|Occurred : 10/2/2017 20:05 (Entered as : 10/02/2017 20:05)
Reported: 10/2/2017 7:18:27 PM 19:18
Location: Lawrenceburg, KY
|Myself and three other adults observed five orange colored orbs over a ten minutes period of time.
On the evening of Monday, October 2nd, at approximately 20:05 (8:05 pm) Eastern Time, I was in the yard putting up some tools. I had been doing yard work until sunset and as the light was fading, I was putting away the last items and enjoying the near full moon. The international space station was going to make an observable pass at 8:14 in the northwest, and I wanted to have everything put up and be in position to take advantage of the overflight.
I saw the first ‘orb’ in the south east, just under the moon at about 10 degrees above the horizon. (Just over the roof tops and about level with the star ‘I PSA’ (the upper right star in the constellation Pisces). The weather was clear without any clouds in the sky. The orb appeared to be orange in color and was moving at a diagonal to the usual air traffic. Because of this, I grabbed a pair of binoculars and saw that it was not a plane, but a solid ball of orange light.
At that point, I ran inside and called for my girlfriend to come see and then ran back outside and over to the neighbors (husband and wife) that were sitting on their front porch. There was just enough light from the setting sun and the near full moon to see the ground while I ran.
At this point the first orb had crossed into the south east and faded out of view. The second was almost due south and about 1/4 the size of the nearby moon. By this time I could see in the binoculars that this was not a Chinese lantern, their was never any flickering (like from a candle) in any of the five orbs observed, rather, the light remained constant during the observational period. The orbs were circular and a solid shade of glowing orange.
The second orb passed to from south east to west, almost overhead of us, then changed course and headed upward, into (what appeared to be) the atmosphere, fading out of sight. The path the first three orbs took lasted about a minute to transit from southeast toward the west, this second orb shot off in a sort of southerly angle going up into the sky before disappearing.
I was using my phone to verify that there were no satellites in the area as I have an app to identify stars, planets, and satellites. Oddly, I did not think to take a picture with the phone until someone suggested it. However, the camera (for the first time since I bought the phone 10 months ago) did not work very well and ‘refused’ to take video, it only allowed one picture which is of limited quality. The other adults present had difficulty getting their cameras to work also, although they were able to eventually have some success.
The third orb appeared in the distance, just over the houses in the same area as the first two (Southeast). From my point of view this was just ‘left’ of the moon and geographically would be (approximately) in the direction of Versailles, Kentucky. The third orb followed the same path as the first two and drifted behind some trees before disappearing. Being that the fourth orb was approaching, we focused on it rather than trying to change locations to reacquire the third orb. Again, the third matched the description of the previous two orbs.
The fourth orb appeared to change direction to travel west, south-west, it then performed a quick circular maneuver and resumed heading south and away and out of sight behind trees. The fifth orb appeared to dance in the starting location moving around in circles and up and down (similar to watching a child jumping up and down on a trampoline). This fifth and final orb faded from view kind of like ’winking out’ the ways the way stars do in the morning when the sun is rising.
Distance is difficult to judge in the fading sunlight and with a target that is of unknown size. I will estimate that the orbs starting point was approximately ten miles away and that at their closest point (of the first three orbs) that they were between a 1/2 mile and 1 mile away. Based on these assumptions, I would suggest that their ‘cruising speed’ was approximately 480 mph. However, when the second orb accelerated into the atmosphere is appeared to streak out of sight within a second.
As an amateur astronomer of 40 years, and as a disabled veteran (4 years US Navy, 9 years US Army) that served on the aircraft carrier Midway (CV-41) I am very familiar with terrestrial aircraft, satellites, and other celestial bodies. Further, I have experimented with Chinese lanterns and am familiar with how they look and act in the night sky. Finally, as a trained weather spotter, I stay abreast of local weather conditions. The wind was out of the south at 2 mph. Although the wind direction roughly correlates to the direction of the first three orbs (they were moving in a north westerly direction) the 2mph wind would not allow lanterns to fly at anywhere near the speeds observed!