Mysterious “fireball in the sky” spotted over Quad Cities

This photo which appears to show an orange object in the sky beneath the moon was taken...
This photo which appears to show an orange object in the sky beneath the moon was taken Thursday around 9:30 p.m. in east Davenport, Iowa. Janice Blanche-Fisher says the object was visible 2 to 3 minutes. (Janice Blanche-Fisher)(KWQC)
Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 5:39 PM CDT
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Janice Blanche-Fisher was sitting outside her east Davenport home Thursday around 9:30 p.m. when she saw a bright orange “fireball in the sky” appear in the west.

“The object was too fast for a plane,” Blanche-Fisher said.

“It looked like a sideways orange ice cream cone.”

Blanche-Fisher estimates the object lingered 2 to 3 minutes, long enough for her to call her astronomy enthusiast husband, Jim Fisher, outdoors to see it.

“Jim couldn't identify it even with binoculars,” Blanche-Fisher said.

“This was something neither of us has ever seen before.”

A Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region spokesperson tells KWQC area air traffic controllers reported nothing unusual Thursday evening, but he questioned whether Blanche-Fisher perhaps saw part of the Perseid meteor shower occurring from mid-July to late August.

“It was too big and slow for one of the Perseid meteors,” Blanche-Fisher said, adding that Perseid meteors in her experience appear to move much faster and remain visible for a matter of seconds instead of minutes.

Blanche-Fisher said the object traveled from the west toward the east-southeast before fading away at the horizon, at which point she contacted KWQC to share the above cell phone photo she snapped of the spectacle.

“I was just so excited, and I wanted to report it ASAP.”

While the identity of the object is unknown, some KWQC TV6 viewers speculate it was a surveillance balloon launched by the Pentagon.