Tuesday, March 31, 2009

UFO Spotted Over East Coast

It's too soon to be an April Fool's Day prank, but the U.S. Air Force said that a series of flashing lights and booming sounds sighted and heard over Virginia recently must be a UFO.

On Sunday night, March 29th, witness described seeing odd lights, booming noises and in some instances a fireball in the sky over the Richmond area.

Initially, the disturbance was explained as part of a Russian rocket breaking up on reentry.

Geoff Chester, public relations officer with the US Naval Observatory said that the disturbance was consistent with the expected path of the booster rocket from the Soyuz spacecraft, which launched Thursday on a mission to the international space station.

But on Tuesday, March 13, Stefan Bocchino of the USAF Joint Space Operations Center said in an e-mail to WTOP radio in Virgina that the bright light was not the result of a man made object.

While the Joint Space Operations Center tracks man made objects, in space they do not track natural objects such as meteorites.

According to Cornell University, it is estimated that somewhere between 2900-7300 kilograms of meteors per year hit Earth. Most of these are dust-sized particles that burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Here is the link to the original report: UFO

Did some searching and found the following reports:

Upset about that fireball? Blame the Russians, not the Klingons

UPDATEThe air force is disputing the Russian rocket story, saying it was a meteor.

That green-tailed fireball streaking across Hampton Roads on Sunday could have been Russian space junk hurtling toward its demise on the other side of the world.

A spokesman for the Naval Observatory said Monday that a discarded rocket booster from last week's Soyuz space flight was in a decaying orbit and projected to pass over southeastern Virginia before 10 p.m. That's roughly the time that Marianne Mills, of Newport News and scores of other area residents saw a jaw-dropping light show.

A flash lit up the sky, and a fiery "something" sped toward the horizon.

"I've seen meteors before," Mills said, "but I've never seen anything like that."

There might be a good reason.

Geoff Chester, an observatory spokesman, began investigating the matter Monday morning after reports surfaced of a lightninglike flash, a colorful fireball and an explosion or boom.

A bright meteor was one possibility.

"That's usually the first thing that pops into my mind," Chester said.

But just to be safe, he checked computer records that track falling space debris. The second stage of a Soyuz rocket that helped send a crew to the International Space Station last week was scheduled to pass over Hampton Roads around the time of the disturbance.

"Whether this was the rocket booster or not, I can't tell you definitely," he said. "It just seems awfully coincidental that you would have a bright fireball following the path of a decaying rocket booster."

Authorities are fairly certain about what it was not.

The National Weather Service at Wakefield ruled out an atmospheric disturbance. The Federal Aviation Administration said commercial air traffic was not affected. And airports in Norfolk, Richmond and Newport News had nothing unusual to report.

Neither Langley Air Force Base nor Oceana Naval Air Station was conducting military exercises that could explain it.

"We don't have any insight into it," said Kelley Stirling, an Oceana spokeswoman. "We're all having the same conversation here."

Sure, a new "Star Trek" film debuts in May, but the Klingons aren't claiming responsibility — at least not yet.

However, the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington state received several calls from Virginia and Maryland based on Sunday's sighting.

"My temptation is to suggest that it almost certainly was a meteor, but we don't know that yet," said Peter Davenport, director. "All we know is that people saw a fireball."

Whatever truth is out there, it made the night more interesting for Mills.

She was driving east on Interstate 64 around New Kent County shortly before 10 p.m. when something flashed above her.

Here is the link to the rest of the report: UFO

Mysterious flash/boom rocks eastern seaboard, including firsthand reports

A mysterious flash of light, followed by a loud boom was reported by thousands of people from Maryland through North Carolina, prompting many calls to local 911 centers. The event also received massive media attention. So far, authorities have only been able to rule out that it wasn't a meteorological event. The following are some of the reports that were coming into the Mutual UFO Network headquarters:

Richmond, Virginia - 9:45-10:05 p.m. - Two witnesses observed what they described as resembling a green meteor shoot down from the sky toward the ground. The first witness' husband came outside to see what she was looking at. He looked in the opposite direction from where his wife had spotted the object, but nothing was seen. He continued to scan the night sky when he saw a bright white orb appear in the western sky, shooting horizontally from right to left for a couple of seconds, before vanishing.

Chesapeake, Virginia - 9:30 p.m. - Witness observed a flash in the sky followed with a loud boom unlike the jets they have in the area. Within a few seconds a second boom was heard, but it was not as loud as the first. The witness indicated he later heard several similar reports over his local television news.

Virginia Beach, Virginia - (time not provided) - Witness was driving home when he noticed what appeared to be lightning-like flashes in the sky above his car. He stopped the car to get out to have a better look. The whole night sky lit up a bluish color and he saw something burning, followed by large orange sparks falling from behind the object's path of travel. It was followed by a large boom, then disappeared.

You can read all the reports at this link: UFO

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