|Occurred : 12/26/2014 00:15 (Entered as : 12/26/14 0:15)
Reported: 12/25/2014 11:57:23 PM 23:57
Location: Wayne, NJ
|Fast moving object changing color and making tight curved maneuvers/changes of direction with near equal climb and dive speed
At approximately 12:15 A.M. I was preparing to drive home after spending Christmas with family, when I first noticed what I thought was a meteoroid. It caught my attention in the Southern sky at about 35 degrees and was on a Southerly heading straight down toward the horizon. As a former member of the North West Jersey Amateur Astronomer club, I found it unique in that it clearly changed color from blue to purple, but the flight path was straight and the speed was commensurate with a typical fast moving meteoroid, so I continued to prepare for my drive.
Within one to two minutes, I noticed that the object had climbed back out of the horizon and was making a series of turns that resembled the maneuvers of an aerobatic aircraft, with loops and turns that seemed to slow lightly at apex. The object changed colors about 2-4 times per second and seemed distant in the Southern sky, climbing no higher than about 45 degrees. What was especially odd was the relative speed of climbs and dives, which were closer to the speed of a a meteorite but clearly with maneuvering. Based on my experience as a certified PPL, I would describe the maneuvers as governed by aerodynamics, with no sharp angled turns, but the speed of climbs and the acceleration in directional changes exceeds what I have seen out of even military aircraft at close range during airshows. At an apparent distance, no conventionally powered turbine aircraft could display such speed and even if my judgment of distance was off, the climbs would still be out of the realm of possibility for any rotorcraft such as a drone. The climbing speed was dramatic.
In order to verify what I was seeing, I went back to the house and pounded on the window to get my sister's attention. I motioned for her to come outside and when she did, the object was still maneuvering aerobatically and changing colors. After another minute or so the object dove back down into the Southern horizon and did not reappear.
From my perspective, the object had bounded its maneuvers within and below the constellations of Canis Major and Orion.
The object appeared distant and was only seen as a bright point of light, approximately equal in magnitude to Sirius.