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What did I see in the sky that day?

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posted on May, 28 2010 @ 10:38 AM
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I have been an occasional "bird watcher" for a few years now...first noticed the LEO vehicles seem to be at optimal illumination here in south Louisiana at 400am-430am. Some nights, especially 2-3 years ago when our last was born...she didn't sleep much, so neither did I...I would see 2-3 in a 15-20 minute span...one time 3 in the sky at once. Never did I think them UFOs...the trajectory was too straight...and they looked like moving stars.

To the point...the morning of May 22nd (last Sat) I couldn't sleep as wife and kids left for Disney night before...I took the opportunity to lay a sleeping bag in the bed of my truck, grabbed a pillow and binocs, and drove to a nearby development with decreased lighting and started looking. It was crystal clear and Watson is a very rural area, so you can see alot on nights like that. I saw only one bird at about 4:30 coming from WSW to NNE. very dim. Nothing spectacular.

I was about to close my eyes for a while, disappointed at the lack of activity, when I saw the brightest, largest vehicle I've ever seen. It was nearly 2x the size of Venus this time of year, with an equal increase in illumination. It traveled at the same approximate speed of most birds I see (somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 mph if my math is right) in an almost perfect NW to SE trajectory. I was facing SW/SSW, GPS coord for observation site = Watson, LA: 30.5760°N, 90.9530°W. I have found no info regarding what this could have been...anyone have a program/ know a web site that could offer an ID to this bird? Sorry I can't be more specific on the time,but I know the path is correct and it was somewhere round 445am on 5/22/10.

Any help appreciated.

CDS




posted on May, 28 2010 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by Cole DeSteele
 


The ISS (with the docked space station) was NOT visible in Watson, LA on May 22 -- The ISS and shuttle together could be brighter than Venus, but according to "Heavensabove.com", it could not be the ISS and shuttle (actually, I looked at the data for nearby Baton Rouge, because Watson was not on "Heavens Above" database.)

Perhaps it was a plane with its bright landing light switched on, on approach to Baton Rouge airport, which is less that 15 miles from Watson. A landing light could be that bright (and does not blink) -- I see it all the time that close to an airport. I don't know what runway planes where using at Baton Rouge that morning, but perhaps it was a plane coming in from the NW that was going to swing around and land on runway 22 heading SW, or one swinging around to land on runway 31 heading NW.

If it was a plane, then you can't judge its speed to be 17,000 mph, because you don't know how high it is flying. The ISS or shuttle from 200 miles away is NOT a fair gauge of the speed on an object 10,000 feet off the ground.



[edit on 5/28/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Thanks for replying, but this was NOT an airplane. No noise, no flashing lights, just a bright reflective white light similar to color of other birds I have seen. I thought I made it clear that I am not new to viewing satellites. This vehicle was in orbit, no doubt.

The speed I'm estimating is that at which I've seen other satellites traverse the sky - and when I looked up speed of orbiting satellites, it was estimated at 17,000 mph.

Sorry if that was misleading, but it's not like I calculated the speed on the spot...I have no where near the math skills for that. I didn't even know how high/ elevation of object.

Also, I looked at the bird with binoculars, and it was only a small circular bright white light...lost sunlight reflection shortly passed overhead mark. This thing was waaaayyy to high to be a plane coming into BTR.

I thought it might have been shuttle/ISS docked, but heaven's above negated that idea.

At this point I'm thinking it was the "Secret" Space plane that was officially added on 5/24/10

No data exists for it's flyby prior to that date, but now I have it confirmed it was in space at that time.

Denham Springs is the closest town to Watson, but Watson is in the HA database.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by Cole DeSteele
 

The X-37B is very dim. I doubt that is what you saw.

Maybe ask ngchunter about it.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 5/28/2010 by Phage]



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Cole DeSteele
Denham Springs is the closest town to Watson, but Watson is in the HA database.

Thanks -- I must have missed it in the list of "Watsons".


Thanks for replying, but this was NOT an airplane. No noise, no flashing lights, just a bright reflective white light similar to color of other birds I have seen. I thought I made it clear that I am not new to viewing satellites. This vehicle was in orbit, no doubt.

Planes on approach to an airport can be far enough away to be soundless, but still be VERY bright if the landing light is pointed in your direction.
...and the landing light does not blink and is usually bright enough to obfuscate the blinking nav lights.


The speed I'm estimating is that at which I've seen other satellites traverse the sky - and when I looked up speed of orbiting satellites, it was estimated at 17,000 mph.

Sorry if that was misleading, but it's not like I calculated the speed on the spot...I have no where near the math skills for that. I didn't even know how high/ elevation of object.

You weren't misleading -- I was only trying to pre-empt any reply (perhaps not by you, but by other potential posters) pointing out to me that planes don't fly 17,000 mph



Also, I looked at the bird with binoculars, and it was only a small circular bright white light...lost sunlight reflection shortly passed overhead mark. This thing was waaaayyy to high to be a plane coming into BTR.

Well, if it was overhead (i.e. high in the sky near your "zenith" point) and it lost reflection that high in the sky, then I agree with you that it most likely was NOT a plane.

Perhaps it was an Iridium satellite flare? How long was the object visibly bright?



[edit on 5/28/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 



Yeah, I saw that 2.5 rating on HA.com. It sure wasn't visible last night at scheduled flyby - but conditions weren't that great for viewing, either.

Thanks for the help, Phage.

CDS



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 



I would guess it was visible for a good 20 seconds or so...longer than that actually, cuz I didn't catch it as soon as it was visible. Long enough for me to not characterize it as a flare or transient event. This thing was lit up like a flood light - Not to a level as to be considered supernatural - but on a scale of 1-5, a 4.8-5.0 for sure. Like the brightest star in the sky.

I did see, now that you mention it, a strobe-like minuscule anomaly (I think it was some sort of flare) due west. This thing was sooo tiny and gave the impression of such a great distance...it was not like a plane strobe at all...it almost seemed like my mind playing tricks on me. Time in between flashes varied from 1-2 sec to 5 or so. Only flashed 6-7 times, each time further and further West. ?

I have heard of these iridium flares before...what exactly are they? Not saying that's what I saw, but are they lights on the birds themselves or reflections off of the surface? something else entirely?

ETA: before I leave work (will check thread again tonight) I just want to re-iterate that I really feel this was an orbiting body or satellite, it just kills me cuz I don't know which one it was...and never seen one lit up so bright for so long. This was no plane or meteor - I saw one after this strobe view the same night that stayed lit so long it left a contrail...this has really been driving me nuts!! Thanks to all who lend a hand!

[edit on 28-5-2010 by Cole DeSteele]



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by Cole DeSteele
 


Yes -- they are satellites with very broad and reflective solar panels. When they flare up (i.e. reflect the sun "just right") they can often appear to be 4X brighter than the brightest Venus can get.

I'm not saying that's what you saw -- I'm only answering your specific question.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 02:34 PM
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Probably unrelated as I'm on the west coast of florida, but on the evening of May 22nd I did spot a very bright weather balloon at sunset. By eye it just looked like a very bright satellite, but slower than normal. In the telescope you could clearly see the balloon, tether, and payload swinging underneath. Another possibility that heavens-above does not have orbital data for in its database is IKAROS, which was launched 2 days before. I don't know how much of the sail is deployed if anything at all, but the full deployment isn't supposed to happen for weeks. They say they're "testing" it in the meantime, but that may include some kind of "dry" deployment without use of the ion engine.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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Thanks for that...yeah, this thing was cruising like most satellites do. No changes in trajectory for full visible period.

My rational mind rebels against the idea that I saw a UFO in full context, although literally that is what I have at the moment. This thing made no moves that made me think it could be anything other than a satellite. Not piloted by intelligent beings directly.

I wonder if someone is taking a really close look at the Gulf and BP situation...

Surely there are dozens if not more secret birds up there.

I just think it would be hard to manage traffic if they weren't known to some people in the know. Maybe not. Like a loon, I'll probably camp out tonight tomorrow and Sun since I'm off Monday looking for this thing.


I was hoping someone had a link somewhere that would show past flybys that I could research for that date from my observation locale.

I would probably need Top Secret clearance to see that info for the one I'm looking for I think.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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Oh well, my options at this point boil down to same 3 options I've had since Sunday:

1) It could have been the Upper Atmosphere Research Sat (UARS). The path of travel follows pretty close to what this one did that morning (5/22) as forecasted tonight and day-before yesterday...also, "Satellite Flybys" app for iphone has its magnitude listed as 1.0 (easy to see) - apparently the numeric value is inversely related to brightness level - I ignored this one earlier in the week cuz I thought a rating of 1-2 was pretty dim. It's the opposite.

% chance: 74%

2) It is an untracked (for gen public, anyway) piece of debris that just happened to flash for a while...

% chance: 25%

3) My wife contaminated my stash with '___' before leaving for Orlando. I just thought I was out star-gazing, but was really running down main street in my drawers clucking like a pigeon all night.

% chance: 1% (my stash is pretty darn-well hidden. Besides, if she found it, would have taken it with her)


[edit on 29-5-2010 by Cole DeSteele]



posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by Cole DeSteele

To the point...the morning of May 22nd (last Sat) I couldn't sleep as wife and kids left for Disney night before...I took the opportunity to lay a sleeping bag in the bed of my truck, grabbed a pillow and binocs, and drove to a nearby development with decreased lighting and started looking. It was crystal clear and Watson is a very rural area, so you can see alot on nights like that. I saw only one bird at about 4:30 coming from WSW to NNE. very dim. Nothing spectacular.

I was about to close my eyes for a while, disappointed at the lack of activity, when I saw the brightest, largest vehicle I've ever seen. It was nearly 2x the size of Venus this time of year, with an equal increase in illumination. It traveled at the same approximate speed of most birds I see (somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 mph if my math is right) in an almost perfect NW to SE trajectory. I was facing SW/SSW, GPS coord for observation site = Watson, LA: 30.5760°N, 90.9530°W. I have found no info regarding what this could have been...anyone have a program/ know a web site that could offer an ID to this bird? Sorry I can't be more specific on the time,but I know the path is correct and it was somewhere round 445am on 5/22/10.

Any help appreciated.

CDS

---
From 4:35 - 4:56 AM you had two 2.9 magnitude satellites & at 3:23 AM there was a -2.0 magnitude Iridium flare at 14 degrees off your SE horizon. That's all I can come up with, but it's possible you caught a flare off of some other satellite, just because you were in the line of sight.

jlmB70



posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by jlmB70
 


Wow...wish I had seen this post earlier!

If you ever notice this reply, drop me a link to your source...I bet that 2.9 flare is exactly what I saw, question is what was it/ which bird?

I've since conceded that it was a rocket body of some sort...HA.com updated their DB shortly after this thread was created...but this flare was so profound it must have been a bird with a serious array. To this day, I've seen dozens of birds up there, especially recently, now that the humidity is so reduced round here and makes the skies crystal clear early in the am....but no flash that came near as bright or duration as that sucker was.

Thanks




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