|Occurred : 8/7/2013 20:33 (Entered as : 08/07/13 20:33)
Reported: 8/7/2013 6:41:00 PM 18:41
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
|At approx. 20:30 hrs EST I watched a commercial aircraft transition (witnessed standard aircraft lights) from north to south just east of the Florida coast, at what appeared to be approx. 7,000 feet. I was curious about that aircraft for two reasons 1. I am a private pilot and generally enjoy seeing aircraft flying over and 2. I had watched my daughter and son-in-law arrive along the same track two nights ago while they were returning on a flight from Philadelphia to Miami (I had been watching their progress via the internet flight tracking software. I looked up a couple of minutes after that aircraft passed to the south and saw another light in the sky at about the same altitude and location. This light was white in color and looked like a landing light. It almost looked like a satellite but without the speed one would normally see. Within a couple of seconds I noticed a green light behind the white light (to the left of the light, or North). A seco! nd later there was a sudden bright intensity that looked like a rocket separating from its booster, a bright center with the shape of a brilliant triangle with the original light at the tip pointing out towards the east. The light shape lasted only a couple of seconds and then disappeared. I lost sight of the light for a second or two and when I next located the same position in the sky there appeared to be two green lights separated by about ¼” at arms length. The green lights remained separated by a fixed distance while the lights appeared to move towards the east. Living in Florida for the past 40 years I’ve seen my share of rocket launches, this was in the wrong location for a rocket coming out of Cape Canaveral. The shape and color of the contrail looked just like a rocket separation. My best guess was a missile that was dropped from a launch plane, engine ignited and flamed out after a few seconds. Very strange.
I am a private pilot and retired Deputy fire chief. I am an avid aviation enthusiast and monitor launch schedules from the Cape and satellite sighting via iPhone software. This was the most unusual sighting I have seen, mostly because of the location being so close to West Palm Beach and the commercial airways to and from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami
((NUFORC Note: A launch of a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral occurred at 20:29 hrs. on this date. PD))