Kentucky UFO - Jet Contrail Segment?

Mick West

Staff member
Allen Epling spotted a odd looking shiny shape in the sky:

UFO sighted over Virgie, KY on 10/16/2012. Video taken by Allen Epling through a Meade 8" SCT astronomical telescope. I want to emphasize that the object is NOT moving, The picture is unsteady because I had to hold the camera in hand while trying to video it through the eyepiece of the telescope. Sighting was with clear, blue, cloudless skies, no aircraft in sight, altitude unknown but definitely above airliner cruising altitude. The object hovered roughly in the same location for over 2 hours, not drifting more than 10 degress in any direction. Was sighted approximately 60 degrees above the horizon. Image in video was shot with about 150 power magnification. I couldn't risk losing it by taking time to set up a tripod or fixed mount for the camera, so I handheld the camer and struggled to keep the image steady and in the field of view. Couldn't take time to really get a good focus for fear of losing it. However the object's periodic brightening blurred the image anyway at full brightness. I did also have time to get many still photos which show the object more clearly and in focus. Go to to see the video AND the still pictures. That is the latest version of this.
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My initial impression is that it's a short segment of a contrail - in one image you can see what looks like a plane at the end. But it does seem unusually reflective. Perhaps that's just over-exposure in the camera though? The excessive zoom and poor optics make it hard to make out any details.

Another alternative is that it's some kind of balloon.
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I threw around the possibility of a weather balloon, but the nearest launch sites I know of are in Nashville, Cincinnati, and Roanoke. Virgie is almost smack dab in the middle of those three sites.

Maybe if I can get some wind data from that time period we could see if some significant drift of a balloon from any of those locations is possible.