This respected international website has often discussed satellite reentries, see satobs.org... and especially the November 5, 199o northern France ‘UFO fleet’ [www.ufonet.nl...].
Old Unknown Identified as a Re-entry
From: Ted Molczan (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Apr 30 2012 - 02:24:47 UTC
The estimated time of decay of 1996-069B / 24671 is strongly consistent with the time and location of the Yukon sightings of 1996 Dec 12 UTC, as well as the observed trajectory and visual appearance, after allowing for fading of memory with time, and the misperception that frequently attends this type of phenomenon.
Experienced sky watchers on SeeSat-L may find it difficult to believe that anyone could misidentify a re-entry as a spaceship, but human perception is notoriously fallible, and no one is immune. Much depends on the circumstances and personal experience. Driving through the wilderness under a pitch black sky, and suddenly faced with a slowly moving formation of brilliant lights can be awe-inspiring and even terrifying. The human mind races to make sense of the unfamiliar, drawing on experience that may be inadequate. Depth perception can play tricks, such that something 200 km away, 100 km long, and moving at 7 km/s, seems to be just 200 m away, 100 m long, and moving 7 km/h - the angular velocity is roughly the same.