I never reported this incident. I do not recall the exact date only have an approximate month and year. This occurred in the fall, September between 1998 - 2000. It was around 11:00 p.m., my boyfriend and I were sitting out on the deck, it was getting chilly and we were thinking of going inside. We live on lake approximately 40 acres in size and there is a small back lake about 8 acres in size to the SW. The SW shoreline of the main lake is tree lined. There is no development on the back 50 acres, where the small lake is, it is vegetated and has a dirt road.
That night to the SW behind the trees the entire skyline and ground area lit up with a bright blue flash. The glow was bright enough to see the entire outline of the tree line in the night sky for about 3 seconds. Right after this, a little to the north also above the tree line I saw what looked like a bright star in the sky. I was staring at it and in an instant the light backed out, and was gone. The light did not move across the sky. Regarding the blue flash, the only thing I could compare it to would be a transformer burning up, but there are no power lines in this area. I also work for the electric company and checked the next work day for any incidents, there were none.
After learning more about USOs, I believe something occurred involving the back lake. I would also like to add, this is near, within 1 block of, the Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station.