The 'OGRE' has been identified! On the morning of August 6th at 4:05 am EDT Norman W. McLe

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The 'OGRE' has been identified! On the morning of August 6th at 4:05 am EDT Norman W. McLeod III and Robert Reifer were out observing the Aquarid/Perseid meteor showers when they noticed a 3rd magnitude flash near RA 22:55, DEC +10. The flash lasted approximately 5 seconds and showed little motion to the naked eye. On the morning of the 7th at 4:25 am they again saw the flash in the same area. On the morning of the 8th they were prepared with a telescope and at 4:45 am they again saw the flash. Robert proceeded to get the object in the telescope and watched as the object faded to about 10th magnitude. He then followed it in a southernly direction. With Robert following it in the scope Norman saw it brighten again to 3rd magnitude and Robert verified that it did. The object proceeded to fade again to about 10th magnitude. This pattern was repeated 4 more times with the object being lost at about RA 23:10, DEC -8. At this time I do not know how long a period there was between flashes. The brightest flash was about 2nd magnitude with the rest of the flashes peaking at about 3rd magnitude and lasting approximately 5 seconds. The object producing these flashes appears to be a polar orbit satellite in a period of 24 hours and 20 minutes. Norman predicts that they will see the flashes again at 5:05 am EDT on the morning of the 9th and at 5:25 am EDT on the morning of the 10th. If anyone else is able to check for these flashes from other parts of the country it would be greatly appreciated. The observing location is located at LAT 26 deg 32 min and LONG 81 deg 30 min south of Lehigh Acres, Fla. Please send any reports to: Norman W. McLeod 4232 Scott Ave. Ft. Myers, FL 33905 This may finally settle the identity of the "OGRE". We couldn't identify it as being a satellite because the only previous flashing satellites we had seen were known to be geo-synchronous satellites. They had followed the 24 hour 20 minute period however but they varied in intensity with one bright flash followed by a half dozen or so naked eye flashes with each one being a magnitude or so fainter. They were then followed in the scope for another half dozen or so flashes until they leveled off at 9th or 10th magnitude. They were definitely geo-synchronous because the scope had to be locked in position with the motors off and they could be followed for an hour or so. We are still wondering what is causing the flash on the satellite. I have been told that lasers are used for position verification but I would like someone to either support or deny that positively. Sunlight could also be doing it but why for only a short period? In response to anyone saying that what they saw had only one flash and as such couldn't have been a satellite like this take note of the first two nights of sightings, Norman and Robert only saw it once. On the third night when they were able to see where it was going did they finally see it more than once. From personal experience observing many hours with these two observers for them to have missed the secondary flashes means that a lot of others could also have missed them. Norman can spot anything out of the ordinary faster than anyone else I know. I will update this with Norman's report for the 9th and 10th. Brian Risley


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