August 1st 2003s

Original Report:

Name: Justin G.

Location: Galena, IL. Jo Daviess County. USA.

Date: 08/01/03. Approx. 1:30 a.m. CDT.

Approach Direction: Unknown.

Departure Direction: Hovered, then disappeared.

Witness Direction: South.

Description: I went to watch the lightning for a while before i went to bed, and something bright and red caught my eye... I thought it was mars, since I had caught the tail end of something on the news about it being out.

However, I quickly realized that it couldn't be:

1.) The lighting would have likely dimmed the appearance of this thing. It didn't at all.

2.) IT WAS OVERCAST. No other stars or celestial bodies were visible.

3.) After watching it, it was CLEARLY below the clouds, based on what i could see from the illumination from lightning

And the two kickers:

Its brightness varied a bit, but it would sometimes dim just a little then get brighter. however, on two occasions, it totally faded out for a few seconds, then became very bright again. Then it finally faded away and didn't come back.

2.) It couldn't be aircraft. Aircraft MOVES.

Color/Shape: Red, bright. Appeared to be round.

Height & Speed: Probably no more than a few thousand feet, since it was clearly below the clouds illuminated by the lightning.

Follow-up by Brian Vike:

BRIAN: You mentioned that it was over cast. Can you remember seeing any holes in the cloud cover, or breaks ?

JUSTIN: I'm nearly 100% that there were no breaks in the clouds. If there were, they would have been quite small; that is, in the southern sky. I was inside, and the northern sky was, of course, not able to be viewed.

BRIAN: As you watched the lightening and you witnessed a bright flash from it, did the lightening flash cast any light on the object itself ?

JUSTIN: Unfortunately, the lightning didn't illuminate the object, only the cloud base. However, this WAS helpful in that I could then clearly tell that the object was below the cloud base.

BRIAN: Was there any other color noted coming from the object now you had time to think about it ?

JUSTIN: The only color that I was able to detect was a red color. It wasn't a dark red, nor was it a light red -- just a regular red color. You may have red blinking lights on radio towers in BC; it was a red color similar to that. However, the radio towers here aren't visible from my perspective, so that's one reason it couldn't have been from those.

BRIAN: Also were there any other people with you who may have witnessed what you did ?

JUSTIN: Just myself.

BRIAN: How long would you estimate you watched the object for, until it disappeared ?

JUSTIN: I had been watching it for perhaps four or five minutes when it faded out, the first time (and remained such for about two seconds), then it went back to its original brightness for 45 seconds to a minute, did the same disappearing act, and then came back for another 45 seconds or so before finally disappearing for good. The total time elapsed would have been approximately six minutes or so.

BRIAN: Any other aircraft in the area ?

JUSTIN: None that I was able to see.

BRIAN: Also was any sound heard coming from the object ?

JUSTIN: Since I was inside, I wasn't able to hear anything. Had I gone outside, I doubt I would have heard anything, though, since it was somewhat distant. That's only a guess, though.

BRIAN: Plus if there is any other detail that you may have left out, would you please pass the information a long as well.

JUSTIN: Well, I can't really think of too much else to expand on, but I'll add in a few side-notes. My dad and another relative of mine suggested that the only feasible human aircraft this could have been was a helicopter, but since a thunderstorm was nearby and it was 1:30 a.m., that is highly unlikely. Also unlikely is that it would have just hovered for so long and had such an odd lighting system.
Also, I have considered the possibility of ball lightning, but I'm quite sure that's nearly out of the question, because of its brightness and lack of movement, as well as its fairly far distance from the thunderstorm.

Finally, the explanation for a lack of photos. I conveniently have a digital camera, but had taken it to our basement to transfer photos to my computer. So, I decided it would be better to remain and watch this object rather than run downstairs and get my camera and possibly come back to no object. I had to make a trade-off, and I think what I did was the best choice.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. I'll be more than happy to respond with my thoughts and what I observed.

[UFOINFO thanks Brian Vike for the follow-up.]


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