No. 34: Jul-Aug 1984
January 20, 1983, 0515 GMT. The m.v. Baron Pentland was drifting off Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. A report was heard on the Christmas Island Radio that an object had been spotted high in the sky to the west of the island. The officers of the Baron Pentland picked up the object with binoculars and sextant.
"First thoughts were that this was the satellite Cosmos 1402, but this was dismissed as it was a day too early and it was not moving fast enough. In fact it appeared stationary to the naked eye. Another school of thought was that this was a weather balloon. As can be seen from the simple sketch, it was unlike any weather balloon previously seen by the observers. It was of a squat cylinder shape, wider than it was tall. The circle at the bottom appeared to be dimly lit with a pale blue colour. The 'torso' was almost invisible, even with binoculars, giving the impression that there were two distinct and separate lights. The top 'light' appeared to be a dome atop the main body and it was extremely bright. By wedging the binoculars in the bridge doorway, it was possible to gain a very steady view as the vessel's main propulsion system was shut down and the seas were light. Thus a clearer picture was obtained and in this way the object was identified as being cylindrical. The bottom circle also appeared to be 'webbed' with dark radial lines."
At 0643 GMT, the object had disappeared in the west.
(Strachan, C.; "Unidentified Flying Object," Marine Observer, 54:27, 1984.)
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