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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/31/2013 21:40 (Entered as : 12/31/13 21:40)
Reported: 1/4/2014 9:09:38 AM 09:09
Posted: 1/10/2014
Location: Portland, OR
Shape: Fireball
Duration:5-10 seconds
Bright white object turned reddish-orange and switched direction at 45 degree angle at high altitude and speed.

Facts:

On December 31, 2013, at approximately 21:40 hours, while looking up at a clear sky from the approximate location of 45.527205 N, -122.688007 W, I saw a small object that was brilliantly illuminated in a white color moving due Southwest from near Jupiter in the night sky in the direction of Orion’s belt. Since the only scale I had for the object was the night sky and planets and stars, I could not determine the object’s size or altitude. The object continued tracking Southwest for a few seconds, and as it did, it began to glow a bright reddish-orange color. It could be best described as the color seen in NASA spacecraft re-entry animations.

The object then made a precise turn when it appeared near the background of the Easternmost star in Orion’s belt, and at what appeared to be a nearly 45 degree angle toward the East-Northeast at a higher rate of speed and moved away from my line of sight. I made an effort to re-acquire it visually, but was unable to do so due to a building blocking my view.

I was unable to observe a specific object shape, and I do not know if there were several lights on it, or if it was simply one light.

Observations:

I have listed the event duration as 5-10 seconds, however, I must admit that the sight of the object was immediately disconcerting since it did not behave in an aerodynamic way. The actual duration could have been simply 5 seconds, given the apparent rate of speed of the object. I estimated that rate of speed to be extraordinarily high, since I also estimated the altitude of the object to be high as well, given that I could not even determine its shape.

It is important to note that the object moved in exacting straight lines both Southwest and East-Northeast. The object did not make arced or rounded movements. The object also did not demonstrate the motions of anything organic like a bird or insect.

The immediate shift in motion of the object eliminated my first conclusion that I had witnessed a shooting star. Also, the color on the object became brighter as it moved East-Northeast, rather than fading. I have done an exhaustive search for any optical illusions that could explain the change of direction and found none.

I want to disabuse anyone investigating this of the notion that I viewed this as a metaphysical or spiritual occurrence. I did not “feel” the object, have “psychic communication” with it, or in any way view it as a sign or contact. It was merely an observation of an object moving in a way that I cannot explain, and that startled me.

I am able to make this report as a result of immediately recording the time, my location, and observations, since I maintain a personal and professional notebook while I am working.