An Orange Ball

Old_Shoe

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#1
A couple weeks ago I flew from Houston to Seattle. I sat in a window seat on the left side of a Boeing 737, just even with the front of the left engine. We took off to the south then banked around to the right and headed north. I looked down and recognized I-45 below us and to our left. We were climbing through 2 or 3 thousand feet when motion outside the plane caught my eye. I saw an orange ball about 100' below us and about 100' beyond our left wing tip. I had just enough time to focus on it before it was hidden beneath the wing, but I turned my head and watched for it to reappear behind the wing. It did, and I had a clear view of it again, briefly.

What I saw was about the size of a beach ball. Bright orange. It was perfectly spherical. It was glossy smooth and reflected the light of the rising sun. The most mundane explanation for it would be that it was a balloon. It didn't look like any balloon I've ever seen, though. Anyone else ever see something like this?
 

Mythopoeika

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#2
A couple weeks ago I flew from Houston to Seattle. I sat in a window seat on the left side of a Boeing 737, just even with the front of the left engine. We took off to the south then banked around to the right and headed north. I looked down and recognized I-45 below us and to our left. We were climbing through 2 or 3 thousand feet when motion outside the plane caught my eye. I saw an orange ball about 100' below us and about 100' beyond our left wing tip. I had just enough time to focus on it before it was hidden beneath the wing, but I turned my head and watched for it to reappear behind the wing. It did, and I had a clear view of it again, briefly.

What I saw was about the size of a beach ball. Bright orange. It was perfectly spherical. It was glossy smooth and reflected the light of the rising sun. The most mundane explanation for it would be that it was a balloon. It didn't look like any balloon I've ever seen, though. Anyone else ever see something like this?
Is it possible that someone filled a beach ball with helium and filmed it flying upwards?
 

Old_Shoe

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#3
A beach ball would have wrinkles. This thing had a very smooth, polished appearance. The sun glinted off it.
 

eburacum

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#4
I do not believe that you could have realistically observed wrinkles on a beach-ball, or a balloon, especially a balloon the size of a beachball, as you passed it at 280 miles an hour (the airspeed of a climbing 737). I also have severe doubts that you have the size correct, simply because there are far too many variables in the equation.
 

Mythopoeika

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#5
I do not believe that you could have realistically observed wrinkles on a beach-ball, or a balloon, especially a balloon the size of a beachball, as you passed it at 200 miles an hour. I also have severe doubts that you have the size correct, simply because there are far too many variables in the equation.
It's possible, if he turned his head at 200 mph.
 

markrkingston1

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#7
This sighting is pretty much a classic UFO sighting: A shiny (or glowing, depending on ambient lighting conditions) sphere.

None of that means that it was a spacecraft from outer space or anything to do with aliens. It could have had some entirely normal human or natural cause.

I mentioned it recently but the UK MOD's Condign Report is worth reading in terms of the possible appearance of plasma phenomena.
 

eburacum

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#9
But you know that you can turn your head at an entirely reasonable and normal human speed to track a fast moving object some distance away, don't you. :)
It may be possible to 'track' an object 100 feet away at 280 mph, but it is much more difficult to observe that said object is smooth and wrinkle free.

An orange, smooth beachball for comparison (note- this one is not 100' away and travelling at 280mph)
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
Self-appointed vigilante do-gooders have been warned over and over about the hazards of the apparatus involved in creating their online tracking maps ...
houstson_sex_offenders-1539304651-4523.jpg

When a sex offender dies the individual's marker connection is broken, the marker balloon returns to its natural ovoid shape, and it drifts off into the sky.

One of these days the amateur predator police are gonna bring down a plane ...

( :evillaugh: )
 

EnolaGaia

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#12
But (more) seriously, folks ... :reyes:

This happened circa two weeks ago - during the run-up to Halloween.

Here's an actual October 2018 photo from a Houston balloon vendor showing a holiday array that includes a large shiny round orange balloon.


I wouldn't be surprised to learn the object you saw was an escaped Halloween balloon.
 
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