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Sighting Reports 2008

White Ball or Circular Shaped Object Moves Slowly NW in Daytime Sky

Photo and Enlargement Taken by Witness.
Photo and Enlargement Taken by Witness.
(This is Not an "Awful" Photo as Originally Stated by Witness.)

Date of Sighting: December 6, 2008
Time of Sighting: 2:57 PM PST
Date Sighting Reported: December 6, 2008
Duration of Sighting: 15 to 20 Minutes
Location of Sighting: Rialto, California (48 MI ENE of Los Angeles)
Latitude: 34.13 Degrees North
Longitude: 117.38 Degrees West
Number of Witnesses: One
Weather: Scattered Clouds (Partly Cloudy Skies) Were Measured at 18,000 Feet. Broken Clouds (Mostly Cloudy Skies) Were Measured at 25,000 Feet. Visibility Was 10 Miles. Winds Were From the West at 6 MPH.

Description: I have submitted this to NUFORC as well, but after seeing a report from Colton, CA. regarding an event on December 6 2008, I thought this might be related. Basically, Saturday afternoon (3 PM approximately?) I looked straight up and saw (to the naked eye) a white ball or circular shape that was moving very slowly to the northwest. I snapped an awful picture of it which, strangely, shows what appears to be 4 orange luminous (or reflective, the sun is still shining at this time) round objects so tightly packed together that they looked like one object. Sorry, but I haven't had the time to post the awful picture. It is not going to help anything anyway. If you really want to see the photo, then email me and I will post it tonight or tomorrow. I watched it for 15 minutes as it moved from directly overhead to about 45 degrees. The object then faded away in the atmospheric haze and wispily clouds that were coming in very quickly from the northwest (moving in the opposite direction of the object). I don't know enough about meteorology to say whether the object was moving against the wind or not. Perhaps it could have been some balloons being carried by a stream of air that was above the stream carrying the clouds and moving in the opposite direction.

Additional Information Supplied by Witness: I was looking at the "awful photo" I snapped of the object and thought that maybe it's not so useless after all. Therefore I have included it in this update.

In response to the question of wind direction: I also checked with the various weather records and I understand that they say that the wind was moving north and it may be true at a certain altitude, but here are my exact observations from this event:

When I first saw the object it appeared as a white dot. (My vision is not perfect, but the DMV says I don't need glasses yet.) It was directly overhead against a blue sky. Within 15 to 20 minutes it traveled from that point (zenith) to about 45 degrees from zenith in a north-northwest direction where it got too difficult to keep in sight.

During this 15 or 20 minute time period wispy clouds quickly moved in FROM the West (West-northwest) and heavily spotted the sky making it pointless for me to go to get binoculars and continue searching.

So the weather service information would appear to be either flawed or beyond my ability to comprehend. My eyes saw what they saw. My memory is not bad and I can tell you that, having lived here my whole life, the wind we get is called "the Santa Ana Winds" and we all hate it. Usually it comes from the north, but I cannot remember ever having winds blowing northwest (from the southeast) or anything even close to that direction. Clouds always come from the west. Santa Ana winds always come from the mountains to the north.

Comments: The witness does present an argument that the object was not a balloon or any other object drifting with the wind. However, an investigation of the winds aloft does show that winds shifted from a westerly to northwesterly direction at low levels to a southeasterly direction above 4,500 feet. This would suggest that the object was drifting with the wind (assuming that it was at or above 4,500 feet). However, the witness did not report that the object was ascending so if it was a balloon it was probably at a constant altitude. The photo above does not show any type of balloon or kite. The photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix P80 digital camera (maximum resolution - 10.2 mega-pixels). This is a high end SLR (single lens reflex) camera.