Brandon Tudor and his 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth spotted a strange "flaming object" in the evening sky as he was driving along U.S. Route 30 in Oswego on Sunday,March 6, 2011. Tudor took these photos with his camera phone.
Brandon Tudor swears he's not seeing things. And he's got his iPhone and 10-year-old daughter to prove it.

The young Oswego salesman and father of three was dropping Elizabeth off at her mom's house in Lakewood Creek subdivision on Route 30 in Montgomery early last Sunday evening when he spotted it in the western sky.

It appeared to be a ball of fire falling toward earth at a 45-degree angle. Suddenly, he says, the flame extinguished and the trail of smoke changed direction, rising to a 30-degree angle.

Tudor had time to snap four pictures before the mysterious apparition disappeared. Then, out of nowhere, father and daughter saw two jets fly into view and circle the area.

Because he was now driving in the opposite direction, Tudor doesn't know how long the planes were in the sky, but the brief episode was enough to get the juices going.

"See, Mommy, I told you aliens existed," he recalled his daughter saying when she reached home and pointed toward the sky.

Tudor, who admits he's a bit of a conspiracy theorist, went online immediately and spent the rest of the week trying to figure out what the heck he'd just witnessed.

Was it a meteor? He'd heard there was a green meteor shower taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. that evening - but no way was it supposed to show up in the earth's atmosphere.

Was it a test flight? Maybe a hobby rocket? Tudor called around to several local clubs, but those groups told him they only perform flights in summer. Besides, the description just didn't fit a rocket's behavior.

Was it junk falling from a satellite? He checked out the Web sites that list all the paraphernalia hanging above the Earth - but no match there.

Intrigued even more, Tudor went to another Web site,, and offered up this post:

I look up to see what appeared to be an asteroid on fire heading to earth at about a 30 degree angle and south ... Maybe 1 or 2 towns over, it was hard to tell the distance. It was on fire, went out, and then was on fire again and then went out again. The second time it went out it appeared to "pull up" and change course. Moments later two fast moving jets flew by, spun around and flew by again.

Needless to say, "The UFO of Sorts, Oswego, Illinois," has generated lots of suggestions from cyberspace - but Tudor still has no answers.

"I know what it isn't," he says of the fireball. "I just want to find out what it is."

He and his daughter saw the fireball around 5:30 Sunday evening - not exactly rush hour. Still, Tudor insists there were enough cars on the road that someone else had to have seen the same thing. Or, if you were outside at that time in the subdivision, he insists, "you couldn't miss it."

Here's my humble take on the whole thing: Don't call Brandon Tudor a nut. Just call him if you, too, saw the strange apparition in the sky.

UFOs over the Fox Valley? Why not?

In our beloved Land of Lincoln, truth is always stranger than fiction.