Did We Catch The Iridium SV-70 Satellite Burning Up Over California?
Large Object Filmed Breaking Apart
On the morning of October 11, 2018 at 1:20 AM PST, UFO Seekers was in the field sky-watching for UFOs. Our location was just outside and above the Kern River Canyon in Kern County, California. We had staked out a position, one of our regular spots, near cattle territory which stretches into a national forest area.
It was at approximately 1:20 AM when I noticed a large glowing fireball over Los Angeles at roughly 45 degrees in the sky. Luckily we were armed with video equipment so we began recording the event.
Our video shows the mystery object breaking apart in massive fireballs traveling in a northerly direction, towards Sacramento.
Our video of the incident:
What Was The Burning Object?
Stunned by what we’d observed, Tracey and I immediately began searching the internet for other witnesses. We are experienced enough to know the object was certainly not a meteorite due to the speed, colors, and lack of sound. Unfortunately it seemed nobody else, including the news media, were reporting observations of the incident.
In the Comments section of our video upload on YouTube, other witnesses reported their observation of the incident. Here are some of the witness testimonials:
We were traveling on the I-5 at the time this happened and saw as well and what caught our attention was that it came from the West and was shooting in an upward Direction not downward so as we watched it go across the sky it continued in that upward Direction Never Falling downwards!!!! this was definitely not any space debris reentering the atmosphere with the angle that we were watching it travel… this honestly looked like more than one object, because within the streaks of light more lights would appear and shoot towards it. you don’t have falling debris regain speed to catch up with the other pieces the way we saw it…. – Wendy Marin
I was biking riding early in the morning & when I seen this I immediately stopped to watch it & people that were driving by probably thought I was high tripping out on something. I live in Garden Grove btw EDIT: HUGE CREDIT TO THESE GUYS BECAUSE WHEN I WENT ON THE INTERNET TO FIND A VIDEO OR ANY INFORMATION BY ANY CHANCE, I DIDN’T THINK I WAS GOING TO FIND ANYTHING DUE TO IT BEING EARLY IN THE MORNING BUT THIS IS THE ONLY FOOTAGE TO THIS & INFORMATION I’VE CAME ACROSS. I EVEN TURNED ON THE NEWS WHEN I GOT HOME AROUND 1:10 IN THE MORNING TO SEE IF THEY’D REPORT IT BUT NOPE. – Live Life
I saw this in Palmdale ca. It was bizarre because it didn’t fall. It traveled straight across the sky. – Carolyn Hughes
I’ve actually been looking to see if anyone actually had footage of this, glad someone did, because I saw this as well, while working on NAS Lemoore, Ca, which is located just south of Fresno! – Eugerio R.
we saw this last night over palm springs airport 1 15 am nice vid, was affraid id miss it , was am blown away – Mad Mad Mad World
Russia Soyuz Rocket Failure
At first we began to ponder the conclusion that the space debris we observed burning up may have been parts of the Russia Soyuz Rocket that failed at almost the same time in Russian airspace. The failing rocket incident was a large media story due to an American astronaut who was aboard, heading to the International Space Station.
Luckily our astronaut, and one Russian cosmonaut, survived thanks to an autonomous escape pod that safely landed the two rocket occupants back on Earth.
After contacting a known aviation expert, I was informed the Russia Soyuz rocket lifted off at 1:40 AM PST and the failure occurred minutes after that. This meant the object we witnessed was not parts of the Russia Soyuz rocket burning up over the Southwestern United States.
Contacting NORAD About The Incident
On October 12, we contacted NORAD and reported the incident. We informed NORAD that the object was not a meteorite. NORAD did not seem interested in the report, they asked us to contact local law enforcement, and also stated that, “No foreign objects were tracked entering our airspace.” That was it. NORAD offered no explanations.
At this point I felt we may have captured something we weren’t supposed to see.
Iridium Satellites Enter Retirement In 2018
On October 13, multiple people contacted UFO Seekers via Twitter, Facebook, and email to let us know about the 2018 retirement of Iridium Block 1 satellites and proposed we may have captured one of the satellites being deorbited. Specifically we may have captured Iridium SV-70.
Iridium communications is upgrading their satellite array which is known as Iridium® NEXT. On the official website of Iridium Communications we were able to locate information confirming the retirement of the Block 1 Iridium satellites. Here’s a direct quote from Iridium Communications:
Over 20 years ago, Iridium launched a constellation of 66 satellites into space, paving the way for the future of satellite communications. From Earth, unexpected reminders of the constellation’s presence appeared – Iridium Flares, a streak of light in the sky caused by sunlight reflecting off the main mission antenna of an Iridium® satellite. These Flares, which can be seen anywhere in the world, have been likened to shooting stars. As we conduct the largest constellation replacement program in history, known as Iridium® NEXT, our original Block 1 satellites are being deorbited and taking their Iridium Flares with them. – Iridium.com
Another piece of evidence was found on the Twiiter account named @CatchTheIridium who’s profile states, “Official Twitter account of the “Catch the Iridium” project!” A tweet was posted on October 12, that claimed Iridium Satellites SV-56 and SV-70 had reentered the atmosphere on October 11th. No time or location was given.
Catch The Iridium Project
On the ‘Catch The Iridium’ website (www.catchtheiridium.com) a self-explanation describes the Project as, “we would like to be able to take at least a picture of one “Iridium Flare” for each of the first-generation satellites still in use. This is the aim of the project!
A separate source claims to confirm this theory stating the Iridium reentry did indeed occur in the Northern Hemisphere. The source also stated the object seen entering the atmosphere was the Iridium SV-70.
Iridium Flashes Going Extinct
One of the repercussions of the Iridium upgrade is the new satellites do not create the famous flashes which can be brighter than Venus. The Block 1 flashes will soon be extinct.
Conclusion And Questions
With this new information, I feel confident saying it’s definitely a possibility we may have captured the Iridium SV-70 reentering the atmosphere over California. Unfortunately our attempts to contact Catch The Iridium, The FBI, The Kern County Sheriffs Office, the National Weather Service, NORAD, NASA, and other organizations have all been met by silence about the mystery object we filmed breaking apart.
For now, I have no definitive explanation. I do know it was a physically constructed object we witnessed burning up above California on the morning of October 11.
(10/14/2018 at 1:52 AM) @CatchTheIridium has confirmed through Iridium Communications that SV-70 was the object we recorded. Here’s the tweet: