|Occurred : 1/29/2004 21:50 (Entered as : 01/29/2004 21:50)
Reported: 9/10/2004 11:04:36 AM 11:04
Location: Howell, NJ
|Strange, silent flying craft over Howell, New Jersey!
On Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, my wife and I were returning home to Howell, NJ after having dinner at a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in Freehold, NJ. The restaurant is located on Route 9 South, just north of the Howell border and slightly south of Route 33. I keep a journal where I noted having arrived home around 10 PM, and kept a receipt from the restaurant that shows the time we paid as 9:41 PM. It is about a 15-20 minute ride home from that location, so the time this occurred is extremely accurate - between 9:45 and 9:50 PM.
As we left the restaurant and proceeded southbound on Rt. 9, we noticed very strong headlights, very low in the sky and to the south of us, that appeared to be coming directly at us. They were no more than 10 or 20 degrees above the horizon, and appeared to be slightly to the right (or to the west) of Rt. 9. The lights were very bright, and we were at first concerned that a commercial airliner or two was heading right at us, because the height and angle of the lights suggested it. As they got closer to us, we began to think they were from two or more helicopters. Over a period of about 3 minutes or so, the lights continued to approach directly toward us as we crossed over into Howell.
We were no more than about a mile or so into Howell, and sitting at a red traffic light with dozens of vehicles around us on both sides of the highway when the craft crossed directly above us. They (or it) was probably 300-400 feet or so above us, and about the size of a large helicopter (troop transport size, I would guess). All the other cars around us could see what was happening, and many opened their windows as we did to listen, or stick their heads out and get a better look. My wife and I were stunned, since they (or it) was completely silent, and there was no downdraft or other phenomenon to suggest wings, rotors, or propellor/jet propulsion systems of any kind. The forward speed seemed to be something you would expect from a slower moving helicopter (30-40 MPH?), and just as they got over us they turned 90 degrees (but not sharply, more like a drift) and headed to our west (paralleling Rt. 33, but a mile or two south of it).
I don't know why, but I am hazy on what kind of shape it was, or if in fact it was one or two separate vehicles. Part of that is the passage of time, and for some reason I didn't really note it in my journal, but it was also difficult for me since I was behind the wheel on a major highway and the lights being thrown off by this "thing" was blinding. My wife only remembers this entire incident with the same level of detail as me.
I know the exact date when this happened because of having read an article yesterday on MSNBC.com which discussed how sightings of 'flying black triangles' are on the rise, and that they often appear over urban centers or major highways and make no effort to disguise themselves. When I recalled what we saw, I put in some search terms on Google (something like "UFO Howell Freehold New Jersey"), and was brought to the NUFORC.org site. When I scrolled down looking for reference to what I had seen, there was an entry describing the exact same thing at the exact same time from someone who was slightly further north of us. The description of everything matched exactly, including the flight path taken by the object(s). It was a perfectly clear, cold night as described by that writer.
When I looked back in my journal to that date, there it was! I also ran a search of the archives for the Asbury Park Press, which is the major daily newspaper in the area, and the one and only paper that would probably have reported it if anyone contacted them. Nothing came up in that search.
I am astounded that literally hundreds of people were out that night and saw all of this from a major highway, and it was not widely reported that I know of. The reason I don't remember every detail, or didn't freak out about it was that we are used to air traffic over our house all the time from the many military bases in the area, and we just assumed we were seeing something that was out for a test flight and wasn't really supposed to be seen so up-close by the general public.
I have an engineering background and work for the State, so I could appreciate that what I was seeing was some new technology I had never seen before, but automatically assumed it was military in nature. It never occurred to me that so many other similar incidents had been reported by so many other people, including law enforcement types, etc. Either I saw something otherwordly (which never really crossed my mind that night), or had seen evidence of some military technology which was far-beyond anything I had heard of before. What doesn't make sense at all, is that the 'pilots' seemed to be doing everything in their power to be noticed rather than remain covert in any way. I would love to talk to other drivers who saw this that night, and find out what their impressions were, or what else they might have seen in terms of origin or destination. Someone else also reported it in Pennsauken, New Jersey about 20 minutes earlier and that is about 40 miles to the southwest, so it must have been moving pretty quickly if it was the same vehicle(s) that night.
I feel privileged to have witnessed this event, and wish I could find out more about it!