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That shadow in the sky? It's not only in Dunedin.

Photo courtesy Mike Weight

The responses came from across the country – Washington, Iowa, Ohio, New York – each writer expressing intrigue over the mysterious black line in the sky.

Last week, a Clearwater man took two photos of a bizarre line over Honeymoon Island. Black but somewhat transparent, it stretched across a blue sky from the water to a cloud.

Meteorologists developed a possibly theory: A contrail, the visible line of water vapor left in the air by a jet or rocket, had cast a shadow.

The Times asked readers if they had ever seen anything similar. Several had, and some even snapped pictures.

Angela Lyras had photos of a dark line over the East River in New York. She said she saw the jet and contrail too, which offered further evidence that the phenomenon was actually a shadow.

Andrew Stanford said he was sitting on a ridge in Washington, camera in hand, in March of 2001, when he saw a jet cross the sun. Then he saw the contrail's shadow, and he took a picture. It only lasted about 30 seconds, he said.

Frank Dull, a 53-year-old Kent State University graduate, said he's seen a similar black line twice in the skies over central Ohio.

An astronomer in California said he saw a shadow in the sky over Kentucky "some 25 years ago." He never saw it again but said it was aligned with the flight path of a plane in the area, so he is "inclined toward the contrail theory."

Then there was the message from an email account with the signature: "RONS NFL ACCOUNT." The writer suggested it might be a high-powered laser.

"Maybe it's Dr. Evil…lol."

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zsampson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804. Twitter: @zacksampson.

That shadow in the sky? It's not only in Dunedin. 08/06/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 1:46pm]
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