|Occurred : 7/15/2009 05:30 (Entered as : 07/15/09 5:30)
Reported: 7/16/2009 1:29:51 PM 13:29
Location: Greencastle, PA
|Group of bright lights maneuvering at very high speed
Date: 15 July 2009
Location: 3 Miles South of Greencastle, PA
Time: 5:30 AM (exactly)
Lighting Conditions: Generally dark with a hint of dawn on the extreme eastern horizon. There was a large, bright half-moon that was very high in the sky (~80 degrees of azimuth) to the Southeast; several bright stars were visible although most were obscured by scattered high-level cloud cover.
Weather: Generally clear skies with very light clouds between 20,000-30,000 feet and a second layer of scattered clouds higher up (~50,000-60,000 feet). There was no significant wind at ground level but the scattered clouds above were moving briskly towards the southeast.
Other Aircraft Visible: A large commercial jetliner (737,757, 767 scale) was visible at a bearing of about 120 degrees true at an estimated 35,000-45,000 feet in elevation. The aircraft’s structure and contrails were visible to the eye as were the white strobe warning light and red & green running lights.
Observers Background: I am a retired Navy Commander who served in the Navy for 21 years on both submarines and surface combatants. I have been involved in both nuclear power and nuclear weapons and maintained security clearances above the TOP SECRET level. My most senior assignments were at Fleet Forces Command (U.S. Atlantic Fleet HQ) NAVSUPSYSCOM as Director of Supply Chain Management for all Navy and Marine Corps conventional ammunition. My educational background is in chemical, mechanical and petroleum engineering and I hold a Masters in Business Administration. Currently I work as General Manager for an industrial manufacturing company. I have excellent vision, am taking no medications, have never had delusions or mental illness and am not a stereotypical "UFO fanatic." I have a significant knowledge regarding aircraft available in the current military inventory and have observed aircraft exceeding mock 1 in relatively close proximity. I have observed a night-time launch of the space shuttle when my submarine was in Port Canaveral, FL. I have not observed a definitive UFO or made a UFO sighting report previously.
Sequence of Events: Initial Observation: I existed my front door at exactly 5:30 AM to start a typical 5-mile walk. I always check my watch to verify my start time. It was still fairly dark outside with only a faint hint of sunrise on the extreme eastern horizon. I immediately noticed a very bright group of lights to the southeast at approximately 140-degrees true and about 10-degrees above the tree- line. These lights caught my attention because I had never seen anything like them before as they were extremely bright. To my naked eye, they appeared as three glowing balls that were close together or perhaps touching. At first I though I must be seeing the moon through clouds but as I glanced up I could see a very bright half-moon well above and to the left of the object. I also noticed several stars were out and that there was a large commercial jet at about 100-degrees true and very high up (~35,000-40,000 feet) that was traveling east-to-west. As I glanced back at the three lights I observed that they had traveled a significant distance in just a few seconds and seemed to be moving at great speed. I couldn’t see any typical aircraft lights (white strobe or red/green running lights) and had a gut feeling that this was an unusual event. I bolted into my house to get a pair of binoculars. This initial observation took 5-7 seconds.
Second Observation: I had a pair of 10 power binoculars readily available for an upcoming hunting trip and it took me no more than 10 seconds to retrieve them and return to my front porch. I relocated the object in the sky at about 190- degrees true, about 15 seconds after first seeing the object. Obviously it had moved from the southeast horizon to southwest very quickly. I observed that it was about 25,000 feet in altitude … about the same height as a few light clouds that were close by the object. I also estimated it was 2-3 miles to the south from me horizontally. As soon as I looked at the object in 10-power, it was clear there were 6 distinct bright lights. I looked hard for any visible structures (wings, fuselage, etc.) but saw nothing, nor could I see any typical aircraft lights (white strobe or red/green running lights). The lights were circular and arranged in a symmetrical pattern of a circle or an imaginary hexagon with each light being centered over each of the corners (see diagram). The lights were all the same size and color (white & yellow) and were moving together. It could have been six objects moving in formation but my impression was that the lights were located on a single object.
Not seeing any distinguishing features, I put down the binoculars as I wanted to try to gage the size of the object using any available reference.
At this point, it had been about 20 seconds since I first saw the object. It had continued moving west and was at about 220-degrees true and still at ~25,000 feet. I quickly estimated it had traveled about 10 miles in 20 seconds. This computed to 30 miles per minute or 1,800 MPH. Clearly it was moving at 2-3 times the speed of sound and confirmed my impression of extremely high velocity (I had directly observed military aircraft at supersonic speeds below 500 feet in elevation in the past … the military can do this on the open ocean just not over populated land).
I then compared the object to the half-moon still to the southeast and above the object. In comparison, the object would have covered 25% of a complete FULL MOON in size (see diagram). It also equaled the half- moon in brightness when seen with the naked eye.
I also remembered the large commercial jetliner to the southeast and thought to compare size with this as well. The jetliner was still plodding along at 500MPH or so and had moved about 10 degrees to 130-degrees true. I could see the jet’s structure clearly and estimated that the diameter of the object with 6-lights was approximately 2.5-3 jet-lengths or 250-300 yards across--obviously very large.
I had a thought that perhaps I was seeing the international space station or Hubble telescope and that I was catching a reflection off of solar collection panels as sunrise hit one of these orbiting structures.
Final observation: I had been observing the object for about a total of 30-35 seconds at this point when the object came to a rapid stop, or at least stopped moving west. I then looked through the binoculars again and picked up the 6 distinct lights in view. After 2-3 seconds all 6 lights rotated about 30- degrees to the left, like a door knob that was being turned. The object then began to climb vertically--it was no longer moving west, just up, straight up. I also observed that there were definitely clouds above the object telling me that it was not in fact in orbit around the Earth but in fact in our atmosphere and between cloud layers. It appeared the object was accelerating quickly, as within 4-5 seconds it looked to have shrunk to less than half it’s original size. Within another 3-4 seconds I observed it breaking through the upper cloud layer and it immediately shrank from view.
Comments: The total observation period was about 50 seconds with a 10-second break while I retrieved the binoculars.
I did not hear any sound from the object (like a sonic boom) but I also did not hear the commercial jet when it passed overhead about 2 minutes later. One possible explanation is that higher level winds were moving briskly to the southeast and taking acoustic energy away from me. Also, there was a loud freight train about a mile away that was generating a significant volume of low frequency rumbling masking noise.
This object was definitely moving at a high rate of speed, appeared to be substantially larger than man-made aircraft and was maneuvering. It moved from the eastern horizon to the western horizon in about 25 seconds and then straight up and out of site within another 10-15 seconds. Initially, it was somewhat below the commercial jet (also moving west) but the object was moving much faster. It took the jet 2-2.5 minutes to traverse the same distance that the object traversed in ~25 seconds.
The brightness of the 6-lights was so intense that it was impossible to see structural details beyond the glare.
The object was definitely between cloud layers and not in orbit around the Earth.