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Sighting Reports 2009

Bright Light That Moved Back & Forth Seen in Night Sky

Date of Sighting: July 15 and 16, 2009
Time of Sighting: Between 11 PM and Midnight
Location of Sighting: Cimarron, New Mexico (North Central New Mexico)

Description: At around 12 PM a gentleman came into my office to report seeing a bright light to the east. He said it was moving in a sporadic horizontal pattern and got lighter and brighter frequently. The gentleman reported having military experience and has never seen anything like this before. I observed the light for over an hour and saw the same thing. On two occasions the light disappeared completely for about 20 seconds, then came back with the same bright intensity. It appeared to be moving randomly back and forth, left and right, as if oscillating. It is a very clear night with random heat lightning on the horizon. We compared it to the north star, and it is significantly brighter than it. We also saw a few planes pass by (at least 4) within the hour of observation, and can say positively that this is not a plane. It is currently still in the sky.

Additional Information Provided by Witness (In Response to Questions): The object was to the southeast of Philmont Scout Ranch, towards Springer, New Mexico.

Note: I believe that the witnesses saw the Planet Jupiter which was very bright (magnitude of - 2.8) to the east-southeast at 12 degrees above the horizon. The apparent movement can be an illusion due to phenomenon called autokinesis.