|Occurred : 11/17/2012 18:10 (Entered as : 11/17/12 18:10)
Reported: 11/18/2012 12:04:02 PM 12:04
Location: Hampton Borough, NJ
|Bright, glowing reddish-orange fireballs in the evening sky.
On Saturday night, November 17, 2012, between 6:10 – 6:25pm (EST) my wife and I saw about 20 large, bright, glowing reddish-orange spheres (or “fireballs”) in the evening sky, over a period of approx. 15 minutes from our front porch in Hampton Borough, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The sky was perfectly clear, with low humidity (the Dew Point was about 25 degrees F) and the temperature was 38 degrees F. There was a bright, waxing crescent moon to the southwest.
When I initially stepped out onto my front porch, to let my dogs out, I noticed two pairs of large, very bright reddish-orange glowing lights that were roughly spherical and could be described as “fireballs” that seemed to “float” in the sky, although they were clearly moving slowly in a straight line from the east-southeast to the northwest. As the first pair got closer, they appeared to get a little bigger, until they were about double their initial size. As they got directly overhead, they appeared to gradually fade, until they eventually disappeared, somewhat like a light dimmer. Over the next 15 minutes, my wife and I saw another 15, or so, identical “fireballs” rise over the treetops of the mountain to our east-southeast, always travelling in pairs, in groups approximately 30 to 60 seconds apart, and always emanating from the same spot on the eastern horizon. They all travelled in the same straight line, toward the northwest, seeming to “float” in the sky, but! making slow progress to a position directly overhead in a leisurely span of time of about 45 seconds to 1 minute, before they all gradually faded away over a span of about 10 seconds. Since the mountain is about 1 mile from our house, and it took the “fireballs” about 1 minute to get directly overhead, I would estimate they were travelling at about 60 miles per hour. They seemed to be fairly low in the sky, and I would estimate their altitude to be about 2,500 to 3,000 feet above us. Their reddish-orange glow was constant – that is to say they did not “blink” like the lights on a plane or helicopter. There was no tail or flames – just a steady glow. The way they seemed to “float”, or “hover”, seemed somewhat like a helicopter, and the way they arose over the horizon, always in pairs and seemly in a type of intentional formation, seemed to both my wife and I reminiscent of the helicopter scene in the movie “Apocalypse Now”. These "fireballs" made no sound.
About 5 minutes from my initial sighting, I decided to call 911, to find out if other people in our area had noticed and reported these mysterious glowing lights. The 911 operator said no one else had called, and suggested they might be a meteor shower (which they were not; meteors move much faster, are much smaller and burn white hot, not glowing reddish-orange, like a fireplace ember). She connected me with the New Jersey State Police Barracks, who dispatched a Trooper to our house. By the time the Trooper arrived (about 15 minutes later, around 6:35 pm), the glowing lights has vanished. He was very nice, but said no one else had reported seeing the lights. My wife and I would be very much interested in knowing if anybody else reported seeing these glowing lights on the evening of Nov. 17th – they were the most unusual things either of us have ever seen and we would like to know an explanation for them. My wife is a Registered Nurse and I am a Civil Engineer and! Geologist, and we have an intense curiosity to understand natural phenomena.