|Occurred : 6/23/2016 00:31 (Entered as : 06/23/16 00:31)
Reported: 6/23/2016 9:44:25 AM 09:44
Location: Jacksonville, FL
|A fast-moving, pentagon-shaped object rapidly transiting across the norhtern face of the moon.
Observation of a Fast Moving Lunar Transit Anomaly Jacksonville, Florida, June 23, 12:31 EDT. At about 0:31 hours (12:31 EDT, to the nearest minute) this morning, I was observing the waning gibbous moon from our driveway with a 4.25” f/6 reflecting telescope. At the time, I was using a magnification of about 100X with a # 21 orange filter. Although the rising moon was still low in the SE, seeing was quite good, and there were no clouds or haze.
While observing features on the lunar terminator near Mare Serenitatis, I noticed a fast moving, solid black pentagon-shaped object traversing from west to east [moving from the terminator roughly in the direction of Mare Imbrium] across the lower (mid-northern) portion of the moon. The estimated time of passage before it swept out of the eyepiece’s field of view was – my best guess – well under five seconds. As I was not wearing a watch, I immediately went inside and looked at a wall clock (known to be accurate within a minute or so), and recorded the time.
The most unusual aspect of this observation was the shape of the object. Because it swept across the field of view so rapidly, I am not 100% sure that I am getting this exactly right, but my recollection is that its silhouette was something between a pentagon and a five-pointed star, as shown on the accompanying drawing. This rendering is based on a quick pencil sketch that I made within a few minutes of seeing the object. The thing that sticks in my mind is that this object was inky black and perfectly symmetrical – with no change of shape or tumbling effect as it crossed the face of the moon.
As to the object’s size, I have tried to relate it to some of the named lunar craters in this area, and – again, to the best of my ability – it seems to have had an apparent angular size midway between that of Menelaus (27 km) and Manilius (39 km), so my best guess would be an apparent size of about 30 km, as projected against the lunar disc.
Based on its eastward trajectory, moving roughly in line with the ecliptic, my suspicion is that this is some kind of large, earth orbiting satellite – but what could it be? Although I have never witnessed a lunar transit by the International Space Station, I am familiar with its appearance, both as it has been imaged in telescopes and as it has been photographed traversing the moon, but the object that I observed looked noting like this.
Has anyone else seen anything like this?
((NUFORC Note: Witness provides very nice illustration of what the object looked like in the field of view of his telescope. PD))
((ADDENDUM #1 FROM WITNESS))
Hello Peter --
Thanks for your follow-up email on the report that I submitted this morning. You wrote:
"You do state in your report that the object appeared to be moving from west to east. Am I correct in assuming that your statement implies west to east, as the witness faces the Moon, and not as he is looking at the (reversed) image in the telescope? I think your drawing pretty well answers my question, but I would like to be certain on that point."
Yes, you are correct, moving from west to east across the face of the moon as shown in the diagram. In my reflector's eyepiece view, everything is of course inverted but not mirror reversed, and I corrected for this in the drawing. Always confusing. One of these days, I am going to get a good penta-prism so I can get non mirror-reversed views in my refractor, lol.
Of perhaps more interest, I shared my report with a friend, a retired aerospace engineer [His wife is a retired aerospace engineer, too, lol.] who was able to take the data -- with a few assumptions about a probable earth orbit height -- and perform the following simple calculations:
Hello ((witness name deleted)),
You don't need trig for this one, just algebra.
30km (object)/ 376364km (Earth, Moon Distance - surface to surface) =
X/200 miles. Solving for X, we get .0159 miles which at 5280 ft/mile
gives a size of approximately 84 feet, about right for a large spy
satellite or old booster tank. Likely just more space junk.
PS. You may find this site interesting. http://www.stuffin.space/ Click
on an object to see what it is.
Hummmm. 84 feet is not as large as I thought it might be, but it would seem to "fit" the data pretty well I remain puzzled by the odd symmetrical shape, but perhaps this is the way that some satellites are constructed.
Anyway, thanks again for the follow-up on the report. My feeling is that we have now, most likely, gone from a "UFO" to an earth satellite, albeit of unknown origin, lol.
PS--Yes, you have my permission to post the drawing, and -- if possible -- it might be interesting to post Richard's back of the envelope calculations as well as a postscript, so long as there is no need to specifically identify him.
PPS--I always enjoy hearing your segment on Coast to Coast, and hearing about what other people are seeing in the sky these days. As I have mentioned to you, my only "real" UFO observation was made back when I was a kid -- almost sixty years ago, now. The truly amazing thing is how much data has been gathered about this phenomenon over all of the intervening years, but how little we still seem to know about what it all really "means."
Clear Skies --
((END ADDENDUM #1))
((BEGIN ADDENDUM #2))
Hello Peter --
As for my friend's calculations, you are correct, there was indeed some bootstrapping involved, lol. At my suggestion, he made the assumption, as a starting point, that the object was in low earth orbit at an arbitrarily chosen altitude. Then, he applied the simple geometric calculations that you see to get its approximate size.
Obviously, if the object was not in this type of orbit -- in a higher orbit, or much closer to the lunar surface -- then it becomes much larger, and far more problematic in terms of an explanation. The limiting case would be a huge object -- on par with the diameter of a moderate sized lunar crater -- flying at incredible velocity over the face of the moon. Think Independence Day II, lol.
On the other hand, its [unhappily, not very well] observed transit time can also serve as a geometric limiting factor. That is, if something is seen to cross the entire face of the moon in, say, five seconds, then this (from the application of simple geometry) gives us a strong indication about where -- and how fast -- it must be moving relative to the earth and the moon. In this case, all of the parameters, working backward, seem to "fit" the more mundane explanation that this is some kind of earth satellite, but it still might not be...
Going Down the Rabbit Hole
As I mentioned in my last email, the most interesting / deeply troubling aspect of all of this is that most of us -- you, me, and the Coast listenership -- seem to be struggling to come up with some kind of logical, rational, and more or less coherent and comprehensible "model" of what the UFO phenomenon is all about and what it might actually "mean" in practice. Sadly, this is not the model that "our" government seems to be pursuing -- cf, the contributions of everyone from Richard Dolan to Dr. Steven Greer -- and we never seem to get much closer to a real understanding of what is happening.
As I remember you observing many years ago, such a deliberately orchestrated denial / obfuscation of reality is absolutely toxic to our form of representative government, and this would help to explain everything from the pent-up anger of the public [The Brits seem to have voted to leave the EU yesterday.] to the near total dysfunction of Official Washington. We are, at best, living in a carefully manufactured official reality where very little is what it appears to be, including the sundry aerial phenomena that you record every day, and yet nothing much is "done" about it.
Unlike the more optimistic assessment of Dr. Greer and others, my fear is that we live in a world in which anything like official disclosure (or even a simple confession of ignorance as to the exact nature and purposes of the phenomenon) may never occur, and The Powers That Be will simply do whatever is necessary to make sure that their version of reality "sticks," even though an increasing majority of citizens know better. How our present system of government can survive such a dual reality in which everyone knows that its public officials are lying in their teeth about important things is open to question*, but it took quite a while for the Soviet system to implode, and TPTB now have much better "tools" with which to mold / coerce society**.
*As seems to be taking place in the election of 2016, lol.
** See, for example, Jane Mayer's recent book, Dark Money.
As a number of people in the field of ufology seem to be calling for at this point [Many of these people have appeared on Coast and in other venues.], perhaps the best that we can do is to continue creating a citizen-sourced, distributed network model type of investigation that simply gives up on the idea the gov'mint will ever come clean with the public in this area. Instead, we will, I hope, end up with something like a Wikipedia of UFO-related material that will constitute (for most people, probably) a viable alternative to the manufactured "reality" that the government and / or TPTB continue to shovel in our direction. Then, based on this open, public consensus version of reality, perhaps we can begin to "do" something--whatever this might turn out to be--about our objective situation vis a vis the things that everybody keeps seeing in the sky.
Thanks, as always, for your help with this --
((witness name deleted))
((END ADDENDUM #2))