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Townsville, April 30, 2011, 9.00pm

Townsville, April 30, 2011, 9.00pm

I would like to report a sighting that occurred on 30 April 2011 at approximately 2100hrs in Townsville, Queensland. The object was witnessed by my wife and myself.

I am a soldier in the Australian Army. In the evening I regularly go to the barracks and my wife often joins me. The night of 30 April 2011 was quite cool and there were no discernable clouds in the sky. Visibility was great and the stars were easy to make out.

At approximately 2100hrs (estimated as I was not wearing a watch) I saw what I first believed to be a shooting star. I initially noticed it nearly directly above my head and watched it travel in a Westerly direction away from me. I watched it move down towards the horizon for about half a second, at which point it seemed to explode like fireworks. It was very bright (maybe 5-10 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky). I asked my wife if she had seen the shooting star and I was disappointed that she had not as it was very spectacular. I commented that it was very unusual as I have never seen a shooting star so bright. I am an infantryman who has served about nine years and have spent many nights in the bush on training and operations. I have seen hundreds of shooting stars (many are picked up with night vision goggles that would not normally be seen by the naked eye) and I have never seen so bright a light. I was also excited as I had never seen a shooting star explode like a firework.

Approximately two minutes after witnessing the “shooting star” I saw a hazy light in my peripheral vision. At first I thought it was an after-effect of looking at a streetlight. I turned my head to the left and could still see the hazy light in the same position. I turned to ask my wife if she could see the same object, but before I could speak she told me that she could see something in the sky. My wife was standing about twenty meters to the west of me. She also initially thought that it was an after-effect of looking at a streetlight, but later described the object as the “skeleton of a cloud”. I estimated the object to be about 200-300 meters in the air and about 250 meters to the south of our position. My wife had a different impression and estimated the object to be slightly above rooftop level and about 30 meters to the south.

I moved about 30 meters to the south (my wife remained in her original position) to try and get a better view of the hazy light ,at which time I saw an unnatural symmetrical cylindrical shape with curved ends (please see diagram below). It was matt black in colour and contrasted against the dark blue of the night sky. If I held my right fist at arm’s length it would have taken three fists to cover the complete cylindrical object. It was silently moving in an easterly direction and appeared to be travelling in a straight line. I watched it for approximately 10-15 seconds, during which my wife moved to me and asked if I could still see the object as she had lost sight of it. I pointed it out to her and she could also see it for about three more seconds until we lost sight of it due to street lighting around the barracks. My wife could only make out something moving in the sky for these final three seconds, and neither of us could make out the shape at this range. If I had to make a very rough stab in the dark I think at this time it was about 800m to the east of us and appeared to be continuing on the same line of flight.

I believe my estimation of height and distance away from us is more accurate. If the object had been at above rooftop level we would have lost sight of it earlier as there were buildings between us and the object when we finally lost sight.

Address:

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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