Those of you that know me know that I am an avid sky watcher. I literally follow Kate Valentine’s advice to “Keep your eyes on the skies.” Likewise Don Ecker’s command “Keep your eyes pointed upward.” On March 5, 2012 that advice paid off. I was walking around a large pond in north central New Jersey with a friend between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. and at around 8 p.m. I saw an amazing blue white fireball in the WSW sky careening toward Earth. It was moving more slowly than a typical shooting star. It was also very big being considerably larger and brighter than Jupiter which was also visible nearby. It had a short thick tail and the head of the fireball seemed to be rippling back toward the tail like molten metal.
I was so startled that my mouth would not form words. I simply hollered and pointed. My friend said she thought something was wrong with me and continued to look at me rather than in the direction of my pointed finger and so did not see the celestial spectacle. I expected there to be a thud or shaking of the Earth but there was none.
I continued to be excited, thinking that perhaps the countryside might be set ablaze by the object when it hit the Earth but there was no blaze. I wondered if it might be possible to discover any wreckage but caution and discretion prevented me from sallying forth into the underbrush.
March 5th is a special anniversary for me and I had been hoping for a sign from the heavens for some time. Perhaps this was it. In any case I began conjecturing as to what the sighted object might be. It was not a comet, though its shape resembled one, because comets remain constant to the naked eye in the night sky and do not move perceptibly in a matter of a minute or less. They do not generally fall to Earth and if one does we can all bend over and kiss our butts goodbye.
That night I searched the internet for news of a fallen spacecraft such as a satellite or UFO. No word of a problem on the space station, so the astronauts were fine. I decided to write a sighting report to both NUFORC (Peter Davenport’s National UFO Reporting Center) and MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) because what I had seen was unidentified to me and in hopes that I might get some information about what the object was. I was not disappointed. The following day I received both a phone call and an email from MUFON’s Ken Pfeifer. And many thanks to him! He furnished me with the photo seen at the top of this post. Apparently what I saw was a fireball and it was seen in five states and the District of Columbia. Am I glad I did not head off to look for the wreckage!

The fireball I saw was probably of a type called a bolide.

Amazingly I discovered that a fireball was also seen over Scandinavia and Great Britain the night before my sighting and it was golden red in color. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17248971 A woman in Scotland claims she found the meteorite while walking her dog. If so it is worth a decent sum, but I would definitely not sell.

A meteorite also fell through the roof of a house in Norway on March 11th or 12th. http://www.tnp.no/norway/panorama/2785-meteorite-falls-on-the-roof-of-a-family-allotment-in-oslo

There  apparently have been a greater number of fireballs that fall to Earth every February for the last several decades. They are slower moving than usual “shooting stars” and a lot bigger and brighter. It is theorized that these fireballs come from the asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.  This year the fireball season has moved into March as well. Some amateur astronomers predict that 2012 will be a banner year for fireballs, so “keep your eyes on the skies!”

Meteor reporting sites:

http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball2/form2.php

http://lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot.com/2000/11/meteor-fireball-report-form.html
Fire ball FAQs:http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireballs/faqf/

UFO reporting sites:

http://www.mufon.com/reportufo.html

http://www.ufocenter.com/reportform.html

Update 04/23/12:

Are these things becoming more common? http://www.space.com/15385-daytime-fireball-california-nevada.html

Update 05/26/13

Saw another big fireball in the sky tonight in Clifton NJ, not half as big as last year’s March 5th fireball that I was privileged to see. I have another witness and also more reports of the same on http://lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot.jp/  I feel very lucky to have seen two, but wonder if we are going through a “busier” and therefore more dangerous part of the galaxy.
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This summer has seen several big moments in the field of ufology. The first is a very sad occasion. On August 21st Budd Hopkins, 80, passed on after a long illness. He was a multi-talented artist who was known for his geometric paintings and sculpture. He was also an alien abduction researcher, giving compassionate attention to experiencers for many years though his Intruders Foundation. He wrote a number of excellent books including Missing Time and Intruders which substantiate the phenomenon of alien abduction through relating the experiences of ordinary individuals and finding patterns in them.  I was supposed to meet Mr. Hopkins several times at conferences and at his foundation meetings, but alas, to my great disappointment, this was not to be. Ufology has lost a valiant researcher. Rest in peace, Budd.

New York Times obituary.

On a different topic, (the glad part), ufology has made a wonderful advancement with the release of Break Thru Films documentary “Secret Access: UFOs on the Record” by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sudberg seen on the History Channel in a 2 hour special on August 25th. It is based upon Leslie Kean’s book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and 344Government Officials Go On the Record and Ms. Kean is featured prominently in the presentation.  Leslie Kean has had a long history as a clear eyed researcher and investigative journalist who co-founded the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi) and was a producer with James Fox for the independent film I Know What I Saw. This documentary is a must see for anyone even vaguely interested in the subject of unexplained aerial phenomena. Its irrefutable evidence from sterling sources will turn anyone who is on the fence about the reality and importance of ufology into an advocate for more research into this paradigm shifting subject. In addition to the information also presented in the book, the film had some new data about the Phoenix Lights from NUFORC and a new research project, UFOtog, by special effects master Douglas Trumball.

Finally, I’m angry (mad) about the revelation that author and UFO researcher Philip Imbrogno has completely faked his credentials (bad). It was revealed by skeptic Lance Moody in his blog What the Hell Was That that Imbrogno’s degrees from MIT and elsewhere were entirely bogus. UFO researcher Don Ecker of Dark Matters Radio followed up by checking out his military bona fides. Imbrogno claimed he was a Green Beret in a select group executing missions in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Ecker discovered it was a total fabrication.  This is a real shame because ufology is a study not given credence in all quarters because it is seen as a fringe topic. Any tinge of  dishonesty casts major doubt on any research on which the liar has worked. Furthermore it damages the entire field.

I will end this post on a bittersweet note sending my deepest sympathies and profoundest thanks to Leslie Kean who was both the personal companion of Budd Hopkins and the inspiration for this astounding groundbreaking documentary.

Please follow the links in this post if you want more information on the topics discussed herein.

Leslie Kean and Budd Hopkins

Thanks to les-repas-ufologiques.com

POSTSCRIPT: He says it better than I can.

Thoughts about the Budd Hopkins Memorial

by David Biedny on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 at 16:01

I wanted to briefly comment on the memorial held Saturday, October 8, 2011 for Budd Hopkins, at the 15th Street Friends Meeting House. The weather could not have been better, it was a clear, perfect day for this lovely affair celebrating the life and work of this wonderful man – one I’m proud to be able to call a true friend – and it primarily focused on his work in the art field, clearly demonstrating that Budd was really one of the most respected Abstract Expressionists of the famed New York School.

Leslie Kean started the proceedings with her cool, professional demeanor, even though it was obvious that she misses her partner, friend and love. Any of us would be blessed to have that kind of tenderness in our lives, and something that was plain to see was the depth of respect and love that these two people had for each other, it was both reassuring and inspiring.

His daughter showed slides of many of Budd’s artworks, which were bold, colorful and as direct as the man himself. Another thing that many spoke of was Budd’s sense of humor, and I can personally attest that he loved laughing like few others, and there was some really nice footage of Budd being, well, Budd.

Peter Robbins delivered an eloquent eulogy, describing working with Budd, and how much influence Budd had on his own way of thinking and dealing with others. Randy Nicherson played a video tribute to Budd, full of poignant, heartfelt scenes – there was another video compilation presented towards the end, done by Seth Keal and Charles Miller, with some really heartwarming footage of Budd dancing with his granddaughter. Another picture of Budd, his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter clearly demonstrated the uncanny resemblance of Budd and his daughter’s daughter. He will live on in her.

David Jacobs spoke about Budd’s work in the field of abduction research, but what really came through was how much David loved Budd as a human being and close friend. That was also evident in the way that people spoke about Budd afterwards, small conversations overheard during the subsequent reception confirmed that there was not a bad thought about Budd anywhere near the event.

There are many more details – some interesting UFO folks were in attendance, but they were outnumbered by the artist friends, thankfully – but suffice it to say that any of us would be happy and fulfilled to have this much love manifest at our departures.

To those who would attack his research, and accuse him of being a flawed human, of not being 100% hardass about his dealings with alleged abduction victims and potential hoaxers – I personally witnessed the degree of comfort this brave man gave some very distraught people, folks who were scared, confused and who didn’t have anyone to turn to without being marginalized or ridiculed, and for that work alone, he should be celebrated and respected. If he was fooled by some unscrupulous folks, his decision to err on the side of kindness and compassion is perhaps a byproduct of his intensely powerful humanity and sincere desire to help others. Those who would vilify him would be well advised to check their own glass houses for hidden piles of large, rough stones.

Budd Hopkins was a great man, and I for one will miss him something urgent.