Blackburn South, Melbourne, Victoria
September 8th 2001
UFOINFO Sighting Report
Location: Blackburn South, eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date: 08/09/01 at 8:55pm local time
Approach Direction: Almost due east
Departure Direction: North west
Witness Direction: Initially east, following the object in its path, eventually facing almost due north.
Description: Just prior to 9pm on Thursday 9 August 2001, I headed onto my back porch, which faces east, to have a cigarette. It was a windless night, and the foilage on the trees in our backyard was still. There was not a cloud in the eastern/northern sky at the time. For a couple of months, I had been casually observing Mars, which had been particularly bright in the Australian skies at this time. We often notice the Sydney-Melbourne commercial passenger planes flying towards us from the east (heading for Tullamarine Airport), and as I was rolling my cigarette, a light just above the roof line of the house behind ours (approx 30 degrees above the horizon) caught my attention. It was a solid, yellow/orange very bright light, seemingly moving slowly upwards and slightly to my left (ie. to the north). At first, I paid it little attention, presuming I had just notice the front light on a commercial plane - I have seen this before, only to notice the other flashing navigation lights as the plane flew closer.
However, as this light 'rose' in a slow arc in the sky, seemingly making its way towards me over a matter of minutes, I noted that I could not yet see any other navigation lights, and that something just didn't ring true about it.
I followed it for a couple of minutes more, until it was about 15 degrees further to the north (from due east) and about 60 degrees above the horizon. It had been moving slowly through this arc, at a speed somewhat slower than a commercial plane. At this point, I lost it briefly in the foilage of a large eucalypt on our back fence, and called my wife to the back porch.
As she arrived on the back porch (noting the time to be a couple of minutes after 9pm by now) the light reappeared from behind the foilage, and proceeded, about 60-70 degrees above the horizon, to follow a steady path from slightly north of east to almost due north. Both of us easily sighting the light. It remained a steady very bright yellow/orange light. There was no sound to be heard as it tracked this path. By this stage, having now passed from east to north, I knew something didn't ring true, as there was still no indication of flashing navigation lights, and by now a plane would have been side on to my location. Without any indication, it then began to flicker briefly, and dim a little, disappearing for a second, then reappearing. Approximately 30 seconds later, it flickered finally and disappeared. Nothing could be seen moving where the light had been, even though it was a dead still, clear and crisp night. I watched for a further 15 minutes, though no light reappeared.
Over this 15 minutes and on subsequent nights I kept a look in this direction. Whilst I failed to see anything resembling this light again, in the 15 minutes afterwards, 2 commercial passenger planes passed, heading for Tullamarine Airport. They appeared from a vastly different direction, their flashing navigation lights were plainly visible, they flew at a vastly different height, and more importantly, I heard them before I saw them approaching. The light I saw, much larger than Mars (which was simultaneously visible - ie. it wasn't Mars) was also much brighter and larger, larger than any star in the night sky. In size and brightness (though not color), closer to the searchlight of a police helicopter, though without the other navigation lights.
I contacted the Victorian UFO Research Society Inc, leaving a detailed message on their answering machine, though have heard nothing since, nor did I see any TV or print media reports of the sighting. In the conditions, given the time it took to pass, and its brightness, this light had to have been seen by others.
Color/Shape: Yellow/orange and round, solid for most of the 10-12 minutes of the sighting, then flickered for 30 second before vanishing
Height & Speed: Difficult to estimate, given unknown distance and height