Original report to UFOINFO:

Dear Sir,

I contacted a few astronomy web sites about an event I witnessed in the early to mid 1980's. After a few weeks, one of these individuals wrote back suggesting I contact someone with vested interest in Ufology. My search in the field has brought me to you largely because your site completely lacks the fanatical flair that other sites are so deeply vested in. I've been desperately seeking info on this, for some reason I have felt very motivated to find an answer recently.

In the early to mid 1980's on the South Shore of New York's Long Island I saw a yellowish (maybe very light green) round fireball flying level (or so it appeared) from the north to the south at approximately 7:30pm - 8:00pm (it was night). After disappearing from my field of vision, which was obscured by trees and the side of a house, I witnessed this same fireball flying at an incline from west to east until it disappeared at a high altitute.

The fireball was about the size of a dime from my distance, maybe the size of a penny, and was flaming. It didnt look real, more like something out of a cartoon, and had no tail like a comet save for the flame looking bit that was approximately as long as 1/2 - 3/4 of the diameter of the fireball.

I thoroughly enjoy astronomy but am a relatively ignorant person in regards to this sort of thing. I've read some about Leonids and other such events but none of them really sound like what I saw. It was an exhillerating thing to witness but until recently I never really was motivated to find out what kind of fireball it could have been or if it even was a fireball and maybe not something else like a jets afterburner or maybe something falling into the atmosphere at too steep an angle and bouncing back into orbit.

I'd appreciate any comments you can provide.

Thank You,

Phil K


Follow-up report from Brian Vike:


Thanks for the info.

The fireball flew at what appeared to be a level vector when I first saw it, heading from North to South. The initial sighting had approximately a 17 second duration. A moment later, it came back into view heading from west to east gaining considerable altitude at a dramatically rapid speed until it disappeared into the distance. The second sighting had a duration of approximately 10 seconds.

During the initial sighting, the object was moving at a very slow pace. It's approach was concealed by housing and vegetation. It paced from sight when it became obscured from my perspective by the side of my home. During the second sighting, as it was gaining altitude and flying away from my position it looked more like a disc whose width did not compare to its diameter but, it was by no means flat.

When I first saw this I thought maybe I got to see some space junk burning up but, since I've recently felt compelled to find an answer on this I've learned that meteors et al. do not necessarily fall from north to south in the northern hemisphere but, rather, from south to north due to the earths round shape and what has been described to me as centirfical force. So I adopted the theory that perhaps I witnessed something falling into the atmosphere only to be rejected and bounced back into orbit due to too steep an angle of entry. The problem with this theory is that this object was not descending during my initial sighting. It was flying perfectly level. I cannot find sufficient information on anomolous re-entry behavior of what I assume must have been a meteor or, perhaps, old satellite whose orbit decayed.

Your assumption that I meant a "short flame section" is correct. During its ascent, the flame section was a little more elongated from my prespective. I witnessed no debris falling from it. The fireball was a yellowish in color.

I must admit I am no expert on this subject matter. My education is in two entirely different fields that have little to nothing to do with this. To be honest with you, I have no idea what a fireball would really consist of. My assumption is that a fireballs composition could range from something man made to a meteor or basically anything that could be superheated to the point of ignition.

I wish I was able to capture this on video or even a few still images.



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