13-016-AN1 (Germantown MD)


Synopsis: On 20 Jan 13, the witness of this investigation was driving and noticed a large object in the sky. The witness stopped the vehicle and took a photo of the object. On March 8th, while reviewing the photo, the witness noticed a “dark line” that seemed to rip through the sky. The witness thought it was something on the vehicle’s windshield – but upon further inspected noted it was not.

Evidence Submitted: Original photo.

Initial Action: Case opened as an AN1.

Investigation and Findings:  This investigation is closed.

Object Details: All indication point to the WITNESS having observed and photographed an upper atmospheric disturbance known as “shear instability” in the midst of forming.  Researcher contacted a local expert and educator, Dr. James Carton, Chair of the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies at the University of MD who said in his e-mail reply of March 22, 2013: “Looks a bit like Shear Instability.”  Further internet research showed instances of similar looking upper air disturbances.  Although it cannot be stated with 100% certainty, all indications point to shear instability as the cause for the observed aerial phenomenon.

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Interim Director Aerial Phenomenon Investigations
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