Note: This report was extracted from the MUFON UFO database (case # – 73742)
Location of Sighting: Hobson, MT
Date of Sighting: January 5, 2016
Time of Setting: 4 :30 AM & 7 AM MST
Description: I saw a possible Orb on January 5, 2016. I was ice fishing at Ackley Reservoir near Hobson, MT with my wife. We stayed overnight in the back of the pickup, January 4th. I woke up at midnight, got out to relieve myself and let the dog out of the cab. It was a clear night and I gazed at the stars for a few minutes, then put the dog in and went back to bed. I woke up again at 04:00 and got out to check on the dog and start a generator for a little heat. The generator did not start. During this time I noticed a roundish object far in the distance towards the south-southeast (estimated 150 to 160 degrees azimuth). The object was about the size of the moon, nearly round, but with blurred edges, and a yellowish-orangeish color. It was low in the sky, roughly 5 degrees. There was a thin and scattered cloud cover as you could still see some stars. At the time, I felt that the colors and the direction of this object were odd. I was cold and wanted to get back to my warm sleeping bag. I decided it was a waning moon rising, even though the direction was off. I got up a little before dawn at 07:15. As I walked to the restroom and back I saw another round object in the sky, similar to the one at 04:00 in size and direction, except that this one was white, more round with a slightly more distinct edge and much higher in the sky (estimated 30 to 40 degrees). The cloud cover had increased since 04:00 and it was definitely getting light as I could see where the sun was going to rise. I said yeah it’s the moon and mostly forgot about it until a few days later. I got to thinking about what phase the moon was in and realized the full moon was 11 days past. I know my directions at this location even in the dark. I have been coming here off and on for about 20 years, both when I lived to the north in Great Falls and later in the south at Roundup. Most of the time it’s been for ice fishing. As usual, we were parked on the northwest side of the reservoir, which lies north-northwest of and between two mountain ranges. I was looking across the reservoir and between the two ranges. That means I was looking south-southeast. I saw where the sun was going to rise (just north of the Big Snowy Mountains and this was 30 to 40 degrees east of the 04:00 object. Pre-sunrise azimuth was 107 degrees at 07:30. I checked on the moon phase and position for 1/5/2016. The moon was waning (bright on left) with 20 to 21% relative brightness. At 04:00 the moon was at 3 degrees altitude and 126 degrees azimuth. At 07:15 the moon was at 25 degrees altitude and 167 degrees azimuth. The altitude of the objects are similar to the moon’s altitude at 04:00 and 07:15 and so is the azimuth for the 07:15 object. However, the azimuth for the 04:00 object is greater than 30 degrees south of the moon. There are only a couple very small towns in that direction. It was not the glow of city lights, although a spot light could possibly have made that image. I don’t recall ever seeing a spotlight shining in the sky anywhere in predawn hours. The other thing that struck me is the fact that the moon on 1/5/2016 was only a thin waning (bright on left side) crescent with 20 to 21% relative brightness. The objects I saw were more like a 80 to 90% waxing (bright on right side) moon, much brighter and more distinctively round. I never saw a waning crescent moon the morning of 1/5/2016. At 04:00 the moon’s azimuth would have placed it behind the Big Snowy Mountains so I would not have seen it. At 07:15, I feel the cloud cover and predawn light in the sky would have overcome a thin crescent moon. One last thing that seems to eliminate my mistaking the moon for another object is that the direction the object traveled between the two times I saw it. I looked in the same direction each time I saw it (towards the south-southeast. If it were the moon it would have passed directly overhead on it’s path (heading to the northwest), but we all know the moon moves from east to west, or southeast to southwest. According to the moon calculator, the moon on 1/5 would have reached it’s peak altitude of only 28 degrees at 08:30 – only 3 degrees higher and only 1 hour and 15 minutes after I last saw it at 07:15. Even a full moon this time of year only reaches a maximum altitude of 61 degrees, but this object, had it continued on it’s path would have reached nearly 90 degrees. Even if the objects I saw where not the same object, the fact that they were more full circle than crescent makes me believe they were not the moon. I did not focus long enough on either object to see it move. I just assumed it was the moon, although “things” did not make complete sense. I sure wish I would have looked at these objects much longer to determine what they were. I also could have taken some photos if I had brought my camera. One last point to consider. This area of Montana has nuclear missile silos, a lot of them. From west of Great falls, to north and east of Lewistown and south to Harlowton there are 200 silos and 20 launch control facilities. We drive by many of these sites on the way to Ackley Reservoir. According to Wikipedia, most or all nuclear missiles have been retired from these silos, but I am still researching the status of these facilities. One of the witness testimonials on the Sirius Disclosure site is retired Air Force Officer Robert Salas. He was a commander at the Oscar Flight launch control facility (Malmstrom AFB) in 1967 where he describes an event with a UFO that caused 8 missiles to become inactive, simultaneously. This scenario also occurred at an adjacent facility (Echo Flight) at the same time.
Investigator Notes: MUFON classified this sighting as an unknown (other). Clearly the witness has a strong technical background. He presents a strong argument that the objects could not have been the moon. Chinese lanterns could have this appearance, but they wouldn’t have been suspended that long and the witness would have probably seen them dim out. The area is also remote making it more unlikely that anyone would be launching lanterns.Note to Commenters: If you are reporting a sighting, be sure to include the location (city, state, country), date and time of your sighting. Be detailed in your description. You may also use our UFO report page to report your Montana UFO sighting. Comments will be published if they are in "good taste" and not inflammatory.