|Occurred : 9/28/2014 20:15 (Entered as : 09/28/14 20:15)
Reported: 10/3/2014 12:10:06 PM 12:10
Location: West Bend, WI
|Unexplained longer interval strobe in sky
Leaving my parents' home, they walked me to my car. My father and I are typically looking up when we can for satellites, aircraft or celestial bodies. My father was discussing flashing satellites and he spotted a strobe and pointed it out. I'm a bit of an aviation enthusiast and this did not fit into anything I could readily explain. It was a strobe, but interval was just over slower. I would say approaching 3 to 4 seconds. A single xenon-like strobe (blu-ish) was all that was visible to us. My father and I both thought weather/observation balloon as it was coming from the North heading SSE. Twelve to fifteen seconds after initial observation was when the path deviated. It appeared to head to the East. It turned out that this was a loop to the East and after approximately 360 degrees it slowed to near stationary for 3 or 4 flashes of the strobe and either started a slow descent or heading East again when we lost it. My father went for his binoculars! at this time and I walked to the North along the road to a more open spot from atop a hill. Neither my father or mother nor I saw it after that, though I spotted a faint orange meteorite (assumed) dispersing in the North.
I asked my parents if they were messing with me as they'd recently been in contact with a commercial pilot friend of mine who was into RC aircraft as I am. They said no. I thought it moved as if it could have been a radio-controlled quad-copter, but heard no motor whine at all. If it were at a much higher altitude, I cannot fathom a civilian RC aircraft that had that rate of speed. I don't know that a weather/observation balloon would make a loop as this did unless there is some wind phenomenon I'm unaware of (which is possible.) The last explanation I could think of was perhaps a night-skydiver wearing a strobe. It would explain the loop and apparent stationary position afterward, but the strobe did not increase in intensity I would expect with the descent that would occur. Also, the local municipal airport does not have skydiving and I saw no GA aircraft headed back to the airport or in sight at all.