Janice Blanche-Fisher was sitting outside her east Davenport home, in the state of Iowa, late on Thursday when she caught a glimpse of something that she had a strong urge to report ASAP.
“The object was too fast for a plane”, the bemused stargazer shared with KWQC, recounting that the object, which lingered for some time nearly motionlessly, resembled “a sideways orange ice cream cone”.
The two to three minutes of it standing still were sufficient for her to call her astronomy enthusiast husband Jim, who, however, couldn’t identify the object even with the help of his binoculars.
WHO RADIO NEWS: Mysterious fireball in Iowa sky not a plane, not a meteor ZOOM PHOTO https://t.co/4961I09OUC— WHO Radio (@WHORadio) August 10, 2019
According to a Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region spokesperson, area traffic operators reported nothing extraordinary on Thursday evening, but he assumed the sight that unfolded before Janice’s eyes was perhaps the Perseid meteor shower that typically occurs at this time of the year.
Nevertheless, the timing argument appeared to not really be credible for Janice, who insisted that “from her experience”, the much awaited meteor showers never last that long:
“It was too big and slow for one of the Perseid meteors”, Blanche-Fisher said, adding that the enigmatic “fireball” went all the way from the west toward the east-southwest before vanishing away at the horizon. This was when she contacted KWQC to share her cell phone photo of the phenomenon, saying that she was “so excited, she wanted to report it ASAP”.
It remains unclear what exactly it was that lit up up the skies over the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois, but some news viewers suggested that it could be a Pentagon surveillance balloon.