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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/24/2008 20:01 (Entered as : 12/24/08 20:01)
Reported: 2/6/2009 12:06:41 AM 00:06
Posted: 3/19/2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Shape: Other
Duration:2 minutes
Christmas Eve object with bright spotlight near Rt. 441 in Wayne County near Rochester, New York like a helicopter with no sound

It was Christmas Eve and I (41) was telling my daughter (13) to get ready for bed at 10PM in a small town about 20 miles east of Rochester, NY in Wayne county. We were in the worst part of a windstorm with SW winds sustained at 34MPH (54KPH) and gusts to 62MPH (99KPH). As she was finishing up brushing her teeth I took a look outside to see the trees swaying in the high winds and saw an aircraft in an unusual position in the sky.

Living outside Rochester, which has an international airport, it is not unusual to see planes, mostly incoming, approach from the east, headed west along New York state route 441 which later becomes Elmwood Avenue and leads a nearly straight line to the Rochester airport. On this night, however, the aircraft I saw was at least a mile north of route 441 and had a spotlight similar to those I saw on police helicopters when I lived in Los Angeles. It also had blue and red lights, but the spotlight was most noticeable.

I opened the door to get a better look. My daughter, a firm believer that UFO’s are not real, saw what I was looking at and her exact words were “Is that a UFO?” I told her it looked like a helicopter. However, within a minute it was nearly overhead and we couldn’t hear it. Its’ speed was much slower than most planes, and the spotlight (which was pointed toward the ground, but slightly to the right of its’ flight path) was very bright. The speed and the spotlight seemed to suggest that it was a helicopter, except there was no sound.

The object continued past our house where it seemed to pick up the path of route 441-west, towards the Rochester airport. My daughter captured some video on her cell phone but it was captured through a closed window and appears to be a speck of light in a dark sky when viewed. The flight path, the red, white and blue lights and the speed all seem to point towards a helicopter, or maybe even a small plane flying into a 40- to 70-knot headwind. But why would a helicopter be using such a bright spotlight? There were no police chases here that night. And, its’ speed was faster than any possible police chase on these curvy, hilly roads. It traveled at least 5 miles in about 2 minutes. And it was at a height of several thousand feet, too high for the spotlight to illuminate the ground. It was cloudy and windy, but no fog or rain or snow to explain the use of the bright spotlight. I also considered the possibility that an aircraft had landing gear trouble.

To both of us, this seemed like it might have been a UFO and it might have been a helicopter with a bright spotlight. It is possible that the wind was howling so loudly that it drowned out the helicopter sounds. This sighting was unique enough to get my un-believing daughter to think it might be a UFO. I’ve seen much stranger objects, back when I lived in the Hudson Valley region of New York State; objects the size of football fields that moved unlike any aircraft, and this sighting does not come close in comparison. The object we saw, though, is still unexplained as far as we are concerned. We are also aware of the obvious implication of seeing something unidentified flying across the sky on Christmas Eve night, but for now we’ll just call it a UFO.

At the time of the sighting, we were at 43.15 degrees North, 77.34 degrees West looking East initially, then South, and lastly Southwest as we lost sight of it.