Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Had a double sighting last week

  1. Aug 8, 2009 #1
    I was sitting on the shore at the mouth of the Thames in CT 2 nights ago at about 9PM, after dark. I noticed an orange light coming in from the south directly towards the mouth of the river. I would guess it was somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand ft altitude (I judged that from the height above the horizon when they were almost gone in the distance). There was only one light, it was orange and it wasn't a point source like a plane light. It looked like a light in fog, bloomed out to a large circle. There was no fog, the skies were crystal clear, there was a full moon. The light came straight in and then turn east or north east and disappeared in the distance. It didn't do anything strange and there was no noise. After it had dwindled in the distance and disappeared another one came in exactly like the first and followed the exact same path at the same altitude. They were identical in every respect. I would say they were going slightly faster than a small plane, somewhere between 100 and 200mph. The light looked exactly the same coming and going too. There was no sign of any other light sources on them, no red lights, no flashing lights. The light obscured everything, I could see nothing of a shape or craft.

    Shortly after the second one disappeared a small plane flew over and I could hear the engine clearly, it had a flashing white light and a couple of other lights, red, green. They were point sources, nothing like the light on the UFO's (I use that term in its strict sense, not a flying saucer).

    I have never seen a plane with a single orange light. I have never seen a plane light that was bloomed like this either unless there was fog. It was also strange that the light or glow was exactly the same coming and going, most lights are directional and change. They weren't helicopters because I would have heard some noise and they were faster.

    There was no report in the paper about it. I am not about to say I saw flying saucers but it was strange. Does anyone know of any kind of plane that uses a single orange unidirectional light? I googled this and there seem to be several sightings of a similar nature this year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2009 #2

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tNHscNxn_U

    ???
     
  4. Aug 9, 2009 #3

    ideasrule

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I absolutely love that video. It's not just the sight of countless balloons covering the sky; the music also fits very well with the mood, and seeing so many people gathered for a celebration brings a sense of...envy.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2009 #4
    Yeah I saw that and read about them. They don't travel at 100mph+ at the same altitude for miles on a windless night, let alone 2 separate ones following exactly the same course with an abrupt change in direction in the same place. If this wasn't a craft it has a much stranger explanation than a chinese lantern.

    I forgot to put in something relating their speed so I edited the original post. I sent an inquiry to the FAA about orange lights on aircraft but I don't expect a sensible reply from them. I also reported this to MUFON which I never thought I would ever see anything worth doing that.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2009 #5
    f35_afterburner.jpg

    BelgianF16Afterburner.jpg
     
  7. Aug 9, 2009 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I see nothing suggesting that you had a way to judge altitude or speed [that is often a problem if there are no definitive references]. Also, how do you know there was no wind at altitude? If they were truly at 10-20K feet, then there was almost certainly wind; and very possibly a 100 mph wind. And yes, two balloons would follow approximately the same path if they have the same point of origin and are moving in the same wind conditions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  8. Aug 9, 2009 #7

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    ...and they could also abruptly change direction and speed if they crossed into a different wind layer.
     
  9. Aug 9, 2009 #8

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    For a second there, I thought each flying thingy had fireworks in it!!! That would have been SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET. Disappointed yet again.
     
  10. Aug 10, 2009 #9

    JaredJames

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I saw them, I live in Kingston Upon Thames, there were a lot more than two. I took a casual stroll down my local shop (it was quite late at the time) and saw them come up over the top of me in groups of two or three, fly over me completely silently and then just disappear (fade away). They were arking in trajectory (I'm gonna try my best to explain this), each time three would pass together, their heading would be a few degrees more south in direction (so starting roughly east, then each three would be, say, 5 degrees more south so , 90 degrees, 95 degrees, 100 degrees and so on...

    I believe they were some sort of flare, they were completely silent, appeared to be fired from a fixed location (around the M25), hence the sweeping motion of each group, and then they just vanish after passing overhead (I mean literally disappear, there were no clouds and they never went far enough past me to be affected by the horizon curve).

    None of them changed direction. As I said above, there would be three together, they would fly silently over head and then just vanish. As a flare would although they werent particularly bright. Then the next lot would do the same except they would fly on a trajectory a few degrees off the last group. Nothing alien/paranormal there. They were clearly launched given I could see the variation in flightpath.

    I'll be honest, initially I thought some plane had crashed and had forgotten they were in London. I think it was just a bunch of kids with a flare gun most probably.
     
  11. Aug 10, 2009 #10
    Jungle beast, you can only see orange coming out of a jet exhaust when it is in afterburn and the tail is pointed towards you, you don't see it when the jet is moving towards you. Afterburn makes an ungodly loud sound. I was in the air force. Also afterburn brings a plane to maximum speed, that's called acceleration and it is very noticeable.

    I judged the altitude by its angle over the horizon when it was almost out of sight. If 90 degrees is straight up and horizontal zero, it was about 30 degrees. So it was either about at the altitude I think it was or it was 100's of feet in diameter, which do you think more likely? It was way lower than commercial aircraft usually are. If this light was at the height and speed of a commercial jet it would have to have been 300 to 400 feet in diameter and going at half their speed. If it was at the altituude I think it was it was going way too fast for a chinese lantern which couldn't go more than 20 or 30 mph. If it was lower than I think I would have lost sight of it quickly. Both changed direction from north to east ABRUPTLY in exactly the same place. I have a pilots license by the way, I am not a totally uninformed observer. I think I have enough experience to report what I saw accurately and correctly.

    Also, I was on the shore. There was a land breeze at that time of night like there always is, which blows out to sea. If they were chinese lanterns they were going against the wind.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  12. Aug 10, 2009 #11

    cristo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    You guys are talking about completely different things. The OP is talking about something seen near the Thames, Connecticut whereas jared is talking about the Thames, London (England)!
     
  13. Aug 10, 2009 #12

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ok....

    You may be right, but as an astronomer, note that *I* tend to overestimate the altitude and size of objects low to the horizon. And that's a very common error, well documented when it comes to viewing the moon, for example.
    That doesn't compute. It could have been both much closer to you and much smaller than you thought.

    ....and how exactly did you measure the angular diameter...?
    Still sounds to me like it could have been chinese lanterns, much lower and closer to you than you thought.
    No offense, but pilots often make really poor sighting reports. It is disappointing, really, how common it is to see bad sighting reports from pilots. My favorite is a cluster of oil rigs misidentified by Mexican air force pilots and considered by many "UFO" hunters to be a credible report of alien spacecraft.
    ....and reverses at a certain altitude. That seems to me to be a common denominator with sightings of this type: kids launch the chinese lanterns from the beach, thinking the wind will carry them safely out to sea, only to find them reversing direction when they get up a few hundred (thousand?) feet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  14. Aug 10, 2009 #13
    I think it was going way too fast for a chinese lantern. But if it was it was a lot lower than I think and I would have seen some detail, I didn't. The light was bloomed circular like in fog and the air was absolutely clear as evidenced by a small prop job that flew by later. I have seen the pictures of lanterns and it didn't look like that, the only resemblance is the color and lack of sound. The light did not look normal. There was no wind that I can remember either, I mentioned the land breeze just to say if there was any it would have blown the other way.

    I'm no fool and I could be wrong but I would bet money that it wasn't a lantern. I would also bet money that if you had seen them you wouldn't think it was either.
     
  15. Aug 10, 2009 #14

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Due to the inability of our eyes to adjust to such wide varyations in brightness, there is often no detail to be seen in bright objects at night. Besides which, there isn't much detail to see on Chinese lanterns anyway. Though there would be a perceptible physical size from a few hundred to a few thousand feet away, there wouldn't be much to see.
    That's all fine, but it isn't helpful in trying to identify what you saw. We can only apply our own logic and experience to the facts of your observation (sifting-out the interpretations).

    One thing you mentioned was speed, which as we have pointed out is an interpretation: so pealing that back to just an observation, how long did these objects take to traverse your field of view?
     
  16. Aug 10, 2009 #15

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  17. Aug 11, 2009 #16
    It only took them about 6 minutes from first seeing it out over the ocean as barely visible coming to barely visible going. Since they disappeared across the river I had a clear view of them until they dwindled in the distance, at no time was there a difference in altitude, the angle above the horizon was the same when I first saw them as when I last saw them. I think they were going much too fast for a lantern even in a good wind. They appeared to be traveling at or a little more than the speed of a small prop job. At their closest I would estimate the size at being my small finger nail at arms length. At that size I would think I could tell if it was a lantern. I would be amazed if the wind would account for the flight path even if it was 60mph and it wasn't even close to that.
     
  18. Aug 11, 2009 #17

    ideasrule

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    What would you say their angular speed was when they were close to 90 degrees? For comparison, the Sun and Moon are about 0.5 degrees across; your thumb, held out at arm's length, is 1 degree; your first, held out at arm's length, is 10 degrees.
     
  19. Aug 12, 2009 #18
    I saw the same thing twice , but it was green . It was moving really fast in all kinds of directions.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Had a double sighting last week
  1. Mentat Sighting (Replies: 10)

  2. No end in sight! (Replies: 11)

Loading...