It may have been an unusual meteor, but for scores of witnesses out looking at Fourth of July fireworks in southwestern Illinois, it looked like a bright blue UFO.
Rose Mary Uffelmann, 59, of Red Bud, Illinois happened to have her video camera running when the blue thing went over. "It lit up the whole area," she said. "It went right overhead. It was bright blue and had no trail like shooting stars have."
On Monday, July 7, Uffelmann took her video of the strange blue light to Richard Heuermann, administrative officer for the department of earth and planetary science at Washington University in nearby St. Louis.
"It's a UFO in the strict sense of the term," Heuermann said. "It's something that was unidentified and flying."
The object was spotted at about 9:30 pm local time over an area of hundreds of square miles, including parts of St. Louis. Most witnesses said it looked like a fast moving oval of bright blue light. Some said it had a thin tail.
Heuermann, who told news reporters he suspected the object was an unusually bright meteor, said it must have been high in the sky for so many witnesses to have seen it. But some people insisted it was barely above the treetops.
Deborah Gregory, 50, was standing on a hill watching local fireworks when she saw it.
"I saw this blue, globe-looking-like light shoot over our heads so close that I ducked," she said. "Sometimes you can't believe your own eyes."
The event has generated a lot of attention in the regional press, including several articles in the main St. Louis newspaper, the Post-Dispatch.
One Post-Dispatch columnist, Pulitzer-prize winning political satirist and commentator Bill McClellan, hinted that two out-of-towners suspiciously similar in appearance to "men-in-black" had shown up at the offices of the Post-Dispatch, apparently to put a benign spin on the blue UFO story.
Trying to eavesdrop on a hush-hush meeting behind closed doors, McClellan wrote, "I heard voices. Low voices. Occasionally, one of these voices would rise slightly, as if to emphasize something. Only then I could make out individual words. "Meteor. National Security."
The column seems to be tongue-in-cheek. But some readers weren't completely sure. "We just don't know exactly what to make of it," one area resident told CNI News.
McClellan's article is posted on the web at http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/home.nsf/NewsBriefing/
The National UFO Report Center in Seattle, Washington received many calls on the July 4 blue UFO. Further information can be found at their web site, http://nwlink.com/~ufocntr/
Original file name: CNI - Illinois blue UFO
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