|Occurred : 3/3/2011 21:00 (Entered as : 03/03/2011 21:00)
Reported: 3/6/2011 8:13:55 PM 20:13
Location: Fort Bragg, CA
|Triangular craft over Fort Bragg, California, ejects smaller craft.
I live just south of the town of Fort Bragg, California, off of Highway 1 near the coast. I am a Cum Laude graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. I am a retired sea captain who spent 27 years at sea traversing the whole world.
On the night of March 3, 2011, I was standing in my open doorway having a cigarette when I noticed a bright red flashing light through the trees approaching from the southeast and tracking towards the northwest. Fort Brag is the jump-off point for San Francisco area air traffic beginning or ending their Great Circle routes to and from the Far East and we occasionally have some military flights off the coast so I am used to seeing air traffic, but this light was unusually large and bright to be a navigational light so it grabbed my attention. It was a beautiful clear night with no clouds or haze.
As it approached, white lights became visible and I saw that there were six white lights, much dimmer than the pulsing red light, in the shape of a triangle. The red light was located between the second and third white lights on the starboard (right) side of the craft, which is the wrong side for a red navigational light.
I estimate the altitude to be between 5,000 and 10,000 feet and it moved rather slowly, more like a propeller driven plane than a jet. It passed nearly directly overhead, at an elevation of about 80 degrees from the horizon and I observed it for what I would estimate to be four or five minutes. As for size, it would have filled the lower half of a full moon. I heard no sounds from it as it passed by overhead.
When its course took it offshore, it seemed to "eject" a smaller craft out of its starboard "bow". This craft had a smaller pulsing orange light and two small white lights. The smaller craft continued on a northern course while the larger craft continued northwest until it disappeared from view behind some trees.