What did I see?

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Profile Bill Price
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Message 1570976 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 14:42:19 UTC

I saw something this morning that I'm at a loss to explain. I could technically call it a UFO because it was in the sky and I couldn't identify it, but I'm sure there's a logical explanation I'm just not seeing.

I'm in Sacramento, CA. USA. Right at 6:00 this morning (just as the sky was beginning to lighten), I looked up and saw a bright light in the sky. It looked like the landing light for a large jet (I'm right in the flight path for planes leaving San Francisco International Airport, so I see them frequently) but a little larger. There was a trail of something following the light, but unlike the relatively focused vapor trail one normally sees with high-flying jets, this was more of billowy, voluminous cloud-type trail. It was also luminous, although this could have been a reflection from the rising sun (which was still below the horizon where I was). This trail was only about 10 degrees long but I could tell that the object had made about a 10 degree turn to its left. The trail was approaching me and appeared to have originated from about 190 degrees from me (just west of due south). It was a little east of the normal flight path from SFO.

Although I've never actually seen it occur, from where I live you can just see night launches from Vandenberg AFB, and the object's trail did kind of resemble the diffuse trail you see from a rocket (I've seen them on TV). However, a) rockets normally do not change direction in-flight; b) from where I live Vandenberg is much further east of the direction from which the trail seemed to have originated; and c) Vandenberg launches are generally sent due west, out over the Pacific; this object was basically travelling due north. As I said, the trail did not look like a normal jet's vapor trail.

Finally, although it didn't appear to have been moving fast enough, it might have been a meteorite, although, again, they normally don't change direction mid-flight.

This sighting lasted about 10-20 seconds, then the light just disappeared (no explosion, just a quick fade) and after a further 20-30 seconds, the trail it had left evaporated.

Any thoughts?

A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!
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Message 1571098 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 19:12:36 UTC

No clue, what you might have seen Bill.
I live in Stockton and didn't know we could possibly see launches from Vandenberg.
Pluto will always be a planet to me.

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Message 1571152 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 20:48:37 UTC - in response to Message 1570976.  
Last modified: 12 Sep 2014, 20:49:39 UTC

Sir what you may have seen was a relic from the Canadian Space Agency. You must understand that yes, Canada does have a Space Agency. Canada does not have a lot of money so we must use mostly surplus Russian and American rocket equipment. As the world may not know that here in Canada we have recently moved to metric measurement, but unfortunately all the equipment we got from the USA was done up using the American system of measurements. Needless to say since the launch site is in northern Quebec, some times satellites that should be sent up to the east for orbit insertion end up in other places. The whole world should know that the people and government of Canada have the safety and welfare of people on the surface in mind at all times during testing. We are sorry if one of our ships has alarmed you. Please be assured that we don't expect many more people to ever come to harm. Perhaps I could bother you for sighting times, angles, and elevation measurements.
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Message 1571205 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 22:31:54 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2014, 22:32:04 UTC

Missed him by that much...

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Message 1571217 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 22:58:04 UTC


:) In seriousness though with it being near an airport it could've been a jet that was directed on a, for lack of a better term, "funny course" in order to lose some speed before landing or being directed to another airport.

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Message 1571225 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 23:16:55 UTC - in response to Message 1571152.  

I appreciate the information, Celt, but I must apologize for omitting important information. The object in question was approaching me from the south. Although I'm geographically challenged, I'm pretty sure that Canada is north of the U.S.
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Message 1571226 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 23:21:00 UTC - in response to Message 1571098.  

Uli, quite so. They test ABMs there; a missile is launched from the South Pacific and the ABM is launched from Vandenberg. I used to work with a guy who lived in Elk Grove. He not only saw the missile track from Vandenberg, he also saw the interception over the Pacific. He was freaked out because he thought we were under attack. They do this approximately twice a year, in March and September, near enough (these launches are not advertised ahead of time, for security reasons). I suppose what I saw could have been a launch from Vandenberg that went astray.
A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!
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Message 1571227 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 23:30:22 UTC

I guess it is a given that you don't have metric
compasses in the good old US of A?
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Message 1571244 - Posted: 12 Sep 2014, 23:59:04 UTC

I take my coffee, filled from 2.5 (approx.) centimeters of the top.
It's taken awhile for the barristers to catch on. . .
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Message 1571333 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 4:59:29 UTC

*chuckles @ metric compass* Nope mine is in degrees centigrade. ;-)

I checked the USAF Project Blue Book online reference and it states he saw a weather balloon and in fair condition with low mileage it's worth $57.95.
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Message 1571334 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 5:01:54 UTC - in response to Message 1571333.  
Last modified: 13 Sep 2014, 5:02:16 UTC

Seriously, I have no clue about the object, just having a bit of fun here. You might call local news stations and ask if anyone else reported seeing anything or if someone got a video. Just a thought...
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Message 1571359 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 7:12:51 UTC - in response to Message 1571226.  
Last modified: 13 Sep 2014, 7:14:12 UTC

Uli, quite so. They test ABMs there; a missile is launched from the South Pacific and the ABM is launched from Vandenberg. I used to work with a guy who lived in Elk Grove. He not only saw the missile track from Vandenberg, he also saw the interception over the Pacific. He was freaked out because he thought we were under attack. They do this approximately twice a year, in March and September, near enough (these launches are not advertised ahead of time, for security reasons). I suppose what I saw could have been a launch from Vandenberg that went astray.

While MOST Vandenberg launches go south, they do launch Minuteman and ABM interceptor tests to the west/southwest, towards the Barking Sands test range in Hawaii. I get an email notice from a guy in Ventura who tracks Vandy launches. ALL launches are announced to the public on Vandenberg's website, but the exact launch window for Missile Defense tests is usually not released until the morning of the launch.

I've seen night and pre-dawn launches from Visalia.
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Message 1571499 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 15:39:46 UTC - in response to Message 1571359.  

Thank you for the information, Donald. I would say that if this was a missile launch, the direction of travel appeared to be due north, which would be inconsistent with the information you provided.

MrPerk, one of the local news stations said they received hundreds of reports from local (Sacramento) viewers. They showed a few pictures that were submitted and contacted a local astronomer. Interestingly enough, the astronomer had recently installed cameras that continuously captured images in the sky, but they inexplicably failed at 3:30 that morning, so he didn't have any images. He viewed the pictures submitted to the TV station and in his opinion, the pictures were not consistent with meteors or comets, but were consistent with rocket launches. Also, he plotted the sightings and his graph indicated that all of the sightings from Northern California showed the object to be south of their point of observation, sightings in Los Angeles indicated the object was due west of them, out to sea.

Regarding the information above, conspiracy theorists will not doubt believe that the government hacked the astronomer's cameras to conduct a secret test. While I personally believe that to be far-fetched, given all the limited information available so far, my guess (and I'm not a scientist) is that this was either a ship-based missile launch or possibly a test of a surface to space vehicle.

I will say I find it curious that there appears to be no national interest in this story; it seems only local Northern California news agencies are reporting this.
A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!
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Message 1571504 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 15:50:50 UTC
Last modified: 13 Sep 2014, 15:51:41 UTC

As my closest encounter with UFO's turned out to be raindrops on powerlines I'm not going to comment... :/ but I'm very interested nevertheless :)
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Message 1571521 - Posted: 13 Sep 2014, 16:53:19 UTC - in response to Message 1571217.  
Last modified: 13 Sep 2014, 16:54:51 UTC


:) In seriousness though with it being near an airport it could've been a jet that was directed on a, for lack of a better term, "funny course" in order to lose some speed before landing or being directed to another airport.

Giorgio:)
http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/videos
7(!) seasons of nonsens. I have seen 6 seasons:) Entertaining but where are the facts?
One episode was about the Vikings and they where talking about Odins birds Hugin and Munin. They were drones! not birds. The Vikings were however so stupid that they couldn't describe theme.
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Message 1571775 - Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 5:13:24 UTC - in response to Message 1571152.  
Last modified: 14 Sep 2014, 5:15:44 UTC



Sir what you may have seen was a relic from the Canadian Space Agency. You must understand that yes, Canada does have a Space Agency. Canada does not have a lot of money so we must use mostly surplus Russian and American rocket equipment. As the world may not know that here in Canada we have recently moved to metric measurement, but unfortunately all the equipment we got from the USA was done up using the American system of measurements. Needless to say since the launch site is in northern Quebec, some times satellites that should be sent up to the east for orbit insertion end up in other places. The whole world should know that the people and government of Canada have the safety and welfare of people on the surface in mind at all times during testing. We are sorry if one of our ships has alarmed you. Please be assured that we don't expect many more people to ever come to harm. Perhaps I could bother you for sighting times, angles, and elevation measurements.


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Message 1571787 - Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 7:18:02 UTC

Another possibility is the Pacific Missile Test Range facility at Point Mugu/Port Hueneme, south of Vandenberg in Ventura County. They do mostly aircraft and anti-ship missile testing, but once in a while they get a submarine in for exercise launches (inert/instrunented dummy warheads, of course). There was a flail a year or two ago in the L.A. area that turned out to be an Ohio-class missile boat doing a test launch to recertify after an overhaul. Such launches would go west/southwest toward Kauai or Kwajelain, and are generally NOT publicized much, if at all.....
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Message 1571887 - Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 15:01:32 UTC - in response to Message 1571775.  

Hey! That second image just may be a
Top Secret classified image there.
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Message 1571930 - Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 18:22:28 UTC

What you describe sounds like a Pegasus air-launched winged space vehicle. A Lockheed TriStar is the initial lift off vehicle and will take off from Vandenberg then fly west. The Pegasus could be launched in any direction except westward. (This is a space craft. Only sub-orbital rockets are fired westward. They do that for range testing.) The Pegasus is able to maneuver. I have seen them make very high speed course corrections of as much as 30 degrees.
Here is a picture of a Pegasus launch.

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Message 1571931 - Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 18:25:14 UTC - in response to Message 1571887.  
Last modified: 14 Sep 2014, 18:27:52 UTC

Hey! That second image just may be a Top Secret classified image there.


Recently declassified... now Canada's sligshot is a commercial launch system.
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