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Sighting Reports 2009

Large Flaming Orange Object Seen in Night Sky. Photo Taken.

Photo of Object and Enlargement. (Photo Has Been Brightened to Reveal More Detail.)
Photo of Object and Enlargement.
(Photo Has Been Brightened to Reveal More Detail.)

Date of Sighting: October 9, 2009
Time of Sighting: 11:53 PM PDT
Location of Sighting: Portland, Oregon

Description: I saw an that looked as if it was size of grape if you held it up over it (at arm's length). It was orange and you could see flames around the outside. It was moving northwest across the sky. A friend dropped me off at my house and I noticed it as I was coming up the driveway. I had enough time to call my friend and have her look up and see this fireball floating through the air. I could not wrap my mind around what I was seeing. I can't stop thinking about it. She freaked out and came right back and we watched it disappear behind the trees. It must have been in the air for 2 minutes or more. It clearly was a ball of fire moving slowly through the night sky. It looked about as high in the air as a small aircraft. It was not a plane or helicopter. There were flames clearly around the outside and it was a ball. The picture is not that good, but isn't that par for strange sightings in the sky?

Additional Information Sent by Witness (In Response to Investigator Questions):

1.  Did you hear any sound?

It was silent.
2.  Did the object appear to be descending (falling)?  Or was it moving horizontally?

It looked like it was floating down towards me, but moving to the west.  It seemed in a pretty straight line.

3.  What were weather conditions? Could you see stars?

Yes, you could see stars.  I will send original picture, its darker, but you can still see stars.  I have two pictures, it takes 13 seconds for the fireball to pass by a tree.
4.  When you say moving north to west, do you mean that the object was moving to the northwest?

I was walking up my driveway that runs east to west, I saw it to the north of me and at first it looked like it was falling straight towards me, but must have been moving towards the west.  I watched it disappear to the west behind the trees.

I feel silly saying anything, because it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen.  I keep seeing it in my head, a slow moving fireball.  It was like  ball of gas almost.  Do you know anything about ball lightning?  could that be it?  It does not look like any meteorite video that I have seen and took much longer.

Note: This object likely was not a meteor because it was in the air at least two minutes. The moon had risen in the northeast about 90 minutes earlier (and was 62% illuminated), but it is very doubtful that the witnesses misidentified the moon considering that they saw the object moving (the object was to the north and was moving west) and lost sight of it behind trees. The object also was not due to ball lightning as there were no thunderstorms in the area. The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D camera. This is a "high end" camera and has a maximum resolution of 10.1 mega-pixels. This camera is also a SLR (single lense reflex) camera.

Additional Comments: A similar sighting occurred 75 miles to the southwest of Portland (Lincoln Beach, Oregon) at 9:30 PM (over 2 hours earlier) on the same night. This sighting was thought to be a meteor, but this was speculation. Click here to read about this sighting. A meteor was reported to the American Meteor Society at 8:45 PM on the same night in Portland and at other locations in Northern Oregon and Southwestern Washington. Given that the times of all of these sightings is correct, then the sightings are probably not related. However, some times could be in error. If this is the case, then the sightings could be of the same object.