|Occurred : 6/1/1980 21:00 (Entered as : 06/01/1980 21:00)
Reported: 10/10/2004 10:17:41 PM 22:17
Location: Birmingham, AL
|three lights that formed a triangle in the night sky
In the eary summer of 1980, I was taking my private pilot ground school on the weekend. On a Friday night a buddy and I were sitting on the front steps of another friends house, waiting on him to get home from eating out with his parents. As we sat there talking I noticed a humming sound that sounded different from any airplane that I have ever herd before. I looked up toward the sky (southeast) towards Birmingham and notice three lights in the sky above that formed a perfect triangle. The two on the right were smaller in size and would have formed the base of the triangle. The one on the left was larger and would have been the apex of the triangle. The apex light was white and the two smaller lights were white with a red tint. Since I was taking my private pilot ground school, we had learned that red was on the left, green on the right, and white on the tail. I was trying to make sence of the lights but it just wasn't right. The lights were moving towards us from the southeast heading northwest. If the lights were on a plane, the plane would have been flying sideways. I then got my buddies attention and pointed the lights out to him. As we watched the lights slowly move across the sky, I was telling him if,that is a plane, it is very low and we would hear it, and that the direction of flight would be different than the lights. The house that we were at is up on a hill and from our position you can see the lights of Birmingham in the distance some 12-15 miles away. To the southwest of us about 1 mile a baseball game was underway at parkwest and you could hear the pa being annouced at the game. I notice a plane had just departed from BHM and was climbing out towards the north in a slow arc. The plane was very identifible as an F-4 phantom recon aircraft that was based at BHM. This was identified by the two bottom stobes that we saw all the time in our area. As the F4 got closer to the objects above us, the objects slowed and came to a complete stop. To get an idea of the spacing of the objects overhead, they were about the width of an adults outstrected hands in the sky (2'from the apex to the base.) The two objects that formed the base were about 1' apart from each other. As the F4 got closer, the two objects that formed the base began to separate from each other, widening the base to what appeared two be 3-4' in the sky. They slowly started to move to the southwest which is a 90 degree turn from the original direction. As the moved the gatherd speed and instantly streaked across the sky leaving a white line that dissapeard as fast as it appeared. As soon as they were gone, the largest (apex) light slowly started in the same direction (toward the ball park) as did the other two. It too started to build speed and in a blink of an eye streaked across the sky and left an identicle steak of light behind it and was gone. It would remind one of a shooting star. From out position on top of this hill, you could see 15 miles. So we were able to follow these light all the way across the horizon. The F4 continued its approach and made a large circle back towards Birmingham. My friend and I just looked at each other in disbelief and asked each other "did you see that". We told out friend what we saw and his parents. They just looked at us as if we were crazy. The next morning I went to my private pilot ground school at the birmingham airport and asked my instructor, who was a F4 pilot at the time if they scrambled any F4's last night to check out what we had seen and he said he didn't know. This has been on my mind ever since and I felt the need to write it down. If anyone else has had a similar experience I would like to read about it.
((NUFORC Note: Date is approximate. Witness describes self as a member of the medical community. PD))