|Occurred : 2/12/2010 19:30 (Entered as : 02/12/10 19:30)
Reported: 2/13/2010 4:11:03 PM 16:11
Location: Sharon, VT
Duration:30 to 45 seconds
|Airplane-like light which seemed to spawn larger, brighter, stationary lights as it moved.
Around 7:30 PM last night (Friday, 12 February 2010), my father was walking down our driveway to get the paper. It was extremely dark out, and the sky was very clear. As he was partway down the driveway, he noticed a group of lights to the north at an elevation of perhaps 45 to 60 degrees (Vermont’s mountainous horizon makes this difficult to judge). They were blinking like the running lights on aircraft, but as if there were three or four aircraft passing right next to each other while heading in different directions. This apparent cluster was what caught his attention, but a moment later he observed the appearance of another light.
This light, slightly to the south of the cluster, appeared much larger than the others did, my father estimating its apparent diameter to be at least four times that of the largest stars and planets from his perspective, with intensity to match. He described it as being a light orange-yellow color that made him think of a motorcycle headlamp. He wondered if it was from an aircraft’s landing lights, but after a few seconds, it went out in the way that an incandescent lightbulb does when switched off. At this point, he saw that the group of smaller lights was no longer present, but one remaining light had moved south and was heading away from the point where the large light had been.
The light moved south, still blinking every second or so. After a few seconds of it moving on this path, another large light appeared at the position of the smaller one. The smaller light kept moving, but the larger light remained completely stationary, not drifting or arcing in the way a flare or even a helicopter with a spotlight might. This happened twice more over the next few seconds, so that there were three large lights marking the smaller one’s previous path.
The small light made a “u-turn” back towards the north, blinking all the while. My father described as being as if a car going at a reasonable speed had made a 180-degree turn, but an aircraft going an equivalent speed for his viewpoint would have needed a much larger turning radius. After the smaller light had traveled some distance from the others, all three large lights went out simultaneously, in the same lightbulb-like way the first one had. Through all of this, my father had not heard the slightest sound, except for a large jet that approached from the south after the light finished its turn. The entire incident took less than a minute. At this point, he ran inside to get my mother and myself, but by the time we got outside the light had disappeared, and the jet passed over our house to the north.
My father has excellent vision and hearing, a good knowledge of the conditions that can cause many aerial phenomena, and a great love of stargazing, but he has been at a loss to explain what he saw. If the bright lights had not appeared, he would have not given what he observed a second thought, but their intensity and utter lack of movement were like nothing he has ever seen. He has drawn a diagram of the lights’ path and thoroughly explained it to me, but I, too, cannot explain it. The only thought that occurred to me was that he might have seen some sort of ball lightning, but he witnessed an instance of ball lightning in his youth and said that it was not at all like what he saw. He also inquired at the nearest airport, but their only explanation was that Black Hawk helicopters have recently been in use nearby. We found this suggestion unlikely, as the helicopters that frequently pass near our house are particularly loud and my father heard no sounds save the engines of! the jet that appeared just before he ran to find us.
In short, we are absolutely stumped as to what he might have observed.