[DMS][Meteorobs] Unidentified objects detected flying over Portugal
----- Original Message -----
From: Jose Campos
Sent: Thursday, June 4, 2004 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Bolide over Portugal
On today's portuguese newspaper "CORREIO DA MANHÃ" they showed a map of
Portugal with an approximate route of the luminous object's flight path,
according to reports given by the Port. Air Force, as well as from a few
civilian airport traffic controllers, such as from Lisbon and Porto's
civil airports: It seems that the object entered portuguese air space over
the south-east border with Spain, across the Guadiana river (the
internation border), just below the +38 deg. parallel; then it moved on a
WNW direction, almost towards Lisbon but just before it, the luminous
object changed it's direction towards a more N direction, closely
following the coastal line, but overland - not over the sea, and then it
went over the Minho river (on the border with Galicia, Spain), still close
to the coast, but overland. A spokesman for the Port. Airforce mentioned
changes in speed between 120 Km/h (???) and 900k Km/h, as well as changes
direction and in heights: 2.100 meters; 3.000 meters and 12.100 meters
(not exactly in this order). In the south of Portugal, at Beja and at
Montijo (near Lisbon), air traffic controlers first noticed it at 23h19
Lisbon time; it was also visually seen by several firefighter men on duty
at Lisbon airport; then, it was also detected by the control tower at
Porto's airport (north of Portugal), at 23h44, on an ascending route!
That's 25 minutes in between both sightings!! And the reported heights of
2.100 amd 3.000 meters appear to be much too low!
It does not make much sense. I am still inclined to think that it might
have been an artificial satellite/space debris re-entering Earth's
atmosphere - but the "curved shape" air route is difficult to understand -
flight aerodinamics at play??? And the much too low speed of only 120 km/h
does NOT make any sense at all. Please let know what do you think of it.
Did you read my 2 e-mails to the Meteorite List? Regards,
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 14:35:40 +0100
From: Paulo Heleno
Subject: (meteorobs) possible fireball in Portugal - update
Portuguese airforce stated that 2 objects were detected in radar: one,
cruising at about 12000 m...the other was cruising at 2000 m and then,
climbed up to 7000 m, at an estimated speed of 800 Km/h. No noise was
heard, and the object was envolved in smoke, with white light
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 23:59:53 +0200
From: "Marco Langbroek"
Subject: Re: (meteorobs) (moving OT) possible fireball in Portugal - update
To: "Andrei Ol'khovatov" "Global Meteor Observing
> It looks like "airplane associated" indeed. Airplane's contrails
> by sun?
> The only strange thing is that (if I correctly understand) the Portuguese
> AirForce completely failed to indentify them as airplanes... Just a large
> airplane with transponder etc. can cruise at 12 km altitude. Maybe some
> confusing, misunderstanding, etc.
The thing that stikes me as being odd: do you know whether your Air Force
made an interception, i.e. sent up fighters, to identify it? This would
seem to be a logic thing to do, and if they did not, you can ask yourself
A few weeks ago this happened in the Netherlands, when a stupid Air Europe
pilot in a 737 flew from Norway to Palma through Dutch airspace without
identifying himself to air traffic control. Our Air Force sent up two
F-16's who intercepted it; this created some nice sonic booms. The Germans
and French had their fighters out too on that occasion. Jose, you
mentioned in one of your mails that there were 20 minutes inbetween two of
That would be amble time to scramble some jets and intercept it. If your
Air Force didn't, then why not? In my country, and most countries able to
do so I think, something unidentified flying at the speeds and altitudes
you mention, certainly would bring our fighters out, as was the case a few
Just a thought to consider. I cannot believe an Air Force stand back and
do nothing while something is seen on their radars flying through your
national airspace at aircraft altitudes and speeds.
Dr Marco Langbroek
Dutch Meteor Society (DMS)
Leiden, the Netherlands
52.15896 N, 4.48884 E (WGS 84)
priv. website: http://home.wanadoo.nl/marco.langbroek
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 11:05:38 +0400
From: "Andrei Ol'khovatov"
Subject: Re: (meteorobs) possible fireball in Portugal - update
To: "Andrei Ol'khovatov" "Global Meteor Observing
Regarding the unindentified light over Portugal on June 1, 2004, now it
looks to me that Sun was already too deep below horizon to illuminate
possible airplane's contrail. Unfortunately I don't have software to
calculate a height/altitude of the Earth shadow in the area of the event,
but my rough estimations show that at 22.15 UTC June 1 Sun was about 22
degrees below local horizon at 38 N, 8W.
If so indeed the Earth shadow height was ~ 500 km which completely exclude
any possibility of the solar illumination.
Does anybody have software/program to calculate the Earth shadow height or
the solar [altitude] angle at least?