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Coolest Thing Seen in the Sky?

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dedleytedley

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I don't believe in flying saucers but I have seen some things in the sky I can't explain. The coolest thing I've seen was a Russian spacecraft re-entering over Victoria B.C. one evening in the fall of 1996. I was walking with two friends and saw two clusters of bright objects appear in the northwest. These objects appeared to change color from blue to yellow to white as they slowly crossed the sky to the southeast. They left sparkling trails behind them unlike any meteor I've seen. I had no idea at the time that this was a failed spacecraft launch and when I saw the fear in one of my friends eyes I could tell that he thought the same thing I did. That given the heading of the objects toward Seattle(Nuclear Sub pens) and their bizarre appearance, that it was incoming warheads with decoys!:y: I said something like "Wait for the flash." and we continued walking. The remains of the spacecraft landed in Puget Sound according to news reports and it was a year before the Russians identified it. I'll bet some military people were busy that night! I'll tell my UFO stories if you will.:neener: Ted
 

Luv2launch

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This one isn't my story but my dads when he was still alive and many years ago.We were out at his RC plane club on a pretty nice sunny summer day and not a cloud in the sky when he happened to be looking up for some reason and (to my amazement and many others on the field) he said he saw what looked to be a rockets nosecone flipping end over end in orbit.My father had better then 20/20 vision he could see things pretty far away which always kinda blew my mind but there was one other person on the field that day that confirmed he was seeing what he said he saw because he could see it too!Pretty amazing if you ask me it must have been just in the right spot with the right sky conditions to be seen, it must have been from a rocket that had launched a satellite or something.
 

ben_ullman

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It was a nice warm 70 degree day, March 20th, 2010 to be exact. There I was in a field in Price, Md. There was a silver thing sticking out of the ground and I heart a northeastern accent describe it as a motor test.

5....4.....3.....2...1.....

There was some smoke, and a beautiful green flame, then about 30sec later BOOM.

There went a 45lb 3 grain 6" case flying through the air.

And that is the coolest thing I saw in the sky........ :roll:

Ben
 

Luv2launch

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It was a nice warm 70 degree day, March 20th, 2010 to be exact. There I was in a field in Price, Md. There was a silver thing sticking out of the ground and I heart a northeastern accent describe it as a motor test.

5....4.....3.....2...1.....

There was some smoke, and a beautiful green flame, then about 30sec later BOOM.

There went a 45lb 3 grain 6" case flying through the air.

And that is the coolest thing I saw in the sky........ :roll:

Ben
Hope it didn't hit anyone that woulda left a mark!
 

ONAWHIM

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The Aurora Borealis, from above the arctic circle, somewhere in the North Atlantic.

Ah-Oogha, Ah-Oogha
 

ben_ullman

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Hope it didn't hit anyone that woulda left a mark!
all joking asided (really) that would have atlest knocked some completely out cold AT THE LEAST, more than likely killed them. 45lbs of 6" aluminum falling from 3-400 feet is alot of mass

Ben
 

GregGleason

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When I was in the USAF and I was working on the flightline, I got to see a lot of aircraft perform flight demonstrations (demos for short). It got to be "old hat" after awhile, and each aircraft had their own "set" they played. Typically there was not an airshow, it was just practice for an airshow, so the "audience" were usually just the troops who happened to be out on the flightline at the time.

One day I noticed one F-15 driver putting on his show (sometimes it's hard to ignore the noise generated by the augmented thrust of two high-performance low-bypass turbofans). For some reason I kept watching. It turned out this F-15 driver was a virtuoso. One of the elements of his set was a low, high-speed approach over the runway. This guy came in hot and low (I mean hotter and lower then other pilots) as he was setting up his runway approach, and he had enough airspeed and inertia that he was sliding that bad-boy in as the aircraft centerline was almost parallel to the runway as he vectored in for the fly by. He was doing the aerial equivalent of a "power slide" as setup his high speed fly by. Then he flew just a little below mach a few feet off the ground. We were pumped as we saw that! Never seen that done before or since. It was absolutely brilliant.



:cool:

Greg
 

Peartree

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When I was in the USAF and I was working on the flightline, I got to see a lot of aircraft perform flight demonstrations (demos for short). It got to be "old hat" after awhile, and each aircraft had their own "set" they played. Typically there was not an airshow, it was just practice for an airshow, so the "audience" were usually just the troops who happened to be out on the flightline at the time.

One day I noticed one F-15 driver putting on his show (sometimes it's hard to ignore the noise generated by the augmented thrust of two high-performance low-bypass turbofans). For some reason I kept watching. It turned out this F-15 driver was a virtuoso. One of the elements of his set was a low, high-speed approach over the runway. This guy came in hot and low (I mean hotter and lower then other pilots) as he was setting up his runway approach, and he had enough airspeed and inertia that he was sliding that bad-boy in as the aircraft centerline was almost parallel to the runway as he vectored in for the fly by. He was doing the aerial equivalent of a "power slide" as setup his high speed fly by. Then he flew just a little below mach a few feet off the ground. We were pumped as we saw that! Never seen that done before or since. It was absolutely brilliant.



:cool:

Greg
Trying to picture this...

Parallel or perpendicular?
 

GregGleason

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Trying to picture this...

Parallel or perpendicular?
This is one of those things that would be easier to demonstrate with hands, but perhaps a picture will help. The typical flight would have been more like the blue aircraft, whereas the red was the flight profile I witnessed.

Greg

F15_Demo.jpg
 

shrox

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This is one of those things that would be easier to demonstrate with hands, but perhaps a picture will help. The typical flight would have been more like the blue aircraft, whereas the red was the flight profile I witnessed.

Greg
Wow, computer graphics and everything. I'll bet the RC forums don't have stuff like that. Or those philatelic forums.
 

dave carver

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We were at our old Teapot Dome launch site when a polished aluminum Aeronica buzzed over nap of earth and I mean he was hugging dirt as fast as that plane could go. Less than 30 seconds later an AWACS flew by at about 1000 ft, loafing along with flaps down.

Now, I don't know what was going on, practice following the smaller plane or maybe a drug interdiction flight. There's a lot more than H2O "snow" up at Sun Valley:eyepop:

Second thing: was standing in line at the Airport when I was a Taxi driver. An F16 took off, stood it on it's tail and went straight up. Next time we saw it it was falling in a flat spin, for thousands of feet only to get to about 500 or so feet from the ground, shove the throttle to the wall and fly out of the spin. The rest of his solo show was as spectacular
 
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The EGE

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I've seen some pretty cool things in the sky. Actually, I just spotted Mercury low in the west a few hours ago... not the easiest planet to see.

The coolest, though, was back in the end of july when I was out on Kauai. The smoke trails from rocket tests in the upper atmosphere are very cool looking.
 

sandman

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I took my pilot training from a small grass runway airport about 4 miles down my road, out in the country, in the middle of nowhere, from an old WW II P-47pilot named "Max"!

Once while doing a pre-flight during pilot training my instructor said in a very low quiet voice, "Wait a second there is a B-25 flying over."

I replied, "What did you just saaaaa...?"

Just then a bright shiny silver restored WW II B-25 bomber with the bomb bay doors wide open with the throttles cut dove over us at about 300' then gunned the twin radials to full!:jaw:

He was a friend of my instrtuctor.

Who would have thought in the middle of nowherer, a B-25 bomber???:confused:
 
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dedleytedley

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I think I saw that same B-25 here in Calgary two summers ago. It was flying over the city off and on for a few days as part of a tour. It was the sound that caught my attention the first time, it's unmistakably WW II. At your distance I'll bet you couldn't hear anything else.
Any red light in the sky stories? Ted
 

Luv2launch

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We have someone in the area that flys a b-25 around he's got a hanger up at the local air base in its industrial park section full of WWII era aircraft.
 

George Rachor

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Disclaimer.. I've been lucky enough to see 5 shuttle launches.. 3 landings at Edwards. One of those landings I got to see Challenger depart for Florida on the 747 carrier (also most impressive).

But the most impressive sky site was a Shuttle re-entry over Oregon on the way to Edwards (at night).

from sci.space.shuttle...
But on September 18, 1991:

At time we Oregonians feel left out about whats happening with the
space shuttle program. Not tonight!

I was watching NASA select this evening and noticed with increasing
glee that Discovery was going to be diverted to Edwards. I've been
down to 3 landings but what I saw tonight was incredible! I never
imagined how bright reentry might be.

As NASA's map displayed the orbiters position I walked outside as
Discovery was northwest of my position here in Portland. I walked
back in to the tv to check position and I thought gee I should see
it by now.

As I head back outside I'm thinking I missed it. Then I noticed
the ground was slightly lit up. I looked up and there in all it's
splender was Discovery. Trailing a white glowing smoke tail that
stayed visible for several minutes I was just in awe. I suppose the
orbiter was visible for 30-60 seconds. I just lost track of time.

Yes... a few minutes later we got the sonic boom here too. I couldn't
discern two pops but it was defiantly there and loud.

WOW!

It is really hard to get to sleep now!
 

Evo666

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Coolest thing I thought I saw was one of Saddams scud being intercepted by us. I stuck my head out the hummer when I should be putting on my gas mask for that brilliant fireball. Next day I found it was a British Tornado :(
 

Pem Tech

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Unlike a few of you folks, I haven't gotten to see such cool events as launches at the Cape, Patriot interceptions, or being buzzed by B-25's or F-15's. The few cool things I have seen were the Aurora Borealis over Kentucky (of all places) in 80', a meteor entering the atmosphere sometime in the early 70's and A-10's making strafing runs at an air show at Ft. Campbell KY.
The the neatest and most creepy was what I believed to be a silenced helicopter.
Ft. Campbell KY is the home of TF-160, a special operations unit, had some really great toys and a that time (early 90's) there were rumors of of silenced black helicopters in the sensationalized news.
One night, years ago, when returning home after full dark I watched a a set of navigation lights silently swoop in over the apartment complex, level out and and continue off to the left. It got as close as 100 meters but was inaudible above the traffic noise and indistinguishable from the night sky except for the navigation lights. Having grown up around Air Force bases I am sorta' familiar with aircraft and how they look and behave.
It moved like any other copter' (Blackhawk, Apache, Huey) just vewy, vewy quietly....

Most eerie......
:eyepop:
 

luke strawwalker

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We USED to get regularly buzzed here on the farm by military jets (mostly Navy but a few other services as well) but that's significantly slowed over the last ten years or so... I guess cutbacks or something. 20 years ago we'd get at least a couple jets come over a week, couple hundred feet altitude, high subsonic.

Now lemme tell you, balancing on top of a cotton picker basket roof made of smooth slick sheet steel at a 30 degree angle, 15 feet off the ground, hanging on to the edge of the cleaning grates with your fingertips with one hand while leaning WAY out with the other hand using the spray gun to shoot paint on the roof of the machine, and having an F-4 Phantom fly over at high-subsonic speed at 150 feet or so, and not being able to hear a single sound from it until you get the blast from both engines when it's virtually directly overhead, THAT will get your blood pumping (and pumping out on the ground if you fall!). We'd regularly see Phantoms, F-5's, F-16's, even an A-6 or two back in the OLD days...

The coolest thing I ever saw though, was this. I was in the field one day plowing or hipping or disking or something-- it was heavy tillage. When I did heavy tillage I could tell exactly what speed the tractor engine was running in RPM's without even looking, and could tell how deep the tool was and how hard the tractor was pulling strictly by the sound of the engine and transmission. Those old Ford 6600's had straight-teeth gears in the transmissions; you car-types should know what I'm talking about-- straight teeth gears whine VERY loudly under load (that's why virtually all cars and trucks have had helical-cut teeth gears for the last 50 years or so, at least-- they run almost silently by comparison). SO, I'm toodling along through the field, daydreaming and listening to the steady thrum of the engine and slow staccato whine of the transmission as we hit harder and looser spots in the field and the load varies, when suddenly I'm snapped out of my reverie by a different sound-- I was so attuned to the sounds of the machinery I could tell if I had a broken blade or a bearing about to quit by the sounds of the machinery. This was something different though-- the transmission whine was getting louder, and LOUDER, and LOUDER!!!! I rapidly scanned all my guages and looked for spewing oil, smoke, or other signs of a machine in it's final moments, and nothing seemed amiss, but the whine is going completely off the charts, so I quickly stomp down the clutch and stop as I scan for the source, and it instantly becomes apparent that it's OVERHEAD... I glance up just in time to see TWO A-10 Warthogs, flying a couple hundred feet directly over the field, almost overhead. One is almost directly in front of the other, but flying at a slight angle. At that precise moment, he chopped power and heeled over, nose up and rudders kicked hard over and did a beautiful side slip tip stall type manuever; the A-10 looked like it just slammed on the brakes and virtually hovered as it dropped about 50 feet or so in altitude, forcing the second A-10 to throttle up a bit and do a little 'sidestep' around him, dodging right a bit and then returning to course back to the left, overshooting him almost instantly. The first A-10 then shoved his throttles forward, turbofans whining and roaring, as he surged forward onto the second one's tail, and they continued on off to the north...

Now that's not something you see every day-- those high-speed jets, I've seen them in a sharp turn over the farm at high subsonic, and some of them would take 50 miles to complete a turn-- these low-speed A-10's looked like they could do a ballet dance in a barnlength-- just amazing manueverability.

With the airshow over and my transmission not about to explode like the Enterprise's Warp Core, I went on back to work...

Later! OL JR :)
 

Swampworks

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Back in about 96 or 97 I was heading out to my duck hunting lease, I would say it was about 4:30am maybe 5am and this bright light streaked all the way across the sky. It was so bright, it left what looked like a light trail behind it for 20 or 30 seconds. My buddy and I both just stared, not knowing what to think. When we finally said something all we could say was how "somebody else had to have seen that" and "....and we haven't even been drinking". I heard several other reports describing what we saw, so I know we weren't hallucinating, but I don't think I ever heard a real explanation. Never searched real hard either though.

Still, I still think the coolest thing I have ever seen and continue to see in the sky is when I look through my own telescope and stare at Saturn. Even though I am looking at it live, it is still hard to believe that it is really out there.
 

Scotty Dog

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Rainbow :D Lightning :y: Sunset :) The color blue. Scotty dog
 

Diosces

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Wow, people got lotsa cool, varied stuff.

Coming from NYC region I was not accustomed to starry nights, stationed in Ft Riley Kansas for two years I got to experience some cool star filled skys....

However my favorite . We were stationed in various tent camps in the California Mojave desert for straight 30 days (1980's).
About a week into maneuveurs it was night and we were in total blackout. Our battalion was camped on a large ridge and the star filled crystal clear night sky was absolutely stunning.

About 11 PM we were treated to an awesome display of a Perseid meteor shower..Bright flashes with variegated streaks of white and red, truly awesome. Words just fail........
 
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rstaff3

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I guess for me it would be the Shuttle atop its carrier, circling low over downtown El Paso. I've seen it up high a couple of other times, but this was much closer. #2 probably would be Steve Eves' Saturn V.
 

sandman

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Then there was the time about 1961 or there abouts when I saw a B-58 Hustler doing a 180 degree knife edge turn starting over Lake Huron and ending over house at not much under mach.

They did over mach runs over our house enough times to really p^$$ off my mom.
 

redsox15

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A couple years ago I took a trip to Cedar Point Amusement park in Ohio. As we were standing in line for one of the rides one of the big C 17s flew overhead about 500 ft above the top of the lift hill landing gear out and ready to land. Very cool sight to see, you could read the letters and everything.

Matt
 

Fred22

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Watching two B1 bombers fly in trail over downtown :) Very slick looking birds :) The lancaster over cold lake was neat too :)
Cheers
Fred
 

Pem Tech

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oohhh drool....
The B-58 is a shweet aircraft.
Would love to see one of those live and in person.

Then there was the time about 1961 or there abouts when I saw a B-58 Hustler doing a 180 degree knife edge turn starting over Lake Huron and ending over house at not much under mach.

They did over mach runs over our house enough times to really p^$$ off my mom.
 

Evo666

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I guess for me it would be the Shuttle atop its carrier, circling low over downtown El Paso. I've seen it up high a couple of other times, but this was much closer. #2 probably would be Steve Eves' Saturn V.
About when was this? I do remember a shuttle at el paso sometime between my service 2001-2004. Btw what were you doing in that hell hole? :)
 
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