OK, I was minding my own business. Su Byron and I were walking her West Highland Terrier, Baxter. Or maybe he was walking us. It depends on your point of view.
OK, so it's about 9:10 p.m. We amble around Eastbrook -- this circular drive in our neighborhood. We're heading east. I look behind me. To the southwest. And there's a big red light crossing the sky on a northwest trajectory.
As far as I can tell, it's moving at about 35 degrees in the direction of Venus, which is hanging pretty low in the night sky.
So, I look at it. Study it. Various thoughts go through my mind.
It's not a plane. What the hell is it?
It's a big glowing object. Red. incandescent. Glowing from within. A hot air balloon?
Well, no. On balloons, the fire's one the bottom. And balloons are pretty much evenly round. This thing is irregular. Spheroid, but not exactly spherical. There's not one light on the bottom. The whole thing is glowing.
"Hey, uh, Su? I think you want to look back at this. Maybe I'm crazy. But I think I'm looking at a UFO."
She stops. Looks.
"Is it a plane? Maybe it's a plane on fire."
"No. It's moving across the sky. Planes on fire tend to go straight down. Fast."
She looks at it.
"Maybe it's a nuke."
"No. Not unless the Mexicans are nuking Tampa. It's going South to North."
"OK. This is weird. This is definitely weird."
"Yeah. Uh. I think it's slowing down."
"It's definitely slowing down."
"Maybe it's an optical illusion. OK, now it's getting smaller."
"Or further away."
"Or it's burning out."
"Do you think it's a meteor?"
"Maybe. But it's moving too slow.
"I think it's stopped."
"No. It's gone."
And it was. Down the street, kids were playing with -- yeah, irony of ironies -- flying saucer toys with glowing lights. I figured a thousand people must've seen this thing -- which seemed to me to be right over Siesta Key.
Back home, we checked the Internet.
For the record, I don't think it was Little Green Men. My vote would be meteor.
But it was pretty damn weird.