Janesville37.5°

Bright lights reported across Rock County sky

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
May 11, 2010
— Two dispatchers at the Rock County Communications Center received calls at the same time early today from individuals reporting a bright light in the sky.

Both calls came in at 4:10 a.m., said lead dispatcher Mark Elland.


One caller said the light was bright blue in the sky north of Janesville.


The other caller said the light was bright green and in the sky around the Edgerton area, Elland said.


Elland called the National Weather Service in Sullivan to see if any meteorologists there were aware of anything special going on, including a meteor shower such as the one that happened April 15 and was seen from Kansas City to Milwaukee.


“They checked around and nobody else was reporting anything,” Elland said.


“There was nothing that we know of, but we usually don’t track those things,’’ said a National Weather Service office spokesman.


Others, however, also saw the bright light in the skies above Rock County.


Elland said Dane County’s 911 communications center received one call about a bright light in the sky south of the Dane County line.


The Dane County caller described it as “like something blew up and then glowed,’’ Elland said.


The National Weather Service office in Duluth, Minn., received a call from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office reporting a resident who saw a bright flash and then “something glowing in the woods.”


Janesville Police Sgt. Aaron Ellis was stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of High Street and Centerway when he saw what he described as a huge—as big as an airplane landing if you were standing by the airport—flash of green and blue bright light traveling across the sky.


“It was beautiful,” he said.


Ellis said he tracked the fast-moving light for up to 10 seconds.


“I’m sure it was very high, but it appeared to be close and lower flying than I would have expected,’’ he said.


Ellis thought he might have been seeing things until he heard the voice of a dispatcher come across his squad car radio saying the center also had just received phone calls about the bright light in the sky.


Ellis also called 911 and reported what he had seen.


At the same time, Ellis’ co-workers, who were nearby and outside, “heard what they thought was a rumble or a booming sound,” Ellis said.


It was not clear Monday if the light was the result of a meteor shower such as the one that lighted the sky the night of April 15.



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