St. Louis, Missouri - June 4, 2013
Spheroid object executes vertical climb to 25,000 ft. in less than 3 minutes.
On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at approximately 1:30 pm, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of a St. Louis fast food restaurant for lunch located on Oakland Blvd. just east of Hampton Ave. and south of Interstate 64 and something to the northwest of me caught my eye.
Looking through the windshield, I saw something move rapidly in a circular motion and it vanished quickly. As a result, I thought I was looking at a remote control model airplane or a bird. The object was very dark against a fairly bright sky, below a scattered overcast.
Object Very Low
The object appeared to be very low over the distance treetops when in view, but momentarily vanished and I thought it went down below the tree line or the horizon. I could not determine how far the object was laterally, from my position. There was nothing behind it that it crossed to get a distance estimate.
I looked down to my sandwich and when I looked back up to the same location, (which was to my northwest); I saw an object, roughly spherical in shape, very dark, which began an immediate vertical ascent.
What put me into a sudden "What the hell?" moment was that the object was moving straight up and pretty fast. I leaned down toward the dash and crooked my neck to watch the sphere continue its vertical ascent as it kept going until it reached what appeared to be the cloud base (the cloud ceiling).
Object Sits Still in Sky
At that moment, the object then stopped moving and held stationary at the cloud base. It remained stationary for approximately 2 minutes. It could have been moving slowly to the right, or perhaps the clouds were moving slowly to the left, but after about two minutes, the object merged into the cloud above it and became obscured.
At its highest observed altitude (as it moved into the cloud), the object could be distinguished as a spherical shape, a black dot at this point.
As I observed the object, I was so captivated by what I was seeing that I failed to do a simple time count as it ascended; but the total time from near ground level to the cloud base at 25,000 ft. was not more than 3 minutes maximum, but could have been as little as 30 seconds.
Following the event, I placed phone calls to the nearby Forest Park administrative office as well as a local university's science departments and inquired if any kind of balloon had been launched. All inquiries came up negative.
I inquired into how to find the accurate cloud ceiling for the date and time of the sighting and was referred to the National Weather Service where I found the three-day weather records and June 4, 2013, data established the cloud ceiling at OVC250, which means overcast at 25,000 Feet, and that matched what I observed.
Calculating Objects Speed
Using a speed and time calculator, I found the following possible indicated speeds of the object. The following speeds are based on three estimated times for the object to travel from near ground level to 25,000 feet. 30 seconds, 1, 2, and 3 minutes.
3 Minutes: 94.69 MPH
2 Minutes: 142.04 MPH
1 Minute: 284.09 MPH
30 Seconds: 568.18 MPH
Having seen a variety of balloons in the air, I've never seen a balloon ascend at these rates of speed, and although I cannot state exactly "what" this object was, it must have possessed considerable size because I was able to observe the object at the cloud ceiling, or 25,000 feet.
If anyone else in the St. Louis area observed this object on June 4, 2013, I would very much like to see additional details.