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Welcome to ATS and what an excellent first post, we need more contributions like this on ATS, so thank you!
Originally posted by PMNUtah
Putting the sighting in the context of history, past testimonies, and triangulating the interviews to find the commonalities between eyewitness versions allows us to come to a better understanding of what was seen. If I talk with two people who report seeing an object, with one of the witnesses saying it was off to the south and the other witness saying it was overhead I can use a map to determine distance but altitude and speed require knowing how big the object is.
24dec2011 Gerjan krul Nieuwleusen, netherlands 17:25 gmt+ 1 30 Right to left Yellow Brighter theb venus Last 5 seconds there were parts falling off. I was walking the dog when i looked in the sky, I thought it was a plane, but there were no blinking lights. I could watch it for 30 secs. It was bright yellow with a long tale. At last it fell a part and it vanished. My firts thought: WTF?!
24DEC2011 Jutta Muehlsteff DRENSTEINFURT near MUENSTER, GERMANY 17:27/ CET 20 - 30 sec from right to left, W-E nothing heard, saw a huge burning object, first thought that it was something like an airplane crashing down/the object was orange and yellow, so actually looking like fire nearly as bright as the sun no fragments it seemed very close to earth and had an increasing speed
24dec2011 Hermann Meurer Hodeng Au Bosc 17.30 CET 45 sec SE - NW Bright clear Light Sun tail of burning fragments Low tractory - almost like airplane but to fast.
24DEC2011 Achim Maier Lutzerath, Eifel, Germany approx. 17:25 1 Minute From West to East bright yellow-white, flamelike tail. The travelling path could be seen over a long time and distance. At the end it disintegrated completly. Moonlike Brightness Loads of parts breaking away. Incredible sight. Where 3 eye-whitnessses who never saw something like this before. First thought of a plane crashing.
24DEC2011 Katherine Baumholder, Germany 1730 45 seconds Right to Left Fire Ball looking with a really long tail Sun Looked like sparklers falling off It was very big. The way I could best describe it is as a "shooting star" but very large and very slow. If a shooting star was extremely close to earth, I imagine this is what it would look like. At first we were scared, we didn't know if it was a plane on fire and decending. We watched it for about 45 seconds then it passed behind our building.
24/12/2011 massimo Como, Italy 17:30:00 30-40 SECONDS W-E long yellow/orange tail. body brighter. No sound very bright long tail of fragments never seen something similar; I even thought it was a plane in flames. It seemed very close.
24DEC2011 Julien Mainz, Germany 1730 UTC+1 over 30 sec WSW-ESE yellow, white / no sound heard Very bright (as the moon) yes Never seen that before, very bright and big, a vapor trail behind was visible, it disappeared behind buildings. For a shooting star it was very big and slow but for an aircraft it was way too fast!
24.12.2011 Diego&Juanita Moenchengladbach-rheydt, Germanz 17:30:00 around 30 seconds direction east. no sound, wide and long bright yellow comet shaped brighter than Venus no parts falling of, but a wide stripe Looked as it was not flying too high, it seemed more as an airplane in flames from our point of view
24DEZ2011 Frank Grajetzky 59174 Kamen Germany ~17:30? 10-20sec SW/SE light rumble full moon yes, 4-5 It went from SW over S to SE Before moving out of view it fell apart. Somehow I had the impression that it was quite near and round about 30° above horizon.
24Dec2011 Sharma Luxembourg ville, Luxembourg 17:30 hrs CET 10 sec West to East white and yellow head with tail Very bright no parts falling...disappeared after following an arc path it was very bright and was not sure what it was. 4 of us saw if from terrace
24.12.2011 Marko Fuchs Breitingen (near Ulm) South Germany, in between Stuttgart and Munich. approx 17:30 15 sec at least left-right / west-east Bright white, approx size in the sky of a fighter jet but about 20-30% faster I would say. No sound. Looked very close, saw it cover the whole sky, before it disappeared behind a low hill facing far west. As it disappeared it was starting to break up into fragments. Far east above cloud level, far east I would say below. Bright white Yes, as I faced east. A breathtaking sight!
24.12.2011 Gerhard Neinert 61381 Friedrichsdorf Germany 17:30 GMT+1 30sec started at SE Declination 70° going east no sound - white and red like the moon behind some clouds - not too bright but still eye-catching seemed to be hundreds of parts arround it - many sparks fireball with a lot of "sparks" arround and in its tail - visible for about 30seconds - turned dark red and vanished about 15° above the horizon (behind the clouds?) I'm still wondering why I could see this because at the time the sky was cloudy - was it beneath the clouds? ... or was it so bright that it shone through the clouds?