Ghostly White Disk And Light Beam In Sky
June 22, 1976. 2113 GMT, position 24°N, 09'W. Officers aboard the s.s. Osaka Bay observed a pale orange glow coming from a cumulus bank to the west. At 2115, a ghostly white disk appeared above the cloud bank and began expanding. Ten minutes later, the disk had grown to the point where the lower edge touched the horizon and the upper edge reached an elevation of 24° 30'. As the disk sank below the horizon a searchlight-like beam emerged from the clouds. The disk disappeared completely by 2140, but the light beam remained another five minutes.
(Moore, R.; "Unidentified Phenomenon," Marine Observer, 47:66, 1977.)
Comment. Some distant rocket launchings have created similar phenomena.