|Occurred : 5/10/2010 21:40 (Entered as : 05/10/10 21:40)
Reported: 5/11/2010 1:40:08 PM 13:40
Location: Trinidad, CA
Duration:3 to 4 minutes
|((NUFORC Note: We spoke at length via telephone with this witness, and we found him to be exceptionally objective and factual about the sighting he and his son had just experienced. We suspect that he is a superlative witness, and reporter of fact. PD))
The flight pattern of the five reddish orange lights were west or northwest at about a 20 to 30 degree angle.
I would like to start this "reported sighting" letter with the statement, I, or we, my 12 year old son and I, aren't looking for any special status or "pats-on-the-back" for what we viewed. Nor do we want to be thought of as, "out of our minds" for saying anything at all. We simply saw what we saw, and just want to report it.
To add a little validity to our report our backgrounds are: My son - 12 going on 13 real soon, an "A-" student, 7th grade, athletic, only child at home.
Myself - Retired Air Force, aviation was my career for 22+ years, aircraft mechanic 6 years, aircrew member, flight engineer, cargo and air refueling aircraft the last 16 years. I worked in the airline/aviation industry for seven years after retirement from the Air Force. I did finish college a few years after I retired. Aviation Management with a minor in Aviation Safety; took a few courses in accident investigation which taught a person how to question and evaluate an "eye witness" to an event.
The sighting took place on the night of May 10th, 2010 at approximately 21:40, (9:40 pm) PST. We were outside enjoying a wood fire in a small mobile home park in Trinidad, CA. A clear night, the rains had just gone through earlier in the day. There is a small airport just south of our location about 11 miles away.
My son and I were engaged in a conversation when I noticed a brighter than normal light coming up over the tree line just to the north of us. I wouldn't have paid much attention to it had it not been so bright. Initially, I thought it was a late night commuter flight arriving out of the north, but then I noticed it wasn't the normal color patterns of an aircraft, the green and red lights from the wing tips and the flashing anti-collision lights the FAA requires. The light pattern we saw was a reddish orange color, maybe a little yellow mixed in. And they weren't flashing. The colors were "glowing" or slowly pulsating. I questioned then whether it was an aircraft or one that I knew of anyhow. Granted, I've been out of the aviation field going on seven years now. I then noticed its movement.
It was moving a little quicker than the normal "prop" or small jet type aircraft that come into our local airport. And, it didn't appear to be one of the Coast Guards' rescue helicopters out on a night flight. All aircraft have a distinctive sound to them; there wasn't any sound at all coming from the sky. Just the occasional car or truck going down Hwy 101 and the rustling of the redwood trees from a slight wind. But then I figured it was too far away to hear. However, that would mean it was a large craft with the size they were and not being able to hear them. A couple of weeks ago, someone said that was Venus in the night sky that was so bright. I just noticed it was a very bright star or planet on a clear night. Compared to that, this light was at least twice the size.
We watched it for about 30 seconds or so, maybe a minute. It was traveling from our right to left which would be north to west or northwest direction. It was then we both noticed two more similar lights appearing from the same location over the tree line. Then a fourth one appeared following the two in front. All seemed to be going in the same direction. A tall redwood tree obstructed our view as we watched and I had my son move to his left to try and pick them up as they appeared from behind the tree. They never reappeared. He said," Papa, they disappeared!" About that time and I would say again it was around 30 seconds or so, a fifth light appeared, trailing all the others and moving in the same direction. We then moved our position to be able to watch the craft without obstructions from tall trees. We kept an eye on it and to our amazement, it all of a sudden got smaller and disappeared. Wow! is all we could say.
The direction of the flight pattern for the five reddish orange lights were west or northwest at about a 20 to 30 degree angle in the sky as referenced from the top of the tree line to the point where the last one disappeared. It all took place within a three to four minute time period I would guess, but I wasn't keeping track of the time while watching. I did happen to remember to ask my son what time it was when the last "light" disappeared.
I could only hope that others saw this and are reporting it. As a military flight crew member I could only describe a few of the "odd" things I saw throughout my flying career as, well, "odd." Now, at least in my mind, I have some creditable proof to maybe I wasn't seeing things.....