Some callers saw many lights in the night sky across the Northwest. Others said it was one broad streak of light. A few people even called a UFO group to report the sighting.
“It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” Dave Way of Keizer, Ore., told the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. “It looked like something out of ‘Star Trek.’ ”
What it was, was space junk, the body of an old Russian rocket burning up as it reentered the atmosphere Friday night, state and federal officials said.
And whatever was left of it fell safely in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington, said Milt Maas at the National Weather Service in Spokane.
The unofficial descriptions were more colorful.
“It looked like a huge bottle-rocket moving slowly across the sky,” June Akiyama, who was in Gig Harbor, told the News Tribune of Tacoma.
Dale Goudie, information director of the Seattle-based UFO Reporting and Information Service, said he got 44 calls from people who said they saw eight objects streaking across the sky from 9:09 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
“Some people said they weren’t going in a linear path--that they were actually turning, which surprised me,” Goudie said.
Callers told KXRO radio in Aberdeen that they saw one intense streak of light. Others told radio stations and newspapers in Washington and British Columbia they saw six or seven lights, or even 25 to 30.
“It looked like a falling star,” said Janessa Frazee, 18, of Centralia, Wash. “It was fire-colored, orange-reddish with a head that was white. It was cool.”