• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Classic Mysteries



Mystery Spheres



by: S.A. Martin





I remember as I was keeping an eye on the Weather Channel at around noon on August 13, 2004 it struck me that this storm, Hurricane Charley, had suddenly intensified and was becoming huge. Something about the way it had suddenly grown and shifted directions, defying all the weather models and meteorologist’s predictions, seemed very strange. Even the meteorologists on TV were making mention of how odd this storm was behaving. I had the thought that this was no "Act of God" but an act of man. I knew a little bit about HAARP but had done no real research, so I wasn’t sure where this thought came from.

When I saw the satellite photo that showed this storm was larger than the state of Texas I knew right then there would be no "hunkering down" and waiting it out, as my boyfriend had hoped. We lived in a trailer, and there was no way me or my daughter were going to stay there when this monster hit. I quickly started throwing clothing and medicines into a bag when I was overcome with the feeling that I needed to walk the property and pray over it.

I did this, touching every tree and fence post, every door and window, saying "I pray protection over this place." All the trees were swaying in the strengthening wind and the sky above was a churning grey. Sensing it was time to make haste, there was one tree I did not touch, a huge oak, and it was in the middle of the property line between our trailer and the next.

After throwing our things into the car, and convincing my boyfriend he needed to come with us, we traveled about a mile away to a good friend’s house. Her house was concrete block, and better equipped to handle any devastating winds than our trailer. She was expecting us and we went inside to make our preparations for riding it out. The windows had not been boarded over, so there was a clear view of the wooded area across the road. We were less than a mile from the Caloosahatchee River. There was some concern expressed about possible storm surge, but we really had nowhere else to go. Because we had hesitated all the shelters were full. We heard it coming and we all crowded into her hallway with blankets, pillows, water and anything else we thought we might need in case the unthinkable happened. My boyfriend was restless and refused to come into the hall. He paced the house, monitoring the windows. When I saw the expression on his face change I asked what was happening. He said I didn’t want to know. We heard the cracking of trees breaking, the roar of wind, and the striking of hail against the house. I began to silently pray that the roof would hold. I was sitting with my back to a louvered closet that contained the air handler for her air conditioning, and the force of the wind was blowing my hair from back to front.

After a time the roaring wind abated but the rain was still pouring down with such ferocity that there was no way we could have even thought about heading home. It would be a couple of hours before we could do that. Eventually we were able to leave. My boyfriend drove ever so slowly as there were power lines, traffic lights and huge trees cast about like an unruly child had decided during a temper tantrum to trash his room. Once we returned home to our corner, ¼ acre lot, all the other trees, some towering and spindling slash pines, were standing except that one I had not touched, which had split down the middle. However, the half on our side of the fence missed our front door by mere inches! All through the neighborhood were downed trees but not on our property.

We went without power for four days in the middle of a Florida summer. I sent my daughter to my sister’s house in Cape Coral because even though they had some localized flooding, they had a generator that was providing relief because they were able to run the air conditioning, the refrigerator and had hot water. I returned to the trailer to help my boyfriend clean up the yard and the tree limbs from the oak that had to be cut with a chain saw. The aroma of people cooking whatever they had that was thawing out on grills filled the air for days. Everywhere I went, complete strangers would ask if I was okay or needed anything. I have never felt such a sense of community as during that week. People were doing their best to look out for and help each other. In public places utility workers, fire/rescue personnel and police were applauded any time they walked into an establishment. It became common to hear the phrase, “Thanks for all you do!”

On August 16th I was heading back to work for the first time since my co-workers and I prepped the place as best we could before heading on to our homes on the afternoon of Aug. 12th. I was an Administrative Assistant for a well-known engineering firm at the time.

I took the same route into work every day, at the same time of day every day (7:30 am), and this particular morning was no exception. I was facing west at a major intersection, waiting to take the left (south) turn. As I'm sitting at the light waiting to make my turn I looked above the line of cars to the sky and there, very large and very clear, was this sphere peeking out from the middle of a cumulus. It seemed as if the cumulus cloaked it or wrapped "arms" around it somehow. It had five rings that I could see that encircled it, each one graduating in width to accommodate the circumference before the cumulus blocked the view. It reminded me of the images of Saturn, the way the rings circled it, only they went top to bottom in a stacked formation instead of concentric ones. The whole thing seemed to be made of the same "stuff" as the cloud that enveloped it, which is to say sort of wispy and puffy. I could even make out drifts at the bottoms of the rings, which reminded me of the vapor that can be seen coming from dry ice, yet somehow the whole thing held together and had a sense of solidity. There was no movement that I could discern. It just hung there.

It was enormous, but I have no way of gauging how large it actually was, except to say a jetliner would be dwarfed next to it. From its position in the sky I estimated it to be somewhere over Sanibel and Captiva Islands, the two worst hit areas nearest Ft. Myers. Light seemed to reflect off its surface, as it was catching the rising sun, yet the rings had shadowed places beneath them, suggesting an internal light. It was white in color, but with nuances that would allow it to blend perfectly into the surrounding cloud covers. It was beautiful and terrifying by turns.

I kept an eye on it, never thinking to look around to see if anyone else saw it. Of course I cursed my luck at having taken my camera out of the car only that morning. The traffic light changed all too soon and I was forced to move, but as I headed south I could still see it in my passenger side window and I kept it in view until a buffer wall blocked further observation. I sped up, hoping to catch the next light on green and did so.

Three minutes later I parked at work and got anxiously out, immediately looking to the direction I'd seen it in. There were some clouds, but none looked like the one I'd spent the last five minutes watching.

Well, we'd just had a hurricane a few days earlier and it would be no surprise to see some pretty amazing cloud formations, right? Sure, except I saw it a second time.

The second sighting was after Hurricane Frances and this time my seven year old daughter was with me.

I was taking her to school, the first day back after being out the whole previous week. There were still trees down everywhere and some folks still didn’t have power reconnected since Charley's destructive visit the week before. The time was approximately 7:15 a.m. The sun was coming up in a beautiful blaze of corals and oranges, very dramatic.

We were traveling east and I glanced out my window northwards as we approached an intersection. There it was again, only this time I estimated its position to be over Port Charlotte, the worst hit county by Frances in our immediate area, some 20 miles north. It took on the beautiful tinge of the sunrise, yet still suggested some type of internal light. The sphere itself seemed so smooth. Once again the cumulus partially obscured the lower portion of it.

I pointed it out to my daughter as we reached the intersection, asking if she saw it. I asked her what it looked like to her and she said a ball with rings going around it. She said it looked pretty, "like that planet".

Just like before we watched it all the way to her school until such time as we had to turn away from it in order to turn into the school. By the time we'd parked and gotten out, yes, it was gone. Again.

She and I sat down later that evening in different rooms and drew what we saw, although neither of us could really do it justice. This was my rendition.



I searched the internet for hours upon hours over the course of the next few years, trying to find images or descriptions even remotely similar. I came up empty. I sent a report in to HBCC UFO Research right after my sightings asking if anyone else had reported any atmospheric anomalies. He thanked me for my “excellent report”, said they had worried about us Floridians “down there”, but no, no one had reported anything.

So what was it? Was it a sentinel, a spy, a floating weather monitoring station, a space craft? I honestly cannot answer, but one day maybe I will. I’d like to know if what I saw was responsible for these storms or if in some way it was a protector of sorts.

Now I watch the sky constantly, especially after violent storms, but I have to date not seen it again. A camera stays in the car now, though. Always.

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