The latitude and longitude presented here is an approximation to protect the reporters identity
|Object Flight Path||Path with directional change|
Let me begin by saying I am an avid amateur astronomer. I am college educated. I have been "watching the skies" for over 30 years, and have NEVER seen anything I could call a UFO. I have a very solid understanding of the motion of the moon, planets and stars, or should I say, our view of the night sky as the Earth rotates and our view into space changes. I have seen countless satellites, and understand that regardless of their altitude above the earth, when we can see them they are "high" enough that they are simply reflecting the sun's light, making them visible to our location on the planet. I know that when directly overhead they will appear to move in straight lines and that if they remain visible long enough, they can sometimes appear to slowly "bend" their flight path, and that this is simply what we see as they orbit the Earth. A true satellite will NEVER make any noise (how and why would it?) and will simply appear to be an un-blinking, moving "star". I can very easily tell the difference between an airplane, helicopter or satellite. From our location on the far western suburbs of St.Louis, we often see (and hear, as they rapidly decrease speed and lower altitude} airplanes as they line up to land at Lambert Int'l Airport. Flights headed out of Lambert headed to points west are also easily recognizable as they have not yet reached cruising altitude. Of course we also see many flights flying at much higher altitudes as they criss-cross the country. The random helicopter in the area is always accompanied by the tell-tale noise of that type of craft. EVERY commercial plane and helicopter I have ever seen at night has either had blinking lights and/or emitted sound. I have very detailed knowledge of military aircraft and during the day, if flying at a low enough altitude, can easily tell the exact type of nearly anything flying overhead. All that being said, I am by no means any type of "expert" and understand that occasionally there's going to be something overhead that will make me scratch my head. So on to this morning's events and why I felt compelled to share my story; At just after 03:30 I stepped outside to get a glimpse of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. This morning was the peak of this annual April meteor shower, and even though the waning moon and my general location did little to help my viewing, I never miss a meteor shower when my schedule allows it. The radiant of this meteor shower appears to originate from the constellation Lyra(hence the name Lyrid meteor shower) and is easily found by the bright star Vega this time of year. Vega and the rest of Lyra rise in the northeast around 22:00 (10p.m.) so by the time I was outside at just after 03:30 the constellation is nearly directly overhead. I planned on watching for about an hour, and as I just mentioned the radiant of the shower is nearly directly overhead, so to be as comfortable as possible I grabbed a sleeping bag and a few pillows and laid on top of our pop-up camper, parked in our driveway. I had been watching the shower for around 20 minutes (sure of the time because I had just glanced at my cell phone to note how long I had been viewing the shower) This meteor shower was very uneventful. I had only witnessed 2 or 3 very faint meteors in the time I had been watching, but continued to watch in the small hopes I might see a burst in activity or perhaps a fireball meteor. Very small chance at any of that happening, but over the years I've learned to be patient and occasionally, you're rewarded with a nice surprise. Very shortly after checking the time, I witnessed what appeared to be a satellite moving from the northeast to the southwest. My eyes were adjusted to the dark by now and I very quickly picked up the object and immediately identified it. I thought "hmm, well at least there's something to watch" and began to track it. There were no clouds, and besides the light pollution from the moon and my surroundings on the edge of a major metropolitan area (both sources predominantly coming from the east) my view of the "satellite" and its course were clear. Just after breaking 90 degrees (directly overhead) the object made a very abrupt turn to the east for 2 or 3 degrees, then continued on a now due-south course. My thinking now changed from "ho-hum, a satellite" to "what the hell did I just see?!" I was amazed. I have NEVER seen what was clearly an object in space make such a maneuver! (side note-No sound at all- What you would expect from a satellite) The object now continued on its due-south track for a few more degrees across the sky as my mind raced wildly trying to come up with a rational explanation. Little did I know things were about to get very, very strange. At this time I feel the need to preface the rest of what happened by telling you I have 20/20 vision and I was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Seriously. Now the object comes to a complete stop and another, fainter object seems to emerge from it, very rapidly circling the first object. Then both objects disappear and then re-emerge close to their original spot, yet clearly in a new position. Remember there are no clouds, and these objects are still quite high in the sky, very far from the horizon. I know how clouds and/or trees can make an object appear to "dance" or "disappear" and "re-appear". Please remember I've been watching the skies for astronomical reasons for a long time. It gets even stranger and I actually begin to get frightened. I continue to watch, even saw a bright meteor or two in my field of view, but NEVER took my eyes off the "dancing satellites." Now an odd, thin cloud-like mist appears around the objects and I start thinking seriously about heading inside. My mind still racing for a logical explanation. I found the best wording for the mist in describing the event on your site: aura. This weird, aura, cloud-like mist is surrounding these objects as they disappear, re-appear, revolve around one another and dance wildly in the sky, yet only moving a degree or so in the sky. NO CLOUDS anywhere in view. NO LOGICAL EXPLANATION. FLYING. UNIDENTIED. OBJECTS. By the very definition-UFO's. As my heart races and I become seriously concerned, (Seriously? I'm an educated, life-long sky watcher that can identify 90 percent of every star in the sky and I'm afraid? What the hell is going on???!!!) The brighter object appears to absorb the fainter object and both disappear and then bam! the aura-mist disappears and I wonder if my wife has poisoned dinner and it's just now taking effect. I try to watch to see if anything else super-strange happens or if the music from Close Encounters might start up, but decide to call it a night. I tried to grasp what I had just witnessed, my mind and heart having a race to see who is quicker, came inside, Googling like a mad man to see if anyone else had seen the same thing (Twitter? Facebook? anyone???) and decided, for the first time, I had witnessed something truly unexplainable. Period. I have no proof. Nothing. Just my story. Please let me know if I saw swamp gas reflecting the light from not yet risen Venus or a high-altitude weather balloon. Thanks.
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- There have been 19 other sightings in O'Fallon
- There were no other sightings in O'Fallon on or around April 22nd 2014
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