I hope this isn’t removed because I don’t have the exact location or the exact date/time. I did personally witness this with my own eyes, and there were multiple other witnesses. I’m also kind of nervous to post this because I’ve never shared this story publicly. Maybe someone else has seen something similar or knows what it was.
In fall of 1997, teenage me was on a camping trip with my scout troop. At the time, my family lived in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. You will have to forgive me, I was young and I do not know the exact location where we were camping, but it was far enough away from the city that we could pretty much see every star in the sky. I am assuming this was far south/southwest of the Dallas-Forth Worth area.
It was very late, the sun had long set. The weather was great and most of us weren’t sleeping in tents, we were just in sleeping bags on cots. We had arranged our cots all pretty much the same way and most of us were just laying on our backs, watching the sky. One of our scout leaders was really into space/science and told us how we could see satellites if we looked closely. So since we were all pretty much laying the same direction on our cots, we made imaginary lines in the sky and each focused on one area, calling out if we saw something moving.
That was the first time I’d ever seen a satellite moving across the night sky and it was awesome, I had no idea they could be seen with the naked eye. Anyway, at one point a few of us were calling out “there!” at the same time and we quickly realized that there were three of them coming from different directions that seemed to be heading towards each other. They just looked like little points of light like every other satellite we’d seen so far.
We kept watching as they continued to move towards each other and eventually they stopped. I could hold my arm straight out and there wasn’t enough space between them for my thumb to fit (I did this because one of our scout leaders was talking about doing this for the moon, supermoon, etc). I couldn’t tell you how much time passed before these three lights rotated clockwise, almost a full rotation, then they suddenly flashed — it was a quick blink slightly brighter than they already were — and they shot off like shooting stars in in the direction they originally came from.
There were probably a dozen of us or so that witnessed this, most of us kids (13-15 years old) and a few scout leaders. “Probably just some kind of satellites we don’t know about,” seemed to be the consensus and nobody really talked about it again… but I will never forget and in my mind, I can still see it. I’m even using it as inspiration for some science-fiction I’m writing.
Anyway, thanks for reading!