|Occurred : 5/2/1997 22:00 (Entered as : 22:00 PDT)
Reported: 5/3/1997 04:19
Location: Oceanside, CA
|Summary : What appeared to be a slow-burning, orange-colored object was slowly "floating" in a northernly direction directly over the beach just south of the city boat harbor. Six of us noticed it from a balcony at a party. I am a working daily journalist. With me were two Oceanside city council members. This object "floated" north for about two or three minutes, then stopped. After about a minute or so, it began moving back south-southwest over the water. Altitude was hard to determine, but it appeared to be climbing, albeit ever-so slowly. At one point, a small "spark" like object slowly fell from the main object. Through biconculars I was able to see four (4) distinct lights in a diamond shape. This object slowly faded from sight directly above our city's Pier. I honestly thought it was a balloon someone had set afire and let drift, but it wouldn't have burned that long and, because of our off-shore breeze, which was slight that night blowing inland, no balloon would have drifted p!arallel against the wind, then reverse course. Yes, we were at a party. No, no one was drunk. In fact, at least two of the people had nothing to drink.
One object.Orange (as in fire) in color.At first appeared to be burning.Binocs revealed four (4) distinct lights.Object "floated" slowly at about a speed of 20 to 40 knots in a northernly direction over the California coastline near the city harbor of Oceanside.Speed was tough to determine because altitude appeared to be at about 500 to 600 feet. But the longer watched, the more it seemed to be gaining in altitude.Altitude: 500 to 600 feet.A second object "drifted" off to the southeast for about what seemed to be a short distance, as if it were a spark falling away, but then it seemed to hover in mid-air.Observers:1. ((Name deleted)) daily newspaper columnist for the ((Name deleted)) Times, former police officer, retired U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, doctorate degree.2.((Name deleted)) (wife of No. 1), self-employed businesswoman.3. Name & title deleted)), business owner.4. ((Name & title deleted)), long-time legislative aide.5. ((Husband's name deleted))s, (husband of No. 3), local businessman.6. Unknown (to me) young man about 22 or 23 who was a guest at the birthday party.Several others saw it, but this group followed the object by climbing onto the roof observation deck of the condo complex in the((Address deleted)) block of Pacific Street in Oceanside.