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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/31/1999 19:30 (Entered as : 12/31/99 19:30(?))
Reported: 12/31/1999 21:42
Posted: 1/7/2000
Location: Florissant (St. Louis), MO
Shape: Unknown
Duration: 2-5 minutes
Characteristics: There was an aura or haze around the object
Origin in vicinity of Orion. Orange glow, fairly bright. Definitely no blinkers. Moved slowly, about east to west. Several observers. several minutes. Also viewed through binoculars.

While doing some amateur astronomy, I was aiming my telescope at the Orion nebula, while a companion visually observed the object (without the scope) originating from about the same area in the sky. It moved VERY slowly. For about the first thirty seconds as it approached, we looked for airplane blinkers, and the object definitley passed "close" enough to see some sort of shape with absolutely no blinkers. Then I tried to get the object sighted in my finder scope but could not (that was for probably another 30 seconds). Then four other observers wandered out into the backyard and they watched, while I ran back inside to fetch my binoculars. It took about another 45 seconds for me to get back. I quickly found the object in my binoculars and watched for about another minute or two. I tried to be conservative in my time estimates -- several other observers think it took much longer on the order of 4-6 minutes. There was no sound at all. The object was glowing a fairly bright orange. It moved entirely in a straight line, with no apparent trail. It was also fairly large visually, about as large as an airplane looks when passing overhead still in ascent (we are very near Lambert Airport). The object generally went east to west, at about 45 degrees from us when it passed the closest. Although I had the binoculars and noted that there was some apparent shape, I could not steady the view enough to determine the shape. Another observer with keen eyesight described it as a "flattened egg" or oval. The time of 19:30 CST is a very rough estimate, as none of us thought to check our watches at the time. It was definitely well before 20:15 CST. The object did not originate anywhere at all near where there is supposed to be some meteor activity. My first guess would be a sattelite reentry. I am 33 years old, and I am a new amateur astronomer. I do not believe in extra-terrestrials, but this was a bizarre event nonetheless, confirmed by several observers. Four of the other observers were in their 30's & 40's, both male and female, and there was a 6 yr. old boy who also watched. As I said, the more I think about it, the more likely it becomes that it was a reentering sattelite in my opinion. Nobody was "under the influence" -- there was no alcohol at our gathering.