12-042-AN1 (Whiteford, MD)

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Synopsis: On 06 June 12, at approximately 2337, the witness of this investigation was walking the family dog and observed a bright star-like object in the sky traveling West to East. According to the witness, “the UFO” was traveling very fast in a straight line.

Evidence Submitted: Video footage from a cellphone.

Initial Action: This UFO investigation was opened as an AN1 – an anomaly that left no lasting physical effects, such as lights in the sky and similar phenomena. A preliminary analysis of the photo indicated the UFO was more than likely an artificial satellite in Low Earth Orbit.

Investigation and Findings: The investigators contacted the witness of this investigation. According to the witness, the UFO was a starlike object and made no noise. The UFO also travelled in a straight path and made no erratic maneuvers. Indices checks on satellite tracking databases later indicated the UFO was the Iridium 44 communications satellite in Low Earth Orbit. The Iridium 44 satellite passed over the witness at the nearly the same time the witness reported seeing the UFO.

Object Details: The Iridium 44 was part of a planned commercial communications network comprised of a constellation of 66 LEO spacecraft. The system uses L-Band to provide global communications services through portable handsets. The satellite launched from the Peoples Republic of China on 08 Dec 97. The satellite remains in Low Earth Orbit with an apogee of 654 km and a perigee of 629 km.

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