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B New here, Really weird sight in sky, Explanations?

  1. Jul 29, 2016 #1
    Hey, I'm new here, and I really need an explanation for this. It's been driving me up the walls! Also, it looks like this got posted in a different area then I tried to put it. Tried putting it in astrology thinking it might have something to do with a space phenomenon. I would delete this and try to post again, but it seems like I'm not allowed to.

    Okay, so I know the most common things that could cause strange looking lights in the sky. Airplanes. Satellites. Something hitting earth’s atmosphere. All that stuff. Two nights ago, however, I saw something that didn’t fit any of the descriptions used to explain most seemingly strange sightings. The dot was red and pulsing, so originally I thought “Oh, airplane or satellite!”, but as I watched it didn’t act like either of these. It wasn’t moving slowly in a path. Actually, it was still for a little bit, but then it started moving upward, then it would move to the side, then the other side, and just kinda drift in different directions, but it seemed to stay around this one star. And it drifted enough for me to be sure it wasn't a trick of my eyes, as it passed over the star and back once or twice. Lasted maybe seven minutes? I looked it up and apparently there was supposed to be some stuff going on that night. A planet being visible or something. Meteors. This wasn’t any planet or meteor. Next thought was “Maybe it’s an experimental aircraft?”, but why would they be testing something at 10 PM in a highly populated area?

    I tried telling my family, and after not being able to think of anything, they said “maybe you were hallucinating”. I’ve never touched drugs or alcohol. I was wide awake. While I was out, I tried multiple tricks to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Looking away a few times before looking back. Covering one eye. Still there.

    Also, two airplanes passed by shortly after the object flew off, both coming from the same direction over my house and towards where I saw the light. Watching them only confirmed it wasn’t a plane. Wasn’t a chopper either, because that was the other possibility. It wasn’t any rare, natural phenomenon. I looked into those too. Sprites and Elves don’t fit. All the others would be a wrong color or depend on conditions that weren’t there. I don’t want to be that person that shouts, “UFO GUYS!”. I just want to have an explanation, and I can’t find zip. Has anyone else seen something like it? Anyone have a reasonable explanation that doesn’t make me sound crazy? I didn’t have my phone with me, and I was afraid to run back inside in case it disappeared. Even if I did have it, the camera is so bad, I doubt it would pick it up.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2016 #2
    There isn't enough information here for a reader to give anything except a wild guess. If you had a photo or video, maybe we would have something to go on.

    Red blinking lights are commonly used in radio towers and airplanes.
  4. Jul 29, 2016 #3
    That's why I crossed things out It can't be a radio tower because

    A) It was moving.

    B) There's never been a tower there.

    C) It was moving. Radio towers don't move.

    It can't be an airplane for reasons listed above. Airplanes don't move like this. Maybe you can't pinpoint exacts, but a list of possibilities shouldn't be hard because I already narrowed down what it isn't and provided some clue descriptors. If I had a video I'd upload it within a millisecond. I don't like not knowing, so I certainly wouldn't be withholding any information that might explain this in a way that didn't make me sound like a nutjob. I believe aliens are out there, too many planets to say life doesn't exist other places, but I don't want to be shouting UFO. Just a list. Something to research into.
  5. Jul 29, 2016 #4


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    If you put this in an astrology forum, you'd get very different answers than "space phenomenon"!thinking it might have something to do with a space phenomenon. I would delete this and try to post again, but it seems like I'm not allowed to.

    Well, you are dealing with a UFO! UFO just means "unidentified flying object", which is exactly what you're dealing with!

    What about a weather balloon? :biggrin:
  6. Jul 29, 2016 #5


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    Your post's vague, but, of course, there's a logical explanation. One night, we saw something in the sky, too. Turned out to be a naval missile test :(

    Is it legal to fly drones where you live?
  7. Jul 29, 2016 #6
    Weather balloons wouldn't move like that either. Not that I know of. Oh, I forgot to mention how it flew off. Maybe that could add to it? While it seemed to be moving slow, it seemed to be faster as it left. It wasn't extremely fast, but faster than a balloon or something. I don't think I could say too much in estimation though, because I can't tell exactly how high it was. I do think it was higher than the planes I saw coming through, but again, I don't want to just guess. I think it was pretty high though. I couldn't make out a shape, just like it was a dot of red light, about the size of my pinky nail when held up. Does any of that help?

    Is there another way to describe it to be less vague, guys? Because I can't think of anything. And I'm not sure about the drones. I could probably look up some videos though and see if it matches it in any way. Certainly not a missile.
  8. Jul 29, 2016 #7


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    Were you out in the open or in a car or house?
    The reason for my question is that it is easy to get reflections in windows from a light source behind you which appear to be in front - a Pepper's Ghost effect. Such virtual images can appear to be doing all sorts of strange things and can apparently move at apparently impossible speeds.
    You have to do the Sherlock Holmes thing here and eliminate all the possibles. Only when you have eliminated all the possibles and rational possible causes should you reach for the magical, supernatural or alien explanation.
    I saw the ISS last night and it was unbelievably bright and tearing across the sky. I checked what I saw against the timetable for the ISS passovers and it fitted in. It was so much brighter than a 'normal' satellite and I could have looked for a whacky explanation but it was nothing more than a few guys in a big box in low Earth orbit. Impressive, nonetheless.
    Unidentified, 'apparently' flying object.
  9. Jul 29, 2016 #8


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    That's not necessarily true. It is extremely difficult, often impossible, to accurately tell whether an object is an aircraft or not at night. You don't know how far away the plane may be and you don't know its velocity, heading, or altitude. What appears to be a stationary, hovering light may be an illusion caused by the aircraft flying almost directly towards or away from you. Small civilian aircraft or military fighters can have a surprisingly small turning radius, which may look like a light that suddenly reverses direction.

    This inability to accurately judge what a light (or lights) may be is a well known phenomenon and has led to numerous sightings of UFO's that turn out to be misidentifications or hoaxes, such as this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morristown_UFO_hoax

    Another possibility is that it was a drone. Drone use has risen drastically in the last few years, and it may be difficult to tell when a light in the sky may be a drone. Small drones make little noise, can usually hover, and can suddenly change directions, all of which can look very odd at night when you're just looking at a light. The unfamiliarity people have with the capabilities of drones compared to large aircraft may lead to misidentifications as UFO's.
  10. Jul 29, 2016 #9


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    It's possible for atmospheric conditions to bend light so that objects on the ground appear in the sky. Bit like an inverse mirage.

    As the atmosphere moves or changes it can make stationary lights on the ground appear as moving lights in the sky.
  11. Jul 29, 2016 #10
    I actually saw the lights from the whole town of Calgary upside-down in the early morning winter sky once on my way to work. There was a weather inversion where a warm ridge was coming over the Rockies (I was coming from the east) and the whole town of Calgary was reflected off the interface between the two air masses. These are called Chinooks and will change the temperature in a period of a few hours from 30 or 40 degrees below zero (C or F) to well above freezing. It was the first one I had ever seen at night. Normally I would not have been able to see Calgary yet because I was still app. 20 km away. Probably the coolest thing I ever saw.
  12. Jul 29, 2016 #11
    Keep a camera handy..then, contact Tyler from secureteam. He specializes in this type of thing
  13. Jul 30, 2016 #12


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    If the flashing light was regular then pretty much guaranteed to be an aircraft, perhaps with it's position distorted/changing due to atmospheric conditions. If it wasn't regular then a Chinese lantern is another possibility.
  14. Jul 30, 2016 #13


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    I felt such a plonker, once. I saw this 'fireball' moving fast across the sky and decided it was massive and a long way away. Very impressive until I sussed out it was a single candle power and being blown by a light breeze only a couple of hundred metres away. It was the reverse of the 'Jumbo Jet" effect where the plane looks like it's doing about 60 kph and held up with sky hooks. Don't trust your eyes alone - ever.
  15. Jul 30, 2016 #14
    I'm with Drakkith on this one, it sounds very much like a drone, in fact I've seen almost exactly the same thing, and I too was quite puzzled by it, luckily I had a telescope handy :)
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