|Occurred : 8/20/1965 19:00 (Entered as : 08/20/65 19:00)
Reported: 1/19/2014 8:41:29 PM 20:41
Location: Charleston, SC
|Sphere of fire with multiple course changes of 15 degrees in ZERO TIME. 6 course changes, 30 seconds
I was coming home from a cub scouts den meeting, alone…so was about 9 yrs old. On bicycle. Location: just outside of Charleston AFB, housing dev. Called Hunly Park (all gone now). State road (think SR 626) was edge of houses, then pine forest, Then AFB. Never allowed into that forest, was scared, could hear shooting of hunters, etc.
This happened either in the spring, or the late summer after the heat, was very temperate climate. At dusk. Sky to east was indigo blue, sky to west was tangerine orange. NO CLOUDS. And no stars yet. Maybe one or two, but no stars for the most part. Wasn’t that dark yet. For some reason, 50 yrs ago everyone came home at same time, went in to dinner same time, did homework, took bath, went to bed same time. I was OUT when everyone else was “in”, so totally alone. No cars in the development, don’t remember any cars on the state road that I could see from my stopping point on the bike.
As I passed a “ditch” that I liked to play in (young boy) I looked to the left (east, darkest part of sky) so I think that’s how I saw this thing in the sky that was actually a little BEHIND my casual forward facing field of view for riding a bike. Road was empty, safety not top of mind, so glancing around, saw this thing.
Stopped the bike, put feet on ground, watched it. This thing was literally a FIRE BALL. I mean it was close, (estimate 1,000 to 5,000 ft up). I went back as an adult 35 yrs later, everything looked SMALLER, so, trying to correct for youthful “point of view” perceptions. If I extended my hand, and placed the object between my thumb and forefinger, it would have been a little smaller than a dime held at arms length.
It was moving from EAST to WEST, heading directly towards the Air Force Base air space. There was NO SMOKE. I could see the actual DEFINITION of flames covering this ROUND, GLOBULAR object….like a rubber ball on fire…so it wasn’t MILES high. Another thing that makes me feel it was fairly low was that as it CHANGED COURSE, very abruptly, multiple times, with NO curvature or deceleration; those changes were immediately reflected in my perception of the “ground” it covered between changes in direction.
I would say that the changes by degrees were about10-15 degrees, in opposing directions, from left to right. It made about 6 course changes in the 30 seconds it was visible to me, as it passed almost directly overhead. Another way to say how I calculate that course deviation, is that as it was directly overhead, and it zigged and zagged band and forth, if it had STAYED on one of those new headings, it would have passed out of sight on the horizon about 10 to 15 degrees DIFFERENCE from the FIRST HEADING of my 360 circular view of the horizon all around me, so I think that means a 10 to 15 degree change in course heading? As I got older and studied, I learned about INERTIA, and how something of mass CAN’T INSTANTLY change direction without the expenditure of enormous amounts of energy to overcome inertia. The changes in direction, the zig and zag back and forth of its’ direction of travel, was INSTANT. Imagine the old original video game PONG. Like ping pong. Remember how you could play with TWO paddles, hit the white dot on the screen with your back paddle, and as the white dot proceeded towards the other side of the screen, you could place your FRONT paddle in the path of the dot and it would INSTANTLY continue forward on a different “heading”? So, imagine an INVISIBLE pong paddle that this fireball passed through, about 6 times in 30 seconds, covering a little more than 60% of my overhead view (I saw it when it was about 40% already traversed the airspace of the Eastern horizon, heading to the Western Horizon), each time it passes through this point, it changes heading by 15 degrees with ! no “curving”.
This is another reason I felt it was fairly low. If it had covered 60% of the sky from east to west, almost directly overhead, in 30 seconds, and been WAY HIGH, I would not have been able to see FLAMES well defined, licking along the surface of this globe. The “speed” and distance would have smeared my perception of flames into a single color, and I’m sure a much higher speed needed to travel the “distance’ to the horizon in 30 seconds or less would have produced some kind of trail of debris and a visual TAIL of fire……this was not the case. I could SEE this thing was a GLOBE.
It made NO SOUND. There was no smoke trail. The flames were “licking” to the rear of the direction of travel, as though the air itself was sweeping the flames to the rear, but the “rear” of the ball, as it travelled, was not distorted into a TAIL of fire….it was ROUND, it was completely covered in flames (red, yellow, orange).
I feel it was fairly low because the forward momentum of an object traveling VERY HIGH and there fore VERY FAST to cover the sky so quickly would have taken an IMPOSSIBLE amount of energy to change direction almost INSTANTANEOUSLY 5 to 6 times in 30 seconds, and that also the PERCIEVED changes in direction and the DEGREES of travel between changes in direction would have been MUCH MORE, and therefore even less possible to be happening. Very hard to put into words.
As I watched it “descend” over the pine forest to the WEST, heading into the sunset, directly towards Charleston AFB air space, it seemed to be descending, not just moving beyond my view of horizon. Imagine a small plane, only 5,000 feet up, flying almost directly overhead, and heading to the next nearby town. As it got farther away, it would LOOK like it was descending, when it might only be flying LOW and at a constant altitude. It’s just YOUR POINT OF VIEW from the ground that makes it look like it’s getting “lower” as it passes over trees that are 100 feet away from you across a road you are on, and the highway adjacent to it (that’s why the tree tops of these pine trees (less than 20 feet tall) were 100 feet from me.
So, I figured, “this thing is going to HIT THE GROUND!”. So I literally braced my feet on the ground, waiting for the inevitable FLASH in the sky, rumble in the air, earthquake, whatever a 9 yr old would think of as a BIG CRASH result……and I waited, and waited, and it NEVER came. No flash, no sound, no vibration.
I looked around (now the sighting was 3 minutes old, what I saw, and the wait for a crash). NOT A SOUL to be seen. Everybody had their lights on, just finishing up dinner, watching the evening news, whatever. No kids out, since they had no business outside. All the people in this housing development were YOUNG military, with YOUNG kids. Most kids were under 10 yrs old, so no playing outside after dinner. There was no high school (was K-5th grade school nearby I attended).
I thought to myself “Nobody will believe what I just saw”. I went home, didn’t tell my mom, or either of my brothers what I saw. I developed an INTENSE interest in UFO’s after this, driven by my sighting and what happened about 18 months later… there was a ruckus on my street with dogs barking, pounding footsteps and shouting outside, our walls literally SHOOK as several people STAMPEDED by our front yard. They were young military men (neighbors in their early 20’s) who claimed to see 3 UFO’s just 200 feet from our house, zipping ALONG that state highway next to the development. They said there were two balls of light coming from one direction, one ball of light from the opposite direction (they said one was red, one was white, one was blue). They said the single ball of light passed between the other two lights, they all then swooped up into the sky, turned white, and remained stationary pretending to be stars. I must say, as a child, this seemed exciting, but differed A LOT from what I experienced, but I do remember these guys being REALLY SINCERELY excited, and that the man with the yard that abutted the state highway had hunting hounds in his yard, and they were going CRAZY! He came out with his gun, thinking somebody was harassing his dogs, or an animal (possibly rabid) had come near them…..just as these 3 young adults came thundering onto his property (small yards, really) yelling LOOK UP LOOK UP! At which point he did and I recall him saying he thought he saw “some lights moving” that he agreed “got lost” in the stars. I had run out and followed whoever had thundered past our house, not knowing what was going on, and seeing a man with a gun confronting other men who were panting and excited and pointing at the sky made me afraid, so I saw this, heard their comments and sincerity, and went right back home. It was unsettling, and I had nothing to add, since I saw NOTHING.
Anyway, I find it hard to believe that Charleston AFB has no knowledge of this incredible, fiery ball of matter that changed direction with no “curving”…simply immediately changed course. Also no sound, no smoke, and no GIANT CRASH I was expecting.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the incident is approximate. PD))