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Basic indications:

Date written:October 19, 2009
Date received:October 19, 2009
Date published:October 19, 2009
Date of sighting:October 18, 2009
Place of sighting:France, Aubagne
Original language of report:French
Reported using:e-mail
Unreleased information:Name, firstname, email address
Investigation, additional information:None
Explanation:Rocket and fuel dump plus satelite.

The report:

Subject: observation of a ufo
Date: October 19, 2009
From: [firstname] [name] [firstname]@[name].com Attachments: object.jpg, 7 KB; object_trajectory.jpg, 111 KB


I have probably consulted your site internet for several years now and even since your beginnings. Anyway, I wanted to report an observation to you which I made yesterday evening in my apartment.

As usual, I smoked a cigarette on my balcony while observing the sky and stars during of beautiful nighttimes. My glance was attracted towards something unusual since there was a kind of "small cloud", more exactly a nebulosity as if a comet were observed. Curious I stare at this object to realize that it moved and that there was a red dot locate in front of the latter. I called my wife so that she comes to observe this curious thing and during this time I went to get my digital camera but unfortunately the battery was empty. Anyway if I had been able to grab the camera, given the speed of the object and the low luminosity (half of Jupiter for the most luminous dot that it the red dot) you would not have seen much.

The sighting itself:

- Date: 10/18/2009

- Time of observation: 21:14 - 21:15

- Place: Aubagne (13)

- Totatty clear sky without cloud or moisture, cold, no turbulence and no moon (a perfect sky for amateur astronomers)

- Duration of observation: 1 minute approximately

- Trajectory of the object: rectilinear, South to North

- Description of the object: stable red dot (without flickering nor change of color) followed of a nonturbulent luminous nebulosity (stable) of "triangular" form (of comet type). The two elements were moving at the same speed. It is impossible for me to say if it is a single object or two distinct objects following themselves perfectly. Indeed there was no visible connection between these two elements, the only link was the speed - perpspective correlation: the relative distance between the elements was constant throughout the observation.

- Size in the sky at arm's length to the zenith: 12 cm from the beginning of the red dot to the end of the nebulosity. (see perceptual reproduction for the approximate size of the various elements)

- Altitude: undeterminable (but more than 100m obviously)

- Noise: none

Not having taken photographs, I immediately sketched out a perceptual reproduction of the observation at the zenith. If you look at this image in a dark environement and that you zoom so that the elements make 12 cm at arm's length, I would say that you have 95% of what was observed yesterday evening (that is much better than the photograph than I could not take). I respected the luminosity at the time of the reproduction.

I also attached the trajectory of the object: the dark zone is what is not observable to me from my balcony. The red arrow indicates the direction of the observed trajectory, the dotted orange line is the extension of this trajectory. I tried to in vain locate it on the other side of the building still from my balcony but the object was certainly located in the dark zone of the image.

I do not have any explanation of the nature of this object. If you have questions, do not hesitate to send me an email. I am curious to know whether someone elsesaw the same thing as us that evening.
Best regards,


Two images were attached, showing:

My answer sent on October 19, 2009:

Note: the news about this event was on my website after this witness sent me his sighting report.

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your fidelity and your sighting report.

I think I have the solution:

"ROCKET FUEL DUMP: A Centaur rocket caused a minor sensation on Sunday night, Oct. 18th, when it flew over Europe and dumped a load of excess propellant. "We saw it at 9:15 pm local time (1915 UT)," report Federico and Chiara Bellini of Bodio Lomnago, Italy. "It looked like a comet with a fan-shaped tail." [Photo.]

"About 20 seconds later, a second object appeared." That was a US military weather satellite (DMSP F-18), which the Centaur booster had helped launch earlier in the evening from Vandebergh, Air Force Base in California. "And then," the Bellinis continue, "a big circular halo followed the two across the sky." The halo, shown here in a movie recorded by Jonas F÷rste of Jakobstad, Finland, was probably an expanding puff of gas emitted during an earlier firing of the Centaur.

"This remarkable display took observers by surprise in England, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, and many other places. Stay tuned for additional reports and photos."

( Source: )

Best regards
Patrick Gross

The witness thanked my for the answer and told me that in the meantime he spoke about his sighting around him and other people too told him about the rocket.

To: Other sighting reports.

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This page was last updated on October 19, 2009