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Sighting Reports 2008

Retired Police Officer Startled by Bright Object

Date of Sighting: October 16, 2008
Time of Sighting: 9 PM EDT
Date Sighting Reported: October 17, 2008
Duration of Sighting: 7 to 8 Seconds
Location of Sighting: Bradenton, Florida (West Coast of Florida About 20 MI S. of Tampa)
Latitude: 27.49 Degrees North
Longitude: 82.58 Degrees West
Number of Witnesses: One
Weather: Witness Stated That Skies Were Clear.

Description: The witness reported his sighting via telephone. He stated that he was outside and noticed a very bright light moving rapidly eastward. The light "illuminated" to a very bright level and then disappeared. The light was very high in the sky. The witness stated that he became very startled by this sudden disappearance and couldn't sleep well that night. He also said that he was a disabled police officer. The light had no trail, made no sound, and was not similar in appearance to a satellite.

Comments: I had a lengthy discussion with the witness and he seemed sincere, made accurate detailed observations, and was quite concerned about what he witnessed. I have no reason to doubt his story. Given the details I have no explanation for this sighting.

Update October 19, 2008: One commenter who read this report thought that the witness could have observed an Iridium Flare satellite. A visit to indicated that Iridium Flare 3 flashed with a magnitude of -2 at 8:39:54 EDT on October 16 over Bradenton. Therefore an Iridium Flare would be a viable explanation if the witness was wrong in his sighting time. However, the witness confirmed the sighting time in my conversation with him.