As storm clouds gathered over Oak Park, Illinois, on the evening of July 13, an individual, videotaping an impressive display of heat lightning, also captured something else streaking through the field of view.
The image above shows a bright, glowing object quickly enter the left side of the video in front of -- rather than behind -- a tree. This thing moves swiftly down and to the right, disappearing from view.
The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) -- a nonprofit group that documents and investigates global UFO sightings -- is not yet releasing the name of the witness. The case is listed as No. 68838 in the MUFON database.
"I was shooting video of a storm cloud emitting heat lightning from our back porch," the witness stated in the July 31 case report. "When I viewed the video I saw a streak of light that I cannot explain or rationalize."
The dramatic intensity of the heat lightning display in Illinois on July 13 can be seen in the following video that's being scrutinized by MUFON investigators. The unusual orb-like object enters the scene at the 19-second mark:
In the next sequence, the object is seen at three separate speed settings: normal (fast), medium and slow, to further illustrate how, when it first appears, it seems much closer to the camera than if it had originated higher in the sky.
One possible explanation may originate from Mother Nature: Ball lightning.
For centuries, science has attempted to understand this little known weather phenomenon.
"It's rare and unpredictable, which is why researchers don't know much about it. It can last more than a second, which is considered long-lived for lightning, but it's hard to capture and study," according to The Weather Channel. "In layman's terms, ball lightning is a big flash of light that looks circular that appears in the sky during a storm."
OpenMinds.TV reports the bright object moved downward toward the ground, and it's not yet known if it left any kind of trace in the area.
The ongoing probe may yield more answers, but for now, the case is still shrouded in mystery.