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Montréal, Quebec (Canada)

Sighted on Sunday 17. April 2016
Reported on
Shape: Star-like | Duration: Undisclosed
Source:

I had just returned home at around 1 am from celebrating a relative's 90th birthday. As I usually do when returning home late at night, I took a look at the sky above me. I was observing the moon looking towards the west. I shifted my focus to its left, where my neighborhood has no street lamps and I usually see the brightest and most numerous stars. I noticed a bright star, moving quickly near the moon, which was apparently at 21.1 degrees above the horizon at that time. The star was therefore probably at around 19-20 degrees. I had noticed this star at first moving in a southwesterly direction, away from the moon and towards the previously mentioned star patch which was to the left of the moon. The fact that there was a bright star moving in a single direction didn't bother me; I assumed it was simply a satellite especially since it was exhibiting a constant flashing sequence, unlike other stars. I ruled out it being a plane because of its speed relative to the apparent distance of the object from the ground, much too slow for a plane, very plausible for a satellite. Moreover, while it was flashing, as planes do, there were no indications of red light that characterizes plane flashing and it was flashing at a much faster frequency than a plane, which flashes ever few seconds. This object seemed to be flashing constantly, with no intervals between flashes. Now at some point, the star was about to cross over the sky above my neighbour's house across the street and over the street to its right side. At that point, it stopped. What had appeared to be a satellite flying at extremely fast speeds simply stopped mid-air with absolutely no slowing of speed beforehand. It remained this way for about five seconds and then proceeded to start moving in the opposite direction from where it came from, in a northwesterly direction. Throughout this entire time, my family had been slowly and reluctantly getting out of the car after having fallen asleep in it. My mom was arguing with my whiny ten year old brother for him to get out. My heart rate at this point had no doubt started to climb, and I alerted my mom, telling her that this star had just changed direction and asking her if it was a satellite. However, she was preoccupied with my brother. She finally managed to get him out of the car and went inside the house with him and the rest of my family, leaving me alone standing in my driveway at that point. I continued to observe the star as it crossed the sky under the moon. As it crossed under the moon, which was above the left side neighbour of the house across the street I have mentioned (I will include a picture of this setting below) I became once more conscious of how bright the object was, as it was now crossing sky above a part of my neighbourhood with street lamps where most stars are drowned out. I even considered the possibility of it being a small meteor for a bit, however that seemed unreasonable; nothing could explain the hovering and direction shift. At this point I was feeling intense emotion, overwhelmed and the tightness in one's chest during tense moments. I heard my mom call out my name from the front door, asking me if I was coming in because she wanted to lock the door and yelling out that it's not a UFO. I mumbled some incoherent response, not really answering her question seeing as the object was now entering the sky behind the pine tree in my right side neighbour's front yard and not wanting to lose track of it. I noticed at this point that it must've been getting farther and farther away seeing that its brightness was slowly diminishing and it was slowly reduced to the size of a regular star, all the while, however, still flashing. I saw that it was to reach the tree line soon and was also nearing the neighbour's house. It was reduced to a flicker as it crept behind the house and I lost sight of it at last. I was feeling wide awake and alert, so I tried going through the gate to my backyard to see whether it would reappear on the other side of the house but I knew it was no use and resigned myself to going inside. This ended my experience and I began wondering how on earth I was supposed to go to sleep after that. The photos I will include below do not all include the object in question. I will include a photo I took 5 minutes after the one including the star (which was bright enough to be actually visible to my iPhone camera contrary to most stars). The photo shows the setting I have described in detail here, with the house across the street, the house next to it on it's right, and the moon. The star visible in this photo is not the star in question but simply another bright star. The other photo I will include is directly to my right, above the street that separates the two houses across the street and the neighbour with the pine tree and where the object disappeared behind. The star is visible yet faint, so I have circled it out.

Images

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