|Occurred : 11/7/2016 22:00 (Entered as : 11/7/2016 2200)
Reported: 11/8/2016 12:12:22 AM 00:12
Location: Bethlehem, GA
|Odd light made quick u-turn and hovered.
Odd sighting on the night of November 7, 2016. Time about 2200 local, 0300Z.
Viewer location: Bethlehem, GA, about 45 miles NE of Atlanta GA.
Observation time: minute or less.
Bright, moving light in the NE sky makes short u-turn, erratic motion, then lost from sight.
Looking up at the night sky to the NE towards Auriga, I noticed a bright object moving to the Northeast. We have a tremendous amount of traffic in the North Georgia skies, and I watch it a lot. First impressions were “Is that the ISS?”, but at that location it may have been in the shadow by then. It was farther East than I thought I should still be able to see it because of the Earth’s shadow, and I could not be sure whether or not it was blinking, but the light was not steady. Might have been twinkling if it was far enough away. The velocity looked just a little fast for the ISS. There was no separation in the light and any flashing that may have been there, as in Wing lights. Distance looked to be many miles.
Over abut a 10 second period, it slowed down a little and changed course slightly to the East. Then, in period of 3 to 4 second, made a 180 degree U-turn in the space of 1, not more than 2 finger widths held at arm’s length. It continued towards the SW, and made 2 or 3 small deviations in path, sped up and slowed down a lot, and came to what looked like a stop. It was too far away and/or too high to be a helicopter I thought, and there was no sound as it appeared to be hovering from my perspective. The brightness was about that of Capella, the bright star in Auriga. Motion then resumed but slower. I am not sure of the position of the object to the nearby stars at that point. I called for my wife to come look, and lost track of it for about 10 seconds. I thought it was there, but when I looked back to where I thought it was, the only thing like it was Capella.
This was definitely moving in a very odd pattern for an airplane, and at that distance had to be moving pretty fast. The quick, tight U-turn and erratic motions were not like a passenger airplane would make. I think it was too high for a helicopter, and far enough away to not be audible.
I continued to watch for several more minutes, but realized it had disappeared or faded out, and the only thing of comparable magnitude was Capella..
The strange thing was this was able to do a U-turn very quickly - within 3 seconds I'd guess, and it seemed to make changes in direction without the usual "curved" trajectory. It also stopped moving. It appeared to be rather far away. My son said "It could be a drone", but at 2200, and by the distance, it appeared to be with no noise I doubt it was.