minutes later I saw them again straight in front of my house, looking West. They looked to be about 1 to 2 miles out. There were different times that through the camera I could see that they didn’t stay in a group, but would spread out in a line. If it was one object I would see a leader and then a trail, with the lens settings I was using, However you can see the trails, but with three balls in the trail. A leader, one in the middle and one towards the end. I took 55 pictures of them in all. They kept heading in a Northern direction and it looked like they would have gone just North of Blair Nebraska. Some pictures came out pretty good, some not, due to the speed of the lens or my movement. The entire time that they were visible was about 20 to 30 minutes.