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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 5/30/2009 20:45 (Entered as : 06/30/09 20:45)
Reported: 6/12/2009 7:16:25 AM 07:16
Posted: 8/5/2009
Location: Columbus, NJ
Shape: Other
Duration:approx 3 min
First time for everything !

At approx 2045 hours I looked out of our second floor bathroom window to check the weather . Brought to my immediate attention was a very bright (brighter than a KC-10 landing light seen at one half mile distance) , very large (larger than a seedless grape viewed at arms length) , object which was shaped in the form of a child's "top" .

The object was spatially stationary (I fixed its position relative to two near tree branches.) , although it was rotating counter-clockwise at (best guess) about one RPM . It's color was "opalescent" white ; there was a small red , eccentrically located red light near the upper portion which rotated as if fixed to the object . As a "best guess" , I'd estimate the object to be about two or two and one half miles distant , the direction being to the N.N.W. .

As for atmospheric conditions , the sky was overcast with a ceiling of about 3k feet . The object appeared to be approx 1.5 to 2.0 k feet above ground level .

I watched the object (with fascination !) for about three minutes , after which I left the bathroom so as to procure a camera . When I returned , the object was no longer viable . I continued to observe the area for about two minutes , at which point I noted two slow moving "conventional" aircraft circling the area where the unidentifiable object had been sighted . These "conventional" aircraft were circling in a 360 degree "holding pattern" , about 500 feet above and roughly a half mile beyond the diameter of the unidentified craft . Although I could ascertain no distinct shape of the two circling smaller aircraft , I assumed them to be helicopters (nav lights , and air speed too slow for fixed-wing) from McGuire A.F.B. I watched the circling aircraft for an additional five minutes or so , and retired for the night .

I awoke at approx 0400 , and immediately (even before coffee !) checked the television news programing for additional details about the very strange object - There was none . The network news did (at about 0920) , however , make mention that some people in Arizona had become alarmed after viewing a U.S.A.F. weather balloon .

Why did I wait so long to report such a strange object , when its size surly must have attracted the attention of very many people ? Although I'd never witnessed such a thing before , I suppose that the answer would have roots related to both a sense of frustration/disappointment and the potential risk of loss of credibility . If you've "stayed with me this far" , I'll seize the opportunity to note that I've been an aerophile (an airplane "affectation")for over fifty years , that I'm a former member of the United States Parachuting Association , and that I'm an armature (very)astronomer .

In closing , although the experience only lasted for about three minutes , it was quite a show ! I thank you for your kind attention .

Sincerely , ((name and specialty deleted))

((NUFORC Note: Source of report indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))