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Columbus, Ohio (United States)

Sighted on Saturday 15. September 2012
Reported on
Shape: Star-like | Duration: 00:05:00
Source:

Working at an outdoor play in downtown Columbus, Ohio, night had already fallen. I was facing west, well behind the audience which was facing north, when I noticed a rapidly moving flickering light up about 40 degrees that moved in a roughly 60 to 75 degree arc from right to left. A second one followed a similar course after the first one disappeared from view.The lights seem best described as the flame from a hot air balloon burner at a distance of perhaps a few miles, but without the glow from the balloon envelope that would likely accompany such a night sighting. Just as the first light began disappearing into a cloud, a second one followed a similar path but disappeared more quickly in about the same area of the sky.At the estimated distance, the lights were moving too fast to be a plane, helicopter, or especially a hot air balloon. Besides, moving in the observed direction, no lights should have been pointing toward an observer to the east, and the path did not seem right. After traveling most of the observed path, the first object seemed to slow, maybe curve slightly, then move much slower in the opposite direction before again reversing movement to the left. It eventually appeared to slow and become stationary for several moments before the flicker started fading in and out as if moving along the uneven edge of a cloud, but there was no observable glow at the cloud (possibly due to the downtown lights and the perceived distance involved?). The second light also seemed to slow at some point, but did not reverse course.The lights/flames/glow, were constant during the sighting, which lasted several minutes. I'm not a flier, but that seems like too long a time to have been from a balloon in normal flight. The thought occurred that the objects were high enough and far enough to the west to be reflecting the last rays of sunlight, but the horizon was dark enough during the sighting that this seems unlikely.I know of three others that saw these and talked to one of them for a bit during the incident.

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