|Occurred : 9/9/2004 23:00 (Entered as : 09/09/2004 23:00)
Reported: 9/10/2004 11:07:53 AM 11:07
Location: Kansas City, MO
|Pulsating lights dance over Kansas City's downtown Exhibition Center.
Sighting: Thursday Evening, September 9, 2004.
Very clear sky, stars easily visible, single-engine plans and one helicopter clearly visible during sighting.
I'm a 37-year old (male) design architect that has lived and worked in downtown Kansas City,Missouri for 14 years for the same company. I live with my wife and 3 year old son near Raytown, Missouri, a 30 minute drive from downtown. On the evening of September 9th, at approximately 11:30 PM, I was leaving my office to go home. I park my car in a free-standing parking garage (3 story structure) immediately to the northwest of our office building. To the west of our office building, in a two block area, is the downtwon Convention Center, Exhibition Center, and Municipal Auditorium. The Exhibition Center is a prominent feature in the KC skyline with its large suspension structure and four stainless steel "futurist" sculptures artifically lit from within and below (refer to attached images). These art pieces were erected in the mid-1990's to crown the Exhibition Center and symbolize Kansas City's aspirations for a bright and progressive future. Naturally, working downtown all these years, I tend to take them for granted, but on the referenced evening I happened to look up at them while walking to my car. I noticed a number of small point-sources of light moving above and behind the main sculpture on the east-most pylon. At first I thought the light objects were a swarm of bugs attracted to the sculpture lights, but it became clear (even from my vantage point on the ground) that the light objects were too big and solitary to be swarming insects. I stopped and looked more critically now thinking the lights must be the under-belly of pigeons or some other large birds illuminated by the sculpture's lights as they flew over. I almost walked away and went home at this point but just before I turned to go I noticed the light objects didn't dim or disappear into the darkness as they moved away from the sculpture's light array. In fact, some of them got brighter and grew in size as they moved away. This peaked my interest so I decided to go up to the top level of the parking garage and get a better look. Sure enough, from this elevated vantage point, I could clearly see as many as ten illuminated objects moving in random patterns what appeared to be directly above the Exhibition sculptures. I still thought these might be birds so I watched carefully for any unusual behavior. My first observation was to try and determine if these objects were self-luminous or simply reflecting light from the street or sculptures. Without question, they clearly demonstrated they were the former. This became most apparent when some of the objects made hard, angular cuts, they became much brighter and changed color (from a bright white dot to a larger arc of yellow and orange light). Then the light would diminish and sometimes simply disappear.
It's important to note this light behavior occurred over, behind, and away from the sculpture lights. No obvious connection could be made between a reflective object and the sculpture lights given their changing proximity to the Exhibition Center.
In most cases, the light objects were roughly twice as large and bright as any other fixed light in the night sky. When they cut at sharp angles or accelerated, their light intensity and relative size grew to roughly thre to five times that of any fixed light in the sky. Because it was such a clear and cool evening, I feel very confident about the accuracy of these comparisons. In addition to demonstrating self-illumination, I also observed these objects manuever in patterns no normal aircraft (and, frankly, no bird) could possible duplicate. The objects moved with a mixture of chaotic zig-zags, dips, jumps, straigt-line accelerations, stationary pauses, collision course acrobatics, etc. etc. This activity was sustained and though apparently random, demonstrated intelligent control. At one point (around midnight) a single-engine plane, presumably leaving the downtown airport, made a straight line path through the light objects. At this point, I would estimate six to eight objects moving in the area just over the Exhibition Center. From my vantage point, the plane appeared to be a few hundred feet lower than the objects (which assumes the objects were a few thousand feet in altitude). However, it appeared as though the light objects moved farther apart as the plane entered my field of view. Then, they resumed their dance back over the sculptures. Several other small planes came through the same area, as did one police helicopter, but the objects didn't adjust their position for these craft. I literally watched this go on for a solid hour totally amazed by what I was seeing. Taking their self-illumination, changing illumination, and manueverability, I had to conclude these were not terrestrial-based craft or animals. Clearly, these weren't ballons, ball lighting, or swamp gas either. They were something I can't explain. All I could think was these objects are playing with each other whatever they are. Like some nutty game of high-speed cat-and-mouse, they looked like kids let out to play. That's the best description I could come up with. And more importantly, they decide to play with unabashed clarity over one of the most visible monuments in a populated city. You couldn't miss them if you tried, they were that close and that visible.
To get a better look, I got in my car and drove a block south to a large surface parking lot that is a bit higher in elevation than the top of the parking garage and less affected by street lights. I thought this would help me determine the actual position of these objects relative to the Exhibition sculptures. From this position, I could sse the objects even better. They were indeed flying directly over and to the west of the Exhibtion Center. Some of them would dart off in all directions and disappear, only to reappear near where they disappeared. Others continued this amazing light display during acceleration and hard turning. I could see the color changes much better from this darker position. When the objects intensified, they looked like what you see when a rotating steel blade heats up due to friction. They had a pronounced rim of orange light that lasted a few seconds then they would turn yellow or white and I also noticed a little bit of red. I could also tell the light pulsated softly as they moved in a linear direction. I heard no noise from these objects which is odd given how fast they were clearly moving. On a whim, I grabbed a flashlight from my car and "signaled" toward the moving lights. I don't know Morse Code but I thought if these objects are guided by some intelligence, perhaps they'll see my light and signal back or do something to let me know they see me (foolish, I know). Seeing a grown man flashing a light in the night sky might give some pause to think I'm nuts, but this was an extraodinary event. I did this for about 30 more minutes and decided to go home. The lights were still zigging and zagging as I drove away, still pulsing and blinking out of sight. It was quite the event, I'll never forget it.
((ADDENDUM FROM ORIGINAL WITNESS))
I just confirmed with a really good pair of binoculars that the objects I saw the other night over downtown Kansas City are in fact birds and not unexplainable objects. I'm terribly sorry for jumping the gun and making a report that turned out to be something so simple and quite natural. Please disregard my sighting.
I'll be more cautious in the future.