The local news in the town of Gloucester in South West England reported on a beautiful sunset picture that captures an unidentified falling object plummeting out of the skies.
Sarah-Jane Stanley told the Gloucester Citizen that she was out for a walk with her daughter when they spotted the object. She grabbed her camera and captured 15 photos of it.
She says, “I looked through my camera lens on full zoom and it appeared to have something at the tip of it and it was clearly visible on a downward descent. The object is spinning and glowing… Crazy although it sounds, it seems to be shaped like a claw and there is something glowing on it.”
Stanley says she sent the pictures to meteorologists at the Met Office and they told her that whatever it was, it was not weather related, and suggested it could be something entering the atmosphere. They suggested she contact the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
There have been similar sightings, some apparently identified while others not. One that remains somewhat of a mystery is a strange trail photographed in the skies over Beaverton, Oregon. The local Fox station says their newsroom received several reports and pictures of the object.
One viewer wrote, “As it continued down, the trail behind it started to spread out as you can see in the pictures. Then it lit up like a fireball.”
Jim Todd, director of space science education at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, told Fox 12 that it looked like something exploded, indicating it was a fireball. Although he notes, in order for that to be the case, there would have been a sonic boom, which was not reported.
“The verdict is still out whether it was a fireball or a contrail,” he said.
Another image that shows similarities to the Gloucester photos was a video captured at Prince Edward Island in Canada. The video was recorded soon after Christmas of 2012. In this case, a local meteorologist suggested the image was a contrail.
There have been many other sightings where contrails are mistaken for falling objects or missiles, so the next time I saw contrails aligned in a manner in which they appeared to be moving straight down, I snapped a picture with my iPhone.
The sunset seems to make everything appear more dramatic. Whatever it is Stanley photographed in Gloucester, her pictures certainly are lovely.