|Occurred : 9/19/2003 08:30 (Entered as : 09/19/2003 8:30)
Reported: 9/22/2003 1:19:24 PM 13:19
Location: California City, CA
|"tiny" flying cylinder (not a drone, Predator, cruise missile, etc.) no wings/rudder/no exhaust/no prop
PREFACE: I have two homes up here in the Mojave Desert, both aviation testing heavens for aviation buffs. One is Near China Lake and the other is on top of a hill in remote location just north of Edwards AFB (EAFB).
The EAFB place is directly under a heavily used, supersonic low altitude corridor so we see all the military''s good stuff being tested and passing directly over our house 24 hours per day. (B2, B1, F-117, F-22, JSF, NASA-Dryden stuff, Osprey, C-17 and many other test models. So we here are battle hardened when it comes to "UFO" sightings and many folks just take them for granted due to the heavy activity out here of experimental stuff going on.
Most of us "literate" residents of this area know our planes and the generalities and the specifics of sensitive and public projects going on at EAFB/China Lake, etc. because we work there or at Plant 42 (Palmdale) or at famous Mojave civilian airport.
The stuff that goes on at these three locatations is cutting edge. In fact, the lead British test pilot testing Lockheed's version of the F-22 Raptor was over at my home one day visiting and he said they use my EAFB-area house as a marker from the sky. That explains why we get buzzed several times a day and why our drywall nails are popping out.
With all that said, please advise that I know my planes, I have better than 2010 vision, have flown helicopters, am an amateur astronomer with a Celestron C-8 (with "go to") and a Cave Optics 10" Newtonian telescope.
I have a wife that is a pilot (we are both scientists) and we have large personal photo archive of really tight shots of just about everything (declassified) that has passed by our house.
Anyway, September 19 I was do my morning mountain bike ride on the I-58 frontage roads on the north side of Edwards AFB (which is west of Mojave). Three silver fighters (not white or black matte or grey) passed over headign north about 1000 feet AGL and about 10 feet off the wing of one of them was a grey flying cylinder about 4-6 feet long. It was NOT being towed and it was NOT a cruise missile, NOT a drone (I am familiar with them from NAWC Weapons-Point Magu), nor was it the Predator or Dark Star, etc.
It had no visible exhaust, no rudder could be seen, no canards or winglets, and it flew around the fighters (from front to back to side, like a toddler hands around it's mother's legs). So it was not being towed.
About 15 minutes later the three fighters returned (again heading in the same Northerly direction), but this time the little cylinder craft was gone. .
Problem 1: No fighter plane would (to my knowlecge) get that close to a flying missile or remotely controlled object. It was within 5 feet of the planes when parallel to them.
Problem 2: I can't see how this was propelled. It obviously was not towed! And they were travelling 200-300 mph. A little slow for a missile. Besides there are no bombing ranges in this immediate area. They are all at China Lake (60 miles to the north).
Problems 3: if it was remotely controlled how could it fly as such without some winglets and rudder. Of course I am aware of thrust vectoring, but this one had no exhaust. New propulsion technique? Speculation: Since this was escorted, it was clearly military, and could be a source of similar UFO sightings and reports. For example, a friend saw a small, lone flying tube/cigar around the canyons back in Sand Canyon in Tehachapi, CA (40 mis west of EAFB) with no visible propulsion system.
Summary: I wouldn't even bother to report this one, but I think it could be of interest to other parties who have seen something like this and other military craft and think of it as extraterrestrial. The military has some pretty good stuff that is way ahead of the outdated Stealths.
For comparison, BTW, two years ago in the winter I did see the very LARGE triangular, matte black craft early one very cloudy morning flying north out of Palmdale (Plant 42). While driving on I-14 west of Plant 42 airstrips I saw it lift up into the thick low clouds in thesky so fast I couldn't believe it! I almost ran off the road. Clearly they wanted this thing up into the cloud cover ASAP. NO, it was not the B-2 or tiny F-117, the large tankers, nor the C-117 (or others, which are common around here). It looked like about 2.5 times the size (or more) of the B-2 with slight upturn on the tips of the manta type wings.