Why "Racetrack" UFOs are mostly Starlink Flares

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VmrRGln1XA


This is essentially a summary of the work done, in large part by @flarkey, in the three following threads:
I could not decide which thread was best to put it in, so I made a new one!

Summary:

00:00 Introduction
00:13 A "racetrack" is a type of holding pattern
00:22 Multiple people say it's Starlink
00:44 Pilots disagree
01:04 Normal Starlink "trains" are different
01:30 How we can tell it's not circling
01:57 What's happening is the sun reflecting off the satellite
02:18 The flickering color looks like a star, or something in space
02:28 Why Starlink and not other satellites?
02:46 Using in-the-sky.org to find Starlink satellites
03:28 The sun is directly under the satellites
04:02 Eyewitness accounts that don't match the Starlink explanation
04:27 Reframing as just a flight safety issue and UFO-reporting stigma


Calculation of similar speed:
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/mu...-flares-racetrack-illusion.12586/#post-282014
 

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capesundew

New Member
Excellent work, I see this in satellites every night. They will not stay "lit up" across the entire night's sky, but dip off and disappear dependent on the location of the sun (and how adapted your eyes are to the dark).
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
He says planes hundred of miles away from each other would see it in the same area of the sky. Like if it was outside Earth's orbit.

He says that this couldn't be Starlink as he's seen Starlink and the line of lights it creates.
Screenshot_20221104_073746.jpg

Sounds like he doesn't understand our argument.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
He says that this couldn't be Starlink as he's seen Starlink and the line of lights it creates.
Screenshot_20221104_073746.jpg

Sounds like he doesn't understand our argument.
To me it either seems the UFO proponents are either more active in reaching out and interviewing these pilots, Lehto being ex air-force probably helps.

Or there are a number of pilots with UFO friendly tendencies or a mix of both.

@Mick West

Maybe you can reach out to these pilots for a chat.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Thats quite a long interview, I've taken some of the transcript from the video and pasted it below. (i've edited the text slightly to make it more readable, ie taking out the "um" and "ers").

Capt Chris Van Vooris: Twice I saw it once between Honolulu and Los Angeles and the next time between Japan and Honolulu. So the first time as a matter of fact my co-pilot my first officer was talking about hey when we were doing this last trip that we saw some weird stuff that was right down below the Big Dipper over to the right side and pretty soon sure enough that we see this Bright Light which is pretty much brighter than any one of the stars or Jupiter or Saturn in the sky. it appears down below the Big Dipper right about where he said it would be and we could actually see movement to it there were some that appeared to be stationary and whether or not this is the same anomaly or five or six of them. I don't have any idea because they would come on very bright and it was people say well it was a satellite and the satellites move in a linear fashion they don't move in a curved fashion to start with and also they have a very regular type of lighting pattern to them and then when the sun is not reflecting on it and when you don't see the light you'll actually still be able to see the satellite. most of the time and this was very distinct and very odd and that's why we were all talking about it and that was because they would come on at odd intervals it's not like a timed interval where you can say okay it's on it it's off it's on it's off. this would be on for quite a while and then and then kind of turn and fade away and then another one would come into view up above it and be on for a while and there was just no interval to it which is very unusual for if it were to be a satellite.

Lehto: do you see a lot of satellites ?

CCVV oh yeah and people were like "well like maybe it was Starlink?" - no we've seen Starlink I've seen all the string of satellites - it creates going across the sky and it's really neat to watch. but most of us know what that is you're up there for thousands of hours at night you see some strange stuff and you go back and research it and this was one of those things where okay we matter of fact there was a Starlink launch the day prior and we did see the string of Starlight satellites that same evening and it was not associated with it in any way shape or form. so that's amazing because when I looked at it my initial impression is I agreed with Starlink option - because for me it was thinking it's in the same place of the sky every time just seemed like it felt like a satellite and with if it's in that same spot but I didn't see it obviously that's just what I thought initial Impressions

Lehto: I'm kind of surprised to hear you say it actually

CCVV: yeah the interesting thing about it was is if it is a satellite then you would expect when you go back up to see it in the same place it wasn't there it didn't reoccur it was we saw it for maybe a solid month or so and then it off and on and then after that I haven't seen it since and I've been looking when I have trips in in the evening or at night I've been scouring the skies to see if I can find it again I haven't been able to find it again and one thing about especially a Giro synchronous type of satellite is a fact they're mostly out over the equator and the anomaly that we saw it was near the Big Dipper but it also moved in a non-linear type of fashion which was not is something that a satellite doesn't do . not saying it's not military not saying it's something that another country may have this proving or testing out there I don't know but the fact is that where it appeared down below the Big Dipper on the right hand side multiple times for us and basically did the same thing would lead me to believe that it's something that's in not an inner atmosphere type of anomaly. it's got to be fairly far out of space because no matter where we move across the Pacific it was in the same area. so that leads me to believe that if I saw it coming out of Japan it was in the same area as well as seeing it in the same area going to Los Angeles it tells me that it's something that's way out there and it's not something that's in near or near Earth orbit

Lehto:
wow I I guess because there were several planes right that saw it at the same time?

CCVV: yes

Lehto: did that give any sort of feeling like a triangulation kind of feeling for where it was and that that's your feeling?

CCVV I guess it's far away well we were listening to airplanes that were several hundred miles even north of us and they were seeing the same thing so and they're seeing it in the same area. so again if it's in near Earth orbit you're going to have even with a couple hundred miles there's going to be somewhat a slight difference and you'd probably be able to triangulate at least get some idea where it might be located and this you weren't able to do that because it was in the same area for all of us wow and I guess

Lehto it sounds like it happened over a long kind of period of time

CCVV: yeah I would say people were seeing it for over a month and when the actual engagements

Lehto: how long were they happening?

CCVV: well I said this before it was actually until we got bored with it – “oh there it is again okay it's still there” - so it would happen and that's the other thing about an anomaly with a satellite especially in a lower Earth orbit it will happen for a while and then once it's not reflecting the sun anymore it goes away. well this continued for hours going across Pacific. so yeah that's what I was trying to figure out because if it is a satellite flare it should only happen when the sun is in the perfect right spot essentially right I mean just for that one time where the Sun is going through that where it happens to flare so if it's going on for several hours yeah

My bold emphasis. All his descriptions are in-line with the deployed Starlink flare (DSF) theory.
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
CCVV: "no we've seen Starlink I've seen all the string of satellites [add: he gestures with his hand/finger a line in space no wider than his field of vision] it creates going across the sky"

That's not what Starlink creates. Starlink creates a roughly uniform spread out cloud of satellites on a range of different orbits. As Mick states in his excellent video, the line is an ephemeral, and decaying, pattern purely in the days after launch before they've reached their intended orbits.

The only minor weakness in Mick's vid, which would addresses what CCVV said even more closely is that the dimming of a flaring satelite and the dimming of a rotating directional source do superficially look similar to each other. Mick addresses the linear movement in contrast to the accellerating/decellerating nature of flattened circular motion, but doesn't emphasise the similarities that may fool a viewer into thinking linear motion is taking place. CCVV's referring to that dimming, and considering it only as evidence for the turn of a directional source when it's also evidence for a flare from a linear movement. Is a mock-up of the latter possible?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
CCVV's referring to that dimming, and considering it only as evidence for the turn of a directional source when it's also evidence for a flare from a linear movement. Is a mock-up of the latter possible?
That's what I was trying tot show with the plane example. Unfortunately I missed the start so we only get dimming.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
CCVV: "no we've seen Starlink I've seen all the string of satellites [add: he gestures with his hand/finger a line in space no wider than his field of vision] it creates going across the sky"
That's not what Starlink creates. Starlink creates a roughly uniform spread out cloud of satellites on a range of different orbits. As Mick states in his excellent video, the line is an ephemeral, and decaying, pattern purely in the days after launch before they've reached their intended orbits.

Yeah, that quote plus this one
matter of fact there was a Starlink launch the day prior and we did see the string of Starlight satellites that same evening and it was not associated with it in any way shape or form
would indicate to me that he's confusing the well-known Starlink trains that appear shortly after launch and that are visible from the surface with the reflections caused by Starlink sats once they are on station in their assigned orbits, which is a relatively new thing and seemingly visible only from higher elevations (i.e., a plane) due to the geometry of the sun, the sat and the observer.

I think it needs to be made clear that these are two different things.
 
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flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Here's another video in which a similar phenomenon is seen, but in this the lights are going vertically rather than horizontally...

Source: https://youtu.be/YcQLtgDGZWw


https://www.ufosightingsfootage.uk/2022/11/737-captain-filmed-numerous-ufos-during.html?m=1

I'm an airline pilot for a major European airline. I am seeing frequently occurring UFO's at the moment. All moving erratically and unpredictably. They seem to be to the NW, when we route northbound from south Europe to the UK. Kind of towards the left of the Ursa Major. They were not shooting stars as those are things we see all the time. I've witnessed these white "floaters" with about 10 other Co-pilots, and all of them have been as stunned as me.
One of them was floating around then shot upwards like something out of Star Wars. Some of them move rapidly side ways, and others just wonder about and disappear. They are very bright too.
100% not satellites, 100% not shooting stars, and given the height of them they cannot be conventional aircraft. Really mysterious. I saw them on some USA news channel being reported by pilots in the US too. They look roughly the same. In the pic attached, if you zoom in you can see it's a tic tac shape. Either that, or the shutter speed made it blur (which at least shows it's moving).
Steve M. Pilot, Captain
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Looks like a time-lapse video so everything looks sped up, will probably get missed by some.

So the question here would be is the witness describing the video, which is time-lapse when they say thing like

"One of them was floating around then shot upwards like something out of Star Wars. Some of them move rapidly side ways, and others just wonder about and disappear. They are very bright too."

These are all descriptions of the video, but do not appear to be full descriptions of what would be seen real-time.

So did they see them in real-time or only on the time-lapse video, are they being disingenuous here?
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.

All glinting for only a brief period of time, all at basically the same azimuth (so with the sun in pretty much the same position) - that's a classic specular reflection off moving (rotating, by virtue of being in orbit) flat surfaces. Which is what artificial satellites are. The "moving upwards" is exactly what something that is above you and moving towards you looks like - there's no novel "ah but" moment there - starlink satelites move in a whole range of different directions relative to different observers at different lattitudes.

100% satellites.
P Carmody, geometer (OK, mathematician, but geometry is the roots of mathematics)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
but in this the lights are going vertically rather than horizontally...
They are looking towards the NW (Northwest) from central Europe, which means they are looking towards the ring of the norther-most points of the inclined orbits.

2022-11-18_08-31-49.jpg

So they will see "rising" flares as the satellites are coming toward them.
 

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Ann K

Senior Member.
All glinting for only a brief period of time, all at basically the same azimuth (so with the sun in pretty much the same position) - that's a classic specular reflection off moving (rotating, by virtue of being in orbit) flat surfaces. Which is what artificial satellites are. The "moving upwards" is exactly what something that is above you and moving towards you looks like - there's no novel "ah but" moment there - starlink satelites move in a whole range of different directions relative to different observers at different lattitudes.

100% satellites.
P Carmody, geometer (OK, mathematician, but geometry is the roots of mathematics)
A witness also uses the word "disappear", which in this context can mean either shifting angle so it doesn't reflect toward the observer, or traveling into the shadow of the earth.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
They are looking towards the NW (Northwest) from central Europe, which means they are looking towards the ring of the norther-most points of the inclined orbits.
a.png
b.jpg

Yes, we are moving west from the part of the sky we saw in the lower latitude vids from the US. Those had the flares happen due north in the region of Dubhe near the right edge of this picture. The new Euro vid that flarkey linked has them on the left, towards the NW-W in the area of Kornephorus.

If you check out the short video I made the other day of where I figured I'd see the flares from my place (https://www.metabunk.org/threads/wh...mostly-reported-from-planes.12720/post-283322) then that's pretty much where they show up in the video too. A little bit to the right of the circled region in the third example - the new cockpit video will have been shot some distance from my own vantage point so a small difference is to be expected. Still it's nice to see our predictions seem to hold!
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
A witness also uses the word "disappear", which in this context can mean either shifting angle so it doesn't reflect toward the observer, or traveling into the shadow of the earth.

We're talking about a specular highlight - it means "no longer visible", nothing more.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
They are looking towards the NW (Northwest) from central Europe, which means they are looking towards the ring of the norther-most points of the inclined orbits

So they will see "rising" flares as the satellites are coming toward them.
So does this then suggest that it these sightings from airliners won't just be a hemispheric summer phenomenon? What are the conditions for the angles are right between plane satellites and sun to enable a winter flare? I guess this would be shortly after nightfall and just before dawn...? And in directions closer to NW and NE rather and directly N?
 
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Easy Muffin

Senior Member
What are the conditions for the angles are right between plane satellites and sun to enable a winter flare? I guess this would be after nightfall and just before dawn...? And in directions closer to NW and NE rather and directly N?
The sun needs to be ~40° below the horizon from all we've seen so far. In the northern hemisphere summer that sun elevation coincides with a position that's almost due north (ie, where most Starlink sats are) but as the sun continues to appear lower and lower in the sky as autumn and winter set in, that position moves towards the west (in the hours after sunset) and the east (in the hours before sunrise) respectively, where there are fewer satellites. So I guess you can see them all year round if at different times throughout the night but you're most likely to see them during summer.
 
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Ravi

Senior Member.
Not sure if it was posted already, but Ben made a new video, discussing the things. He mentions MB/Mick/Flarkeys work and mentions also some interesting features that could likely be resolved if SpaceX would be a bit more corporative to the requests on Starlink orbital info (retrograde etc).

Anyway, here it is:

Source: https://youtu.be/fy0EJbJhe
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Not sure if it was posted already, but Ben made a new video, discussing the things. He mentions MB/Mick/Flarkeys work and mentions also some interesting features that could likely be resolved if SpaceX would be a bit more corporative to the requests on Starlink orbital info (retrograde etc).
I was just about to post this. Nice bit of experimentation in there, just like @Mick West has done in the past! :D

1668862326687.png

He seems content with the Starlink explanation for most of these sightings, however he still has the position that pilots have also seen lights do extraordinary things like stopping, changing direction and accellerating to amzing speed. But he also admits the following...

26:12
so to wrap up in full transparency I have yet to find stabilized video that clearly shows any of the non-linear trajectories of these objects that many have reported seeing we can see a slight curvature in some of them but this might be just from the way that the you know it's following the Earth's curvature on the horizon having said that I want to stress this very strongly we do not feel that any of the dozens of Pilots we've interviewed have in any way embellished their descriptions or have given inaccurate details in fact I think they've been extremely accurate in both what they described and what they feel they wish they would have captured on video they often admit the video just didn't capture the right moment so just because they don't have video of it doesn't mean it didn't happen

Hmm.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So does this then suggest that it these sightings from airliners won't just be a hemispheric summer phenomenon? What are the conditions for the angles are right between plane satellites and sun to enable a winter flare? I guess this would be shortly after nightfall and just before dawn...? And in directions closer to NW and NE rather and directly N?
I think so. The directly north/south events would be the most sustained, with the satellites going horizontal, and that would be more limited to summer.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
"just because they don't have video of it doesn't mean it didn't happen"

No, but it has become a recognizable pattern, that the UFOs dont do much when the camera is running, saving their physics-breaking displays and impossible maneuvers for moments when nobody is shooting any footage.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
I was just about to post this. Nice bit of experimentation in there, just like @Mick West has done in the past! :D

But it wasn't. It was terrible. His laser was pointless, or wrong, or both. That demonstration demonstrated nothing. He seems, at least from his summary towards the end, to be completely unaware of the spherical nature of the earth. He doesn't seem to understand that the flares will appear on an annulus. And his comment about starlink brightness was the cherry on top, all I was hearing was gibbering unrelated to opticks at that stage. Don't make me quote it, it will cause physical pain to have to rewatch that segment.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
A sighting is now being discussed on a popular pilots' forum... PPrune...

https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/649920-light-show-between-40-30-west.html

Light show between 40 and 30 West

Flying eastbound last night. My colleague decides to settle in for some controlled rest. So headset on and properly tune in to 123.45 and 121.50. Lots of excited chatter. Not unusual as it was 'sporting' on the tracks last night.

But no it wasn't the usual ride reports. Someone nattering on about the light show. And then many many more voices chirp in. The busiest I have ever heard 123.45. Something happening between the moon and Venus (later worked out not to be Venus. But a very bright fixed celestial object. Mars maybe?)
discussion of lights blinking. Then going left and right. A trio of them. Dancing around each other. Then disappearing for a few minutes. Then coming back. I thought meh. Satellites. But then I think most of my fellow aviators are pretty experienced. And suddenly bang. I saw them myself. It was absolutely surreal. I have never seen anything I can't explain. It wasn't satellites. It wasn't the orionid meteor shower. It wasnt spaceX's starlink satellite train. About 10 aircraft from all nations could see it. And then when we hit about 25 west whatever it was was gone.

Chatting to some mates in other airlines, whatever this phenomenon is has been happening for several days. Always looking east.

No one in the air had a satisfactory explanation.
Again I have seen satellites, spacex starlink and meteors and it is none of the above. Many many pilots have seen whatever it is. Im not saying its little green men, but it is definitely a unexplained (for now) flying objects.

Anyone have any ideas? Anyone seen them? Probably a little niche as it seems to be new and probably only visible from the flight deck

and...

I saw the same thing back to Boeing . Time stamp on the photos I took say 0056Z on 20/11/22 (photos are rubbish though!). We were on track Z at 39,000. Heard similar report on the radio, then started to see the lights at around 40W, they stopped around 30W. Phenomenon very similar to how you describe it. The purser thought we were losing the plot, so we asked someone on 12345 to explain what was happening!

I have no explanation either i'm afraid - Mr Optimistic 's seems the most plausible so far, but I have to say it looked very different to any other satellite ive seen whilst flying before.

As John Marsh mentioned above, I did also think it was a groupthink scenario, and that my brain was matching what I was seeing to what we were hearing, but i'd like to think im quite cynical and rational, and therefore fairly sure it did happen as described!

It was mentioned on the radio that the best documented sighting of a similar event is covered in a video on US news - type "UAP racetrack" in youtube. This doesn't shed much light on matters, but is a similar account of what I saw.

Would love to hear if anyone sees it again. Heading east at 40W - look just above the horizon at midnight!

Edit: Changed hyperlink
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
A sighting is now being discussed on a popular pilots' forum... PPrune...

https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/649920-light-show-between-40-30-west-2.html#post11334457



and...
Any chance of directing to this thread?

It feels odd to me are there really no official channels for these things? No wonder pilots drift into the UFO community.

1669029200097.png

lol 1st response and this is a pilot?

It's hard to gauge if what we are seeing is a fringe inside the pilot community and we are missing the 99% of rational pilots who are not saying anything online.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
For that sighting report on PPrune

Time stamp on the photos I took say 0056Z on 20/11/22 (photos are rubbish though!). We were on track Z at 39,000. Heard similar report on the radio, then started to see the lights at around 40W, they stopped around 30W

Track Z is a known trans Atlantic route.
1669038501590.png

So taking a very rough set of co-ords as 45.50N 35.0W, and on a heading of ENE , and a time of 00.56Z on 20 November and plugging that into in-the-sky.org ...we can see that there are multiple Starlink satellites on the horizon, and again these are directly above the rising sun. So it is likely that these would have been flaring.

Edit: oops. Wrong coords. updating

Edit 2: Hmm, a time of 0056Z doesnt really support the flaring Starlink hypothesis. However, if the aircrew had been using a phone with a clock that was synchronised to East Coast USA time of UTC-5, then it would fit perfectly.
 
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Easy Muffin

Senior Member
The tracks aren't static, they change daily to optimise the enroute head/tailwind component whilst out over the ocean. If you want to be sure of the coordinates you'll need that track's TMI (Track Message Identification, numbered sequence from 001 on Jan 1 to 365/366 on Dec 31) and find the message that was valid that day.

https://www.notams.faa.gov/common/nat.html - this page always has the current message
https://blackswan.ch/?page_id=73 - here you can find messages from the last year(?), search by TMI
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
The tracks aren't static, they change daily to optimise the enroute head/tailwind component whilst out over the ocean. If you want to be sure of the coordinates you'll need that track's TMI (Track Message Identification, numbered sequence from 001 on Jan 1 to 365/366 on Dec 31) and find the message that was valid that day.
Well I never knew that. o_O Thanks for the links, I checked the second one for 20 November = Day 324 = TMI324 and that gives the co-ords for the ZULU track as shown below. Not a massive difference, but we should be as accurate as possible.

1669042589198.png
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another interesting case, just eyewitness, but with sufficient detail:

Mufon case 126632



Date/Time of Event2022-11-07 3:45AM

I am a pilot for a major US airline. We were flying a red eye from Las Vegas to Cincinnati. Throughout the flight all night, there was chatter on both Guard frequency (121.5) and our ATC frequencies about aircraft seeing strange things. A bunch of aircraft saw something over Pueblo Colorado about an hour to 90 minutes prior to our sighting (we didn't see whatever was over Pueblo, just heard radio chatter on it).

At about 0330 EST, we had just passed over Kansas City and the Captain said something like "whoa, what was that?!?!" I asked him what he saw and he said "it looked like a slow moving meteor." He had the cockpit lights on full bright to keep us awake so I recommended we turn the lights down to get a better look. He agreed and we dimmed the cockpit. A short time later, we both saw a bright orb of light off in the distance, bearing about 070 or 11:30 clock code from our nose (we were heading roughly 085ish from memory). The light was extremely bright, similar to a night space shuttle launch I had seen decades prior. It did not turn the sky blue at night like the space shuttle but it was VERY luminescent. We used parachute flares when I flew jets in the military and the brightest of the three lights was exponentially brighter than a parachute flare (and it wasn't Venus, both the Captain and I were familiar with Venus being bright and even talked about it).

We then we saw a second light which was dimmer flying around the main one (this was NOT stars, satellites, Autokinesis, or somatagraphic illusion). Shortly after we saw a third that was very dim. We would not have seen this if we had not seen the bright light initially. We witnessed these lights for well over 20 minutes as we flowed east to Cincinnati.

The sighting was not continuous as the lights would fade out or disappear then come back a few minutes later in the same area (11:30 ish off our nose). We saw these until we got closer to Cincinnati and a high cirrus layer of clouds blocked our view (also from our descent on the instrument arrival). There were no clouds in the area of the sightings, it was a crystal clear night.

One thing I am not sure of at all is whether these lights were flowing east with us or just so bright that we could see them over 200 miles away. We were cruising at 0.8 mach so if we saw these for over 20 minutes, we would have covered 160 nautical miles. These lights always remained at our 11:30 out the windscreen. Instinct says the objects were hovering over an area and were just so bright we could see them from a great distance but this is just a hunch. I will share a little more if someone deems this worth investigating. Some I would like to keep discreet.
Content from External Source
0330 EST at first does not seem a promising time, but it's actually just over 2 hours before dawn, and flying towards sunrise, so even less. Kansas City looking East does not show anything visible at that time

(in the images below, the ground is switched off so you can see where the sun is. The horizon i where the "E", "NE" and "SE" form a line)
2022-11-21_14-24-57.jpg

But the first one comes up 30 minutes later
2022-11-21_14-25-57.jpg

And quite soon there's lots more

2022-11-21_14-27-25.jpg

We know from the Jimmy Church night vision that Stellarium is conservative in its visibility predictions, even from the ground. They would be visible significantly earlier from a plane at cruising altitude.

So this description is entirely consistent with Starlink, despite the pilot's assurance otherwise.

It's also a bit different to others, in that it's looking due East, but again we are looking toward the nearby terminator

2022-11-21_14-37-53.jpg
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
It's also a bit different to others, in that it's looking due East, but again we are looking toward the nearby terminator

2022-11-21_14-37-53.jpg
Yes, that's exactly what we expect to find as autumn progresses.

This is the sun from Kansas City, MO on Nov 7. It reaches -40° around 3:30 when it's towards the ENE so that's where the flares would appear at that time of year. When the sun was in its 'traditional' flaring spot due north that day it was below -60, meaning any satellite that would have produced a flare in that direction in the summer months was by now deep inside Earth's shadow and remained invisible. (source: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/kansas-city?month=11&year=2022)

nov.png

For comparison, this is late August. Sun's at -40° some time past midnight now, towards the sat cluster in the north, and it also lingers around that elevation for longer. Much more favourable sighting conditions.

aug.png
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
The sighting was not continuous as the lights would fade out or disappear then come back a few minutes later in the same area
Content from External Source

The story I'm hearing is "I absolutely cannot identify these things, and I'm an expert, but when I saw one, stopped seeing it, and then saw another one I could positively identify the second one as being the first one again, rather than a different one of the same type".

Did that pilot ever have goldfish as a kid - ones that mysteriously never seemed to get old?
 
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