Location of Sighting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Sighting: September 1, 2016
Time of Sighting: 7:50 PM CDT
Description: I was looking into the north sky and saw a UFO. (I couldn’t identify it, but it didn’t look too unconventional. It could have been a hot air balloon accident, but it seemed weird seeing it over the city.) It looked like two objects, possibly attached to each other. One of the objects was larger and darker, and had an irregular shape which I thought might be like a parachute. The other object had flames coming off of it and a smoke trail. They seemed to flutter down leaving an S shaped smoke trail as it fell from the sky and disappeared quickly behind some buildings. The whole sighting was short, maybe only a minute or two from when I first saw it. No one else around me seemed to notice. There were no unusual colors, just a regular yellowish-white flame and black smoke that dissipated quickly. I didn’t hear any sounds from it. If I had to guess sizes, the larger object was maybe 150 feet across. The flame coming off of the other object was pretty long, about 50 feet. It wasn’t very high up in the sky when I first saw it, maybe only a mile or two, but it was definitely falling from the sky uncontrollably. Note to Commenters: If you are reporting a sighting, be sure to include the location (city, state, country), date and time of your sighting. Be detailed in your description. You may also use our report form to report your sighting. Comments will only be published if they are in "good taste" and not inflammatory. Also the name that you list in the comment will be posted. Use abbreviations or aliases if you don't want your name listed.
Yea it could have been a model rocket, a very large one. But if that’s what it is, whoever fired it should have chose a better spot than such a busy part of the city. Your assumption about my lack of knowledge about model rockets is wrong M. I have made model rockets as a kid. I would go to the park, hope to find it nearby and hope it doesn’t land on the freeway. Model rocket parachutes I have seen are pretty small. This looked like something much bigger. I could have been off on the size, but not by much. If it were a model rocket, isn’t the parachute supposed to fire after the fuel phase has burned out? I kind of doubt a serious model rocketeer would risk using faulty rocket motors over the city.
This is an excellent description of a model rocket coming down. S/he was probably right in identifying the parachute. The rocket is tethered to the parachute, and the smoke is a product of the engine misfiring. This account is a good example of how difficult it is to estimate the size, distance, and falling time of an unfamiliar object: the witness unaware of model rocketry makes assumptions about a much larger object because that fits the witness’ frame of reference.