Thursday, June 25, 2020

The benefits of networking

Sighting in the Timor Sea

The other day, US researcher Jan Aldrich of Project 1947 fame, sent me an email containing details about a sighting in my part of the world.

The source was "UFO Depiction Published 11:35am 9/18/2010." The text read:

"I would like to submit the following sighting of an object at night over the Timor Sea. [The Timor Sea is bounded to the north by the island of Timor, to the east by the Arafura Sea, and to the south by Australia- KB.] Perhaps there is a known explanation (e.g. space re-entry) in which case I would like to know, or maybe there is another sighting of a similar object on that night?

Date & Time: 6 September 2010 at 0215hrs (05-09-2010/1645hrs UTC.)

Position: Latitude 11 degrees 26.5 mins south; Longitude 128 degrees 09.8 mins east.

Ship heading: 107 (T) at 12 knots.

The object appeared to be a lozenge-shaped, bright orange light - possibly made up of a row of bright lights, with a slight, silvery tail that tapered to a point, approximately 6 times the length of the object.

The object appeared ahead of the ship at about 45 degrees on the starboard bow, and crossed ahead (right to left) to disappear behind cloud at about 60 degrees on the port bow (ie it was travelling more or less from south to north. The object appeared to travel in a straight horizontal path, at an elevation of about 40 degrees above the horizon.

The sighting lasted for about ten seconds, and the object was travelling VERY fast!!..."

To see what the witness thought were potential explanations, here is the source of the story. 

Possibility of space debris re-entry?

To check out the possibility of space debris re-entry, I reached out to Canadian amateur satellite re-entry expert Ted Molczan who maintains a watching brief on such things. Ted has published a lengthy list of "Visually Observed Natural Re-entries of Earth Satellites," which is available here.  Using this list you can check details of numerous satellite re-entries which have generated UAP reports since 1958.

Ted quickly responsed to my enquiry on the 2010 sighting.

"The short duration of the sighting tends to identify the cause as a meteor. The USAF did not predict the decay of any large objects on the date of the sighting. It does list a few small fragments of debris that decayed on or about that date, but my calculations show that none could have correlated with the sighting. Therefore, it was probably a meteor."

I wrote back and thanked Ted for taking the time to look at the possibility of a satellite re-entry. I concur with his conclusion.

I then advised Jan Aldrich of the potential explanation for the sighting.

This demonstrates the value of networking with other individuals, who have skill sets which I don't possess.

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