|I need to fire my entire art department. Note: Not to scale.|
So, a group of soldiers are bullcorning in a field as soldiers will do after training has ceased for the day. It was quite chilly but not extremely cold. We are in an open area bounded by dense woods on 3 sides. The skies were completely clear. There wasn't a lot of light pollution around making the view of the heavens perfect.
A platoon sergeant for another platoon had been an intelligence analyst in another life and was regaling us with stories of daring do and teaching us about how spy satellites work. He could literally tell you the names of some based on their trajectory and timing and discern between Russian and US satellites. That is SatStar 6. It is a civilian comms satellite. Later he would say, OK that one is Russian. You can tell by it's reflected light. It appears white. Ours appear to have a gold glint as they have a different plating...
The preceding dialogue is meant to be representative of the flow of conversation on that night, show that the guy seemed at least to know what he was talking about and at least 5-9 trained reconnaissance specialists including senior non-commissioned officers had their eyes trained on the same spot in the same sky that night. It isn't verbatim. I make a point to stress we were trained recon guys whom had it beat into our heads to observe and report only what we actually see, hear and smell without embellishment. Nope, we were not a group of astronaut astrophysicist astronomers but we were a group of guys intensely trained for if nothing else- to look for things out of the ordinary. There were most likely more than 5-9 soldiers as there were two platoons hanging out- at least 5 were in an inner circle hanging out. I recall that many by name, faces or being aware there were people around I may not see in my recall but at the time I was aware of their presence. It was literally pitch black at ground level.
After one satellite passes by we see 3 more together moving slightly lateral to the last satellite we observed. They may be at a higher altitude. They were arranged in a loose triangle. We were riveted to them awaiting SSG Clarke to tell us about them. We were just expecting a cool addendum to the impromptu class. However, the lights stop for several seconds, then the first shoots forward and curving out slightly disappears into space. The second and third move forward in unison and as they do one shoots forward (the one on the right base of the triangle) and it curving out slightly shoots forward and disappears at a point where the first was lost visually. The third stops for several seconds, then moving forward slowly it shoots forward and again, beginning in a curved arc then cutting back hard and in a more straight line disappears into space at the some apparent point as the first 2.
We all saw it at the same time. We didn't miss part of it and catch it in our peripheral vision and have to accommodate processing new information. None of us were distracted by other data to process and there was no need for any of us to get another persons attention on what we were seeing to try and validate our observations. The passing of the known satellite had us locked on that part of the sky and visually from our perspective it and the three
In unison we said things like, What the?! Holy #$%$! Did you see that? Staff Sergeant, what was that? I don't know but if you tell anybody I saw it, I'll tell 'em you're a liar. was the only thing I remember SSG Clarke saying.
This statement is a true and correct report of my recall of events on the aforementioned evening in Bavaria Germany.
Signed el chupacabra
The First Day of Our Lord November 2014