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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Space oddity

While out in the back yard looking up for meteors early Friday morning (circa 4:15 a.m.), I spied an interesting object low in the western sky. It was moving north to south, and as it passed due west, for a second or two it gave off a bright white light, which then faded to nearly nothing as it continued southbound. I could have sworn I saw it go by along the same path, and do it again with the light, about 5 to 10 minutes later.

As best I can tell, it wasn't the space station, although the way the light came on and off it looked as if it were the sun being reflected off the bottom of the satellite. Anybody have any idea what the heck I was seeing? Or was I just having one of my spells?

Comments (13)

Seems that the ISS is the best bet.


(Or maybe that's what they wanted you think it was?

I've seen many of these. At least four or five just last week at Sunriver where the meteors were gorgeous. Round satellites and non spinning ones maintain a constant solar reflection while others - those with solar panels, asymmetric shapes, etc. - vary in their degrees of reflection as they turn and appear to grow larger or flash. Perhaps the most famous of these are the Iridium flares:


Then again, could be a piece of space junk. I expect more odd (fun) sightings of this kind since this:


Whatever, always fun to look up and see something. And to think I remember when the entire neighborhood went out at night to view the passing of Echo I as it was announced on the radio...

I've seen exactly the same thing while backpacking. I happened to know at the time that the shuttle had recently decoupled from the ISS though. Early evening, I saw the ISS fly over, and then a few minutes later, another bright object traveling the same path, same speed, and brighter than anything else. It could only have been the shuttle (or vice versa?). Was there a cargo ship approaching or leaving the ISS Friday?

One of my main pursuits is the UFO topic so I've spent a little time trying to make my own movie, shooting the strange lights on and above Mt. Adams. That's a terrific field trip, by the way. The place is enchanted.

Anyway, I wanted a snazzy opening shot so I got on a ladder in the backyard and did the intro saying there was life in space and I could prove it. Just then - because I had looked it up on a website - the ISS appeared over my shoulder and I said, "See...there's life in space right there...the International Space Station."

It was a good idea, I dropped the lines okay, but the shot didn't happen technically. Plus I had to explain to the neighbors why I was up a ladder with camera equipment pointing above their house at night.

The key thing you realize about the space station - that doesn't show from the ungainly appearance - is that it is really moving. As I recall it takes around 90 minutes to circle the world.

Of course, that's nothing compared to the technology that you-know-who has. I believe disclosure is coming people, so prepare your brains for it as best you can.
Or not - your call.

Here's a little test to see if you're following this topic: Do you know the Winston Churchill anecdote from the last few days? If you don't know about that, you should jump into this subject more for your own enjoyment. At the very least, it's not dull - I'm just sayin'.

For what it's worth, the ISS can be visible during the day, too. Yeah, it is that bright. I've seen it a few times during full sun.

I've seen the space shuttle gliding down to Edwards over Portland, too. Once at night and once in broad daylight. The nighttime one surprised me but for the one in the day, I was monitoring the orbit so I knew where and when to look, once the Florida landing was scrubbed.

A reader tells me I probably saw an Iridium satellite. Could very well be.

I've been seeing the same low- and slow-flying strobe lights throughout the Willy.Valley all summer. Adding up stuff I know about things and things I know about stuff, I figure the 'phenomena' are helicopters taking night-surveillance photos of us in our hobbit houses down below. ... not as exotic as aliens from outer space, sorry to disappoint anyone.

It used to be called 'Aerial Reconnaisance,' about 70 years ago, and you can read about it HERE.

That might answer the question WHAT are they doing?, but it begs the more important question WHY are they doing it? One of the itsy-bitsy changes of written law, (erasures, really), Bush's fearmongering fury got Congress to pass (unnoticed) now makes it NOT PROHIBITED for CIA to operate in the domestic realm; (meaning: CIA is allowed to secretly spy on (North) America and Americans, which was always forbidden before Bush /Nine-Eleven Op hoax /anthrax-letter terrorization by USmilitary germ-warfare lab /PATRIOT Act overthrow of Constitution law /Touch-the-TV voting with computer-programmed ballot falsification /&tc.)

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It could seem that people would notice the light if a helicopter overhead was popping flashbulbs down on the scene. But no one notices because the very bright strobe light is only a fraction-of-a-thousandth of a second, quicker than the retina of the eyeball can accommodate.

Besides, not all 'photographs' and 'recorded images' are in the visible light spectrum. We can be IR'd and MW'd and SSR'd, day or night, and never notice a thing.

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About seeing the ISS or some other orbiting satellite: the angle of the light has to be lined up right. At 4:30 am, before dawn, when the Sun is just below the eastern horizon, it doesn't gleam off of an aircraft low over the western horizon. (But it might gleam off of something near the eastern horizon.) For a short (20-minute) interval after sunset you might see something above the western horizon by the sunlight several miles up bouncing off the underbelly of the object and down to the viewer.

Seeing the Shuttle(?) or an aircraft in daylight is easily plain if it is below about 20,000 ft., coming in for a landing, I suppose, either 'crash' or 'scheduled.'

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But, Jack, did you see any Perseids meteors? I did. One, at midnight, when I looked for about 5 minutes. The thing about meteor showers is that it's a 'cloud' of rock debris hanging around at a place along Earth's orbit, and the best time to see the show of stuff 'showering down' into the atmosphere is when your longitude comes around (every 24 hours) to the 'advancing front' or 'prow' of the Earth 'breaking trail' along its orbit. (Like if you motored a boat into a flock of seagulls, you'd see more feathers flying by if you were looking forward or abeam, but looking aft not so much.)

The 'advance edge' of the Earth, the 'forward prow' place 'leading the way' along the orbit path, is on the N.pole-to-S.pole line where the dark nightside touches the lighted day side. That is, the line of the sunrise, as each time zone on Earth rotates around to it. On that night/day line, any debris in the orbit path is going to come into the atmosphere straight down toward the top of your head; (like being at the bowsprit when the ship hits the seagulls). After noon, around to the sunset line, and on around to halfway through the nightside (midnight), your location is on the 'trailing edge' of the Earth along its path of orbit -- you're looking out of the caboose if the train runs into anything on the tracks up ahead.

So the best meteor-watching time is starting around midnight (where you're at), and any rocks in space the Earth flies through go zinging past 'across the sky,' mainly arcing east-to-west, while your view is as looking out a 'side window.' Between midnight and dawn your location turns from seeing debris 'flying past' to seeing it coming straight at you.

Like, the next time you're on a merry-go-round with a bright shining lamp at the center of it, instead of riding one of the horseys going up-and-down, crawl inside the spinning egg-chamber and close the hatch with a peephole you can see out of, and have someone throw a 'cloud' of confetti at the merry-go-round where your spinning egg comes into it. You'll probably see a difference if your (spinning) peephole is pointed forward, sideways-toward-the-lamp, backward, or sideways-away-from-the-lamp when you get to the confetti.


Ya' scared me, Bill! Reading (too) rapidly I thought your message read: "...the strange lights on and above Mr. Adams."

It was probably an Iridium satellite.

Check out the website "Heaven's Above." Free to register and then you just plug in your GPS coordinates and it generates multiple lists of various skyward objects (ISS, satellites, Iridium, etc.). While my family vacationed at Sunriver earlier this summer, I used it to figure out when the ISS was going to be visible. It was a fun point in the vacation to have everyone out on the deck at night watching the space station glide across the night sky.

The 2 times I saw the shuttle over Portland were when Florida was socked in and they decided to land in Southern California. Incidentally, they were on the ground 15 minutes after being over us.
The nighttime one left a glowing greenish trail but in the day all you saw was an object generating no trail, hurtling along in a glide pattern. It was beautiful.

Another thing to remember about sighting strange lights, is the atmosphere can make planets like Venus appear to blink, and change color, plus if you stare at something for too long, it will appear to move. There's some science behind this with heartbeats and eye stuff, but let's move onto the elephant in a room called the universe. Or perhaps dropping by from a multi-verse situation.

I'd recommend a new book called "UFOs on the Record" by Leslie Kean that some people are calling a tipping point in disclosure. One of the standard defenses by skeptics is, "Why are the sightings always some guy named Jethro in a swamp?"
So here we have government officials, military types, and pilots discussing the subject. I know, I know, it could all be a CIA disinformation program but maybe this time, it isn't.
One reason disinformation and mind control work so well, is that humans can be frightened by things that don't fit their previous belief systems. It took some intellectual courage to say the earth was round and not the center of the solar system, too. That was shocking then, but we adjusted. We may be in for somewhat of a shock with this now.

In all liklihood you are suffering from a partially detached retina. Get to your optomitrist Jack! This could be serious!

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