An area resident reported this week that he and his wife saw a strange object flying over Barriere on Aug. 17, at 11:20 p.m.
The couple, who requested their name be withheld, report that there was a partial moon at the time, with stratocumulus clouds in the sky.
The man says what he first saw appeared to be a fire on the top of Armour Mountain, so he quickly called his wife to take a look as well. They “considered phoning Forestry to report the fire”, but then quickly realized that the “fire” was actually moving laterally and was higher than Armour Mountain.
He says that the object appeared to be moving at 50 to 80 kms per hour. There was no sound, no visible exhaust or smoke, no white light (such as on a helicopter), and no blinking lights (such as on an aircraft).
They did wonder if it could have been a hot air balloon, and wondered if other people in the area may have seen something similar, or are able to identify what they saw?
“The object had no discernible defined shape,” said the man, “It just looked like a big bonfire. It was moving southeast to southwest.”
He says that the object was visibly seen through some of the lighter cloud areas, with the cloud cover at about 300-800 meters, and he estimated the object to be at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 meters.
The couple say within 15 minutes the object was obscured by cloud cover at 11:35 p.m., but they did note a distant sound similar to a helicopter at 11:40 p.m.
“The sound was too far away for this object,” said the man, “And it appeared to be far too large at the altitude we saw it to be a helicopter.”
The couple report they did try to take some photographs, but say their camera is just not up to that kind of nighttime photography. The possibility of a translucent hot air ballon could explain the phenomenon as all they could actually see was the moving fire.
Anyone who may have witnessed something similar on Aug. 17, around the same time, is invited to call the Star/Journal at (250-672-5611), write (Box 1020, Barriere, V0E 1E0) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).