|Occurred : 8/16/1996 20:15 (Entered as : 8/16/96 20:153)
Reported: 12/3/1998 01:34
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
|My wife and I were walking towards our car through the back parking lot of Andreas Restaurant after dinner. I was looking towards the direction of where the car was parked when I noticed with my right field of view, a very large dark object that was moving from East to West just above tree top. The event happened so fast that I could barely point fast enough with my hand (while yelling Look..Look!) towards the object, hoping to get my wife's attention. Even though black in color, it had dimly glowing light along all the bottom edges and the sihlouette of the object was easily distinguished as a large silent triangle. The scene was fairly quiet and I was able to clearly hear in the background the motor noise of a small plane, during and well after the event took place. I was so shook up with my heart pounding that I could hardly breathe.
After the event took place I noticed that to attract my wife's attention to the black triangle I used my index finger with my arm fully extended. This would later provide me with a scale of the relative size of the object. The speed of movement across my field of view (in this case approximately 70° to 80°) took ~2 seconds. The altitude I estimated had to be less than some visible background mountain peaks that are ~3000ft about ~5 to 6 miles from wher I was viewing. It travelled right over the city and made no sound whatsoever!. If I had not been gazing at exactly in the direction of the mountains behind the city, I would have missed the event. It was that quick and that lucky. After gaining my composure my wife and I exchanged information, but it was clearly evident that she had missed all the initial trajectory as i was trying to get her to follow the object by my pointing towards it. The next morning I went back to the exact place I was standing the night before and took a picture. From the picture I was able to determine the relative speed at >800 mph!...and an object size (when compared to some features of the background) observed the day I took the picture. I estimated the object to be some 60 to 80 meters? in some size (It's hard to extract all this from such a short mental picture). It also looked blunt at the back, not aerodynamic per se. I noted that fromthe perspective that I saw it dissapear behing the trees, it looked more like a wide arrow head but was flat across the back. I purchased newspapers and asked around if any reports were submitted, but was not able to confirm any other observers which would have seen this craft. I decided to document all my findings before submitting the information back in 1996, but regrettably I lost my report on a disk crash and later was not able to recover the file.