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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/16/1999 07:15 (Entered as : 12/16/99 7:15)
Reported: 7/1/2012 9:26:12 AM 09:26
Posted: 7/4/2012
Location: Gibsonville, NC
Shape: Sphere
Duration:2 minutes
Yellow-Orange soccer ball sized sphere photographed in my backyard.

I am a very amateur photographer and enjoy viewing and photographing wildlife. We live in a cul-de-sac with a thick pine and hardwood forest behind us.

I had purchased my first digital camera in 1998. It was a Olympus D500L. It had only .85 Megapixel (850K Pixels). The aperture and shutter speed are automatic. Although small by today's standards the camera took great pictures but digital zoom was very limited. The camera software allowed the camera to be controlled by a computer. I wrote a program to allow it to interface with the camera software so I could remotely take pictures in the early morning hours of my backyard and forest behind my workshop. I had the camera take a picture thru the rear window of my workshop every minute for about two hours every morning beginning well before daylight.

Although I didn't get many pictures of wildlife which I theorized later was because of the red LED which flashed on the front of the camera while a picture was being processed. I think this spooked the wildlife but thinking back it attracted something else.

At the time I was taking the pictures I had never heard of BOLs (Balls of Light). I was however an avid UFO skeptic with an open mind. On or about December 16, 1999 I was reviewing the pics taken that morning and came across two sequential pics with a bright orange-yellow sphere the size of a soccer ball. I later assumed it to be a sphere rather than a flat round object turned on its end.

The coloration was uniform and pixelized on its border. The object was only eight to ten feet from the camera. The first pic was taken in front of a large pine tree which made it possible to judge the size. The second pic taken one minute later. The object had moved about two feet to the right and up about a foot. My first impression was fireflies (lightning bugs).

I soon discounted this because of the brightness of the object. Even with the aperture wide open and a slow shutter speed I do not believe the camera would flare the light of the firefly to the size of a soccer ball. My second theory was that it was a reflection from car headlights on the window of a neighbor leaving for work. I soon discounted this as no possible reflection could get to the rear window of my shop because it was well behind any other homes in the area.

I finally gave up and deleted the pics thinking the objects were some kind of camera bug being that digital cameras were so new. (FYI, about 2009 the forest was timbered behind my house.)

A few months after deleting the pics I was reading about crop circles and BOLs. A shiver went down my spine as I new at that moment from my perspective that I had deleted two very rare photos. I obtained file retrieval software in order to recall the pics but to no avail. I did however retrieve exact pics but without the objects.

I still have this camera and its successor, the D620L (1.4 MP). Both are in great working order and hope to set up the camera again in the hope of resolving this mystery.

((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))