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Pulsing light

I've spent years looking at the sky and stars and know what an airplane looks like, satellite, and meteors. But I saw something different the other night: an object tracking south to north at a height I would have assumed to be a satellite. However, it was not continuously illuminated but pulsed about every 12 seconds and grew brighter for about 2 seconds then faded to dark. It continued to do this as it tracked across the sky in a straight line headed north. A few minutes later a faint satellite was seen moving north to south along a similar line with a constant illumination.
I looked up on a satellite tracking website and found the satellite moving north to south but nothing was recorded moving south to north overhead my location. I just never have seen one pulse - and the pulse increased in intensity during its duration then faded - repeating with each pulse.

Mark Schinnerer
Carlsbad,NM

Posted on 04.30.2009 by Registered CommenterLesley in | Comments29 Comments

Reader Comments (29)

This was shocking to me; I've read lots of UFO sighting accounts over the years but never one that described the exact object I saw over 30 years ago at the age of 12 or so. I lived in Watertown, NY at the time and my family had taken me to Syracuse (roughly 72 miles SSE) on a shopping trip. We were returning to Watertown and the sun had set minutes before. I was seated in the back with my head tilted back watching the stars through the back window when I saw this bright object moving into the orange glow of the setting sun. It's brightness diminished and I just assumed it was a meteorite burning up in the atmosphere (I was into astronomy early in life). But within 10 minutes it came back on a reverse trajectory and it was then that I realized it hadn't "burnt up", but rather that it was pulsing, with the duration matching Mark's description above. It seemed to be leaving a very short briefly visible trail behind it at the brightest point of it's pulse, like the afterimage from a sparkler being waved through the air. Once it reached apogee, at a 12 o'clock position in the sky almost directly above the car (but apparently at extremely high altitude), we seemed to be more or less keeping pace with it for the next 20-30 minutes until we reached my Aunt's house in Paddy Hill outside Watertown. We then pointed it out to her and talked outside as we watched it continue to move across the sky until it was out of site beyond the trees. I have seen several unidentified objects in the years since that night, but never one that had that slow pulse to full brightness and back. I've tracked asyncronous satellites from horizon to horizon in the years since but have never seen nor heard of anything that does this odd pulsing either. If someone knows of anything natural or man made that could exhibit such behavior I would be interested to know.

Adam Madill
Sanford, FL

May 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Madill

At a approxamatly 2215 hours on 6 29 2009 I witnessed a similar pulsing object tracking from SSW to NNE in Colusa County, CA. The object at first looked like a regular satellite (height and speed) but then faded. To my surprise it illuminated again then regularly pulsed on and off on a full track across the sky. The timing of the pulses varied a bit but was on about 2 secs then off for approx 2 secs. Looking up visible sats on Heavens Above the time of Lacrosse was about right but the track of the one my wife and I saw was too far south.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuart Angerer

We are not alone! Er, I mean "we" that have seen this same orange, pulsating phenomena. I saw what seems to have been the same thing about 35 years ago as a young boyscout in Alabama. On an all night camping trip in the mountains, two other scouts called to me and another boy to come top of the ridge where they were.

These guys were very excited and pointed to the top of an adjacent ridge top and said they had seen a strange light land there. We all waited and looked and then there was a bright double flash and an object that was about "high moon" size pulsated to life with an orange, plasmic looking glow for a few seconds and then faded to dark for a few seconds. When it "pulsed" again it was higher in the sky. This repeated six times with the object higher in the sky each time. After the sixth time we saw it no more.

The distance between the ridge we were on and the one "it" took of from, I estimate to be maybe 3-5 miles as the crow flies. On full pulse, the interior of the "orb" was, as I said plasma like and kind of swirled and churned like liquid fire in a glass globe if that makes any sense.

Even at that age, I knew what we saw couldn't be easily explained. I tried then, and since, to think of any explanation for what I saw and always come up zilch.

The advent of the internet led me to research if anyone else had seen this and I have found that "we are not alone." Punch in orange pulsating light into google. Weed out the obvious chinese lanterns and here and there are others who have seen this truly unexplainable sighting.

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMic

just posted to MUFON:

8-30-09 very bright pulsating object moving S to NE

i was initially hesitant to report this incident, since i'm wanting something closer to ground like the 7-2-9 craft. but when i read report 18992, i had to document that my partner and i saw the EXACT SAME OBJECT as witnessed by the CT resident. however, we saw this on 8-30-2009 at approx 945-950pm CT and they stated it was 8-31 at 9:45pm ET. perhaps they made a typo-error on the date?

we were standing in back of a strip mall on about 25th and Capehart Rd. in Bellevue, NE. as usual these days, we proceeded to scan the sky for anomalies. a VERY BRIGHT silver-white flash caught my eye in the NE corner of sky in the area of Cassiopeia. like the CT witness, i thought it was likely just a plane strobe, but then realized there were no other standard nav lights. i then asked her to check this thing out, and we both perceived it was moving steadily in a NE direction and pulsating at regular intervals. unlike the CT person, we couldn't see any other regular pin point of light or other object d\t city lights. my estimate was that it pulsated every 10-12 seconds for about 6-7 times, then left our view. i have no idea at what height it traveled. i would say it moved faster than most satellites i've seen or the ISS, which was nowhere near us at that time.

this will probably be found to be a new type of satellite or maybe space debris. but i've never seen one that flashed this brightly at regular intervals and there was no burn trail that one would expect with debris. it was also odd that it didn't seem to cross the whole sky, just the NE quadrant.

September 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon in Omaha

Just witnessed the same as was posted in Jon from Omaha. About 15 min ago.

September 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike in PA

This is a posting on MUFON that I feel should be also posted here since there seems to be a very possible pattern here. Perhaps this is a military or comm satellite. But as this guy from Idaho stated he couldn't find anything via web search.

9-25-2009 Slow moving object emited a series of bright strobe flashes as it tracked across the sky ID, US

A friend and myself were camping at a U.S. Forest Service campground along the middle fork of the Boise River in Idaho. The campground was dubbed 'Troutville' and is located approximately 1/3rd of the way to Atlanta on Middle Fork Road from Arrowrock Dam. I'm a big star gazer and amateur astronomer and haven't been away from city lights for a number of years, so I was taking the opportunity to soak in as much as I could. I had already witnessed about 10 satellites in orbit when, at approximately 11 PM (I forgot my watch and my friend forgot the car charger for her cellphone and her battery was kaput, so I had no means of checking the time exactly) while looking at an area of the sky to the northwest around the constellations of Perseus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda, I saw what appeared to me as one of those 'aerial bombs' that go off at firework shows (the ones that are just a mere flash of white light but produce a huge concussion). I focused on the spot that the flash happened at and began to wonder what would make such a bright flash. I asked my friend if she saw it as well, and she had. About 20 seconds later it happened again in what appeared to be the very same spot. My friend was no longer looking at that spot and I informed her that it had happened again and we began to discuss scenarios that might explain the phenomenon, from a new pulsar to a ground based defense laser firing at a target satellite to sunlight reflecting off of individual solar panels on the ISS and countless other things that might explain it. Even though I witnessed a massive 'black boomerang' in 1994 that was undoubtedly an E.T., I'm not the type to assume that every anomaly in the sky is a visitor from another planet. I decided that if I saw it any more times that I would time it to see whether it was reoccurring at precise intervals. When it happened the third time I started counting out loud "One thousand one. One thousand two, etc", and I also moved so that the top of a pine tree was horizontal to where it happened at, this way I could tell if it was moving, if at all. When I counted out to 20 it happened again but I couldn't be sure if it had moved any. When the next flash occurred it was at the 18 count, and I could tell that it was indeed moving, albeit very slowly, from the region of the constellation of Andromeda towards Perseus. The next time it happened I had counted all the way to 22 and it had become noticeably dim, but was still rather bright. By means of averaging my inaccurate counts I figure it was happening every 20 seconds exactly. It happened 3 more times, and each time it's luminosity was markedly diminished from the time before, such that I couldn't tell if it continued on and reached a range where the light had become insignificant to my perception, or simply fizzled out. The entire event took approximately 3 minutes, and the object only traversed an area of sky which I can only describe as a measure of 'about the distance between my thumb and index finger appear to be when my arm is fully outstretched'. When I got back to Boise I started doing research online to see if what I had witnessed was indeed a known phenomena, but every search parameter I've tried has turned up nothing, so I figured I'd file it here. If this is something that's already been researched and explained by MUFON, could you send me an email at the address that I've included with this form to let me know what it was? Thanks a bunch.

September 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon in Omaha

16th of october 2009
time 21.10 bst

south-south east

I was ouside and noticed a strange light in the sky, at first i thought it was a star'but all of a sudden it became really bright. It stayed bright for about 45 seconds then went back to being a star! Then about in 6o seconds it became bright again, i thought to myself'very odd. so i went up to my shed and got out my 300x reflector teloscope, this light was moving in a fixed orbit' and seamed to be the shape of an egg!!! from where i was standing' it seamed to be tracking north, in the end i went to bed. any idea's anyone?

Phil smith

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphil smith

Holy crap!! I saw the same thing last night...I wonder what it is..any scientific explanation??

February 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRahul

My partner and I were in bed last night and saw a pulsating light in the sky. We looked at it for about two hours through binos and it was as described above, It too pulsated and a myriad of lights could be seen. It did appear almost like neon but it was pulsating and moving off but kept returning but changing it's direction! We were both enthralled and spellbound!

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarilyn june melville

Mark,

I saw the same pulsating object on Friday April 30th in Marietta, Ohio. It was tracking SW to NE. Thought it was a satelite, but it was moving way to fast and the altitude seemed lower than that of most satelites that go over. Could have been part of the Aurora project, which utlizes a new pulsating type of enging.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCHris Laumann

I saw the same thing this morning May 6,2010 at about 4:10am while i was watching the meteor shower. It seemed to blink off and on then dissapear then explode into a brillant flash of light then dim and blink off and on again. It was moving from NNE to SSW across the sky.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve T.

I have been trying to find similar occurences to my sightings and some of these above sound very close to the light i witnessed 2 nights running.
I'm in England, South East corner and on the 22nd May 2010 I tracked a very fast moving white star like object in the sky - time 2,20am.
The object moved from South to North and the same as you guys the object emitted a very bright pulse every 10-12 seconds.
The very next night approx 10.10pm although same day i witnessed the same object again heading from South to North on a different orbit lower down in the sky.
The object was moving much slower but still pulsed a bright white every 10-12 seconds.
I've never ever seen anything like this before!
All planes go from West to East and vice versa and it was definately not a helicopter.
Both nights were amazingly clear with no clouds whatsoever.
I really would like to understand what I saw.
The different speeds of this object is baffling me, i guess that rules out a satellite?

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave P

have just had similar experience while wild camping at brimham rocks north yorkshire uk thursday 29thjuly 2010 while laying on a rockstack watching for satelites and shooting stars my friend andmyself noticed a fast moving satelite that seemed to fade then re-appear roughly every 12 seconds it then peaked with an intense light and small trail for just over a second than faded rapidly it travelled from SSE to NNW repeating the PULSE in a straight orbit constant speed and regular pulse pattern from one horizon to the other my friend seems to think it might be an experimental propulsion system???? while i after 20 years of star gazing am not sure having never seen this before all the other satelites that evening traversed a similar direction SSE NNW

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrob falconer

I've been watching the skies since I was about twelve, I am now eighteen and my fascination with the skies has only grown. At the age of about thirteen maybe, I saw my first UFO. It flew past my bedroom window and was box shaped (unusual, yes I know) From memory now I can only recall the dark objects shape but not the lights, though there were some.

Anyway, having had several sighting since... tonight I was shocked beyond belief that I shouted my Dad down to look.

The first I saw was a very faint almost untraceable light flying beneath some stars, I looked down just for a second to take a smoke but as I started to look up again there was a HUGE flash of bright light and the object changed course. It was originally flying west, once the flash occurred it went straight up. Not fast like you would expect of a "shooting star" but is carried on it's slow pace... then disappeared.

I'd been inside temporarily after that but come back out for another smoke, looked to the west and observed what you all here have posted... I pulsing light heading south. It was flying slowly and pulsed every two to three seconds. I eventually lost sight of it.

It's puzzling...

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoph W

At this age in my life (64) I am opening up about an incident that took place in the summer or early fall of 1964. On a bright sunlit day, a Saturday around 10 am, while in the course of doing a tuneup on my car, I snapped a new spark plug in half. We lived out in the country outside the city limits. I now had a V8 with 7 running cylinders and I now needed to go into town to buy a new plug. My friend, Johnny was helping. We get in the ranch truck and head out to town. About two miles from home at the highest point in Miller county Ar, setting next to the rural road was what is called a 'flying saucer'. It sat about 15 yards from where I stopped in the truck.

It was large, circular in shape and aerodynamic. We sat in a dead stare and slience for about a min, then turned to each other and asked what in the hell is that? Dunno, but lets get out of here. I floored the truck and it hesitated badly, had a real lack of power and we took off. We drove about 1 mile and decided to go back. We did and it was gone. Where it sat the ground grass/weeds were laid over and there appeared to be a bluish smoky haze close to the ground. I had noticed this at the base of the object as it sat there.

The color of the object was of anodized titanium, a sort of grayish metallic color. The color of a watch I later bought i life. It appeared seamless on the outside with no visible viewing ports.

In April of '65 a few months later I obtained my first US Amy Secret clearance, later a TS clearance and help those most of my life durning my career in the US Army. I am now a retired Army officer and engineer by trade.

The location was outside of Texarkana, Miller county, Ar.

I left the area in '67 and went back around 2004 specifically to view the location where this siting took place. 40 years later and the location and the spot where it sat is still devoid of most growth other than some low lying grass and weeds. Its a large circular spot just off the rural road. I did a narrative along with a video that describes the in detail and the exact location by a GPS.

If anyone is interested in viewing the video drop a note here and I will give you the link to down load it. It is a QT video.

I believe in UFO 100% anyone who says they are not real has watched too many 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'...

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonald Pryor
Seen it in sacramento,ca 10 minutes ago seen 3 slow orange pulses 2 seconds apart until it left my color security camera then when outside to see if it was a plane or something but there wasn't anything there??
September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
I live in Gardiner, NY...about twety minutes from the famous Pine Bush sighting town. Three weeks ago me and two other friend were comig back from an art show in nearby Kingston. We got into Gardiner and were stopping at my friends to check on his cat and check his house. When i came back outside my friend was looking up in the sky south east in the direction of stewart airforce base about 5 feet into the sky. He turned to me and asked if i saw "it"...I looked and said it's a star. Upon his request i looked a little longer and harder and saw what appeared to be a star...but this flickered like a flame...pulsed and seemed to roll over itself like plasma fluid. I steadied my footing refocused my eyes and looked some more. The object then moved at a 3inch clip to the left...quickly...stopped. Then did the same in diferent directions...we watched this object for 3+ hours. Several other people locally saw the same thing as far as Hyde Park...30 miles east of us. This sighting occurred between the hours of 2am-4am.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterroland
November 6....maybe 7th. While smoking a cigarette outside of my apartment in Lansing new York. I noticed a very bright star. I studied it as I often go out to smoke and never recalled it's being there. Just as I decided to go inside to warm up, it faded to almost nothing. A few seconds later it gradually reappeared to the intensity it had previously been, but this time, it was slightly to the right of it's original location. I watched this..."star", for a solid 20 minutes as I pointed it out to my neighbor and his wife. The three of us were perplexed to say the least. And yes, the pulses were roughly 12 seconds apart but no visable color. Just white light. I have no idea what it was. But it reminded me of a lighthouse. The light may have been on the whole time...just spinning in and out of view.
November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Me and my father witnessed the same while outside smoking a cigarette. I live in Birmingham UK, and a bit of a newcomer to all this (since August I've witnessed 3 comets and the mysterious orange object twice.) We both saw the orange pulsating object track roughly north to south at about 6.55pm on November 7th. It passed overhead in a smooth and straight line before it disappeared behind some clouds. The sighting lasted around 45 seconds and I presumed it to be the either a satellite or the ISS, and my friends claim it was a "Chinese lantern" what with bonfire night etc going on at the time. I'm certain it wasn't this or a even a plane as it was travelling far too quickly and was far too high, but as they didn't see it for themselves it obviously didn't happen :/ Then I saw it again 3 days later with one of my friends, around 11pm heading on the same course I had previously observed. Still a lantern to him though of course. I did snap a picture but due to a crappy mobile camera all you can make out is a tiny orange blob in the sky. I'm pretty curious to know what it was we've been seeing up there though...
November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Hey guys,

I just seen this 'pulsating satellite' type object for the second time in my life, in the clear night skies above northern Ireland.

However - unlike many of you, a quick google search seemed to offer me with very reasonable explainations. From several astronomy websites, it is stated that satellites do indeed sometimes appear to pulsate in a regular rhythm. This is simply caused by the object 'tumbling' or rolling as it moves along. This rhythmic tumbling motion that the satellite is experiencing thus reflects light back to us on earth in a rhythmic pulsating fashion.

This seems like a very legitimate explaination to me. I'm 28 years old and I've been highly interested in astromony all my life. I am also extremely interested in UFO's, the quest for extraterrestrial life and all things paranormal and unusual - however, I am also by nature a sceptic. I think I just hope that someday I can find strong enough evidence to convince my sceptical side otherwise! Not on this occasion, unfortunately! I do believe this sighting I've had (as well as many of you on this thread) is in fact the forementioned 'tumbling' satellite.

I entered the search term 'Pulsating Satellite' into Google Books. One of the results I got back was from a book called 'Nightwatch - A practical guide to viewing the universe' - By Terence Dickinson. Here is a quote "Sometimes a satellite appears to pulsate in a regular rhythm, which means the entire device is tumbling. Active Satellites are always stabilized, so if the pulsing is obvious, you can be sure that you're seeing something inactive or an old rocket body'.

This may also explain why some of you have looked up the pulsing object on satellite tracking devices and found no record of a satellite being where you viewed it.

There are some objects and sightings I've witnessed and not found any explainations for - but this does not seem to be one of them!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Hey guys,

I just seen this 'pulsating satellite' type object for the second time in my life, in the clear night skies above northern Ireland.

However - unlike many of you, a quick google search seemed to offer me with very reasonable explainations. From several astronomy websites, it is stated that satellites do indeed sometimes appear to pulsate in a regular rhythm. This is simply caused by the object 'tumbling' or rolling as it moves along. This rhythmic tumbling motion that the satellite is experiencing thus reflects light back to us on earth in a rhythmic pulsating fashion.

This seems like a very legitimate explaination to me. I'm 28 years old and I've been highly interested in astromony all my life. I am also extremely interested in UFO's, the quest for extraterrestrial life and all things paranormal and unusual - however, I am also by nature a sceptic. I think I just hope that someday I can find strong enough evidence to convince my sceptical side otherwise! Not on this occasion, unfortunately! I do believe this sighting I've had (as well as many of you on this thread) is in fact the forementioned 'tumbling' satellite.

I entered the search term 'Pulsating Satellite' into Google Books. One of the results I got back was from a book called 'Nightwatch - A practical guide to viewing the universe' - By Terence Dickinson. Here is a quote "Sometimes a satellite appears to pulsate in a regular rhythm, which means the entire device is tumbling. Active Satellites are always stabilized, so if the pulsing is obvious, you can be sure that you're seeing something inactive or an old rocket body'.

This may also explain why some of you have looked up the pulsing object on satellite tracking devices and found no record of a satellite being where you viewed it.

There are some objects and sightings I've witnessed and not found any explainations for - but this does not seem to be one of them!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Hi everyone,
we live on a small farm in western australia, and the skies are magnificent at night, with zero pollution and high visibility. we have been noticing a lot of strange anomalies since moving out here, and the pulsating lights are just one of them. this week so far, its happened at least a few times, a bright sudden flash, every few seconds, and tracking its movement, its been relatively much slower than a satelite and also nowhere near as far away, either. also, in all different areas of the skies,too. also, the other night, we were leaning on the gate, looking at a really bright star for several minutes, and then it started moving slowly away to the north west, and growing dimmer as it went. that was a surprise, as it had been stationary for some time, prior to that.
there definitely are things up there that we dont understand, and its interesting. Ive watched the skies since I was a tiny girl, usually had high powered binoculars and a trampoline to do my star gazing - have also been lucky enough to see three or more UFO's, one only about 150 metres metres away (from my entire family), so i'm sure there are others from out there. Maybe someday soon, we will get an introduction. who knows.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkareen

Ingram texas, 2011, saw a fast moving object traveling in a straight trajectory. as bright as a meteorite but slower and pulsating at regular intervals. Coloration was amber in color.

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterD Tenney

i saw a something this morning around 5:30 am. It was moving north to south and had a pulsing white light that was very bright. I first thought it was a satellite, till that light came on. It didn't flash, but was a smooth transition from on to off. From the point that I saw it till I couldn't see it again, it lit up 4 times at 2 second intervals with being lit for about a second at a time. I have NO idea what this was. A feasible answer would be great... and a photo or video would be even better.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

huh. I was kind of hoping for some "rational" explanation for what I just saw. (11:40 PM PDT, in the Seattle, WA area). I was out having a few drags off a cigarette and caught a BRIGHT flash at the edge of my periphery. I looked toward it, saw what appeared to be a satellite, but then, it started getting bright again...got really bright and then went out. I lost sight of it for a second, and then it continued to light up as it coursed northward...I have seen satellites A LOT I have never seen one brighten and fade like this...it was not constant enough for rotation...(some pulses were longer and brighter than others...the time between varied as well...) It got too bright to be an airplane (besides there were no other lights or indication it was a plane). Huh.

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWeird Momma

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