Reports Report 3371ah (Event 3371-2017)

Name Halan G
Experience Level 2/5
Remarks A friend and I decided to stargaze because it was a clear night. We drove out to Cleveland national forest and parked in a turnout on the side of the mountain facing away from the city. We hear coyotes yelping and barking, not howling. Then we heard a loud boom like a gunshot from the same direction. Then a few seconds later we saw a bright bright orange ball shoot up towards the sky perpendicular to the horizon with a bright orange trail. It began to arc towards our left. We thought it was a flare gun at first because of the color, proximity, how low to the horizon it was, the potential gunshot boom, and the coyotes yelping. But the flame died down and a small red light continued to fly across the sky at a much higher degree which is not a characteristic of a flare gun. It arced over us with a grey trail that looked like the two ends of an arrowhead. It appeared to have turned either away for towards us (I was terrified at this point) but it slowly began to disappear leaving only a wonky trail behind that was no longer moving but just kind of pulsating and moving around. A night I will never ever forget and an experience that occurred only because a friend and I spontaneously decided to stargaze.
Address Lake Elsinore, CA
Latitude 33° 37' 34.33'' N (33.626202°)
Longitude 117° 22' 5.92'' W (-117.368312°)
Elevation 887.012m
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time 2017-09-23 22:50 PDT
UT Date & Time 2017-09-24 05:50 UT
Duration ≈20s
Moving direction From down to up
Descent Angle -
Facing azimuth 228.32°
First azimuth 279.37°
First elevation -
Last azimuth 164.19°
Last elevation 75°
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude -16
Color Orange, Red
Concurrent Sound
Observation Yes
Remarks I heard what I thought at the time was a gunshot in the mountains beyond me in the same direction I could hear coyotes or dogs barking and yelping. The sound came before the sighting of the fireball
Delayed Sound
Observation No
Remarks -
Persistent train
Observation Yes
Duration 5s
Length 16°
Remarks I saw the initial fireball as an orange bright ball with an orange train that wasn't a straight line of a train but more of a curvy line. When the brightness of the ball died down it was a smaller red light (but still much brighter than anything else in the sky) traveling higher in the atmosphere and its train also changed to grey mist following the ball like 2 ends of an arrowhead.
Terminal flash
Observation No
Remarks -
Observation Unknown
Remarks -