First off, i know my astronomy. i know what iridium flares are. i seem them all the time. i've seen the iss and other satellites pass over in my time. if this was an airplane, then it had to be way more than 5 miles up and way too slow. and it was too "small" for me to try and video with my phone. so about 2145 edt, i'm at work, i go out back to the loading dock for a cigarette. the backside of the building faces west-southwest. i'm looking at orion's belt slowly drop to the trees. then i see a flash of light. "small" enough to look like a distant flickering star. i want to say it was just above and to the left of betelgeuse. a few seconds later i see another light in about the same position, but just a little to the left (moving south). but this time it wasn't a flash, it was a slow pulse; about 1.5-2 seconds from "igniting" to "extinguishing". over the course of the next 5 or so minutes, i witness a variation of slow pulses and a few flashes at varying intervals. i even counted "1-1 thousand, 2-1 thousand...Etc". no less than 4 seconds and no more than 10 second intervals. in the first couple of minutes i get a couple flashes that were much brighter than the first few. almost like a camera flash. i saw about two or three of those. but after that last real bright flash, the object just went to pulsing in 4-10 second intervals. but each pulse got dimmer and dimmer. there were even a couple of the brighter pulses that almost looked like someone was moving a searchlight around. at least that's the impression my eyes left me with. this object was tiny! so over the course of the next 5 or so minutes, it continues moving in a southerly direction, each pulse getting dimmer. it got too faint to follow when it was about due south of my position. i wanna say this thing was about 60 or 70 degrees off the horizon. again, there were planes flying overhead in the area and i suspect this thing was way above them. for what it's worth, my position is several miles northeast of charlotte-douglas international. i think this thing was way too high to be considered "in the airspace".