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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/18/2013 05:30 (Entered as : 08/18/13 5:30)
Reported: 8/18/2013 3:34:06 PM 15:34
Posted: 8/30/2013
Location: Austin, TX
Shape: Rectangle
Duration:75 minutes
Craft videoed near daybreak near Austin

I was using binoculars to search for the ISON comet in the northeastern sky. The sky was evenly overcast with haze and reflected the city lights, and buildings blocked the lower northeast sky. I gave up on the comet, and noticed I could spot only four or five stars even with my sports binoculars. I turned them toward the flight path to our airport. I saw a jetliners following the usual pattern, above the trees and apartment complexes east of my second floor balcony.

Maybe five minutes later I focused on another set of similar lights in the same direction and elevation, and because a white light was blinking and there seemed to be an orange light at the back and a bluish white light on the front, I assumed it was another plane. I have a table and a chair on he balcony, and tipped the table up on end and sat in my chair steadying my binoculars. I realized that the object did not move relative to the roofs of neighboring complexes. That would mean! the plane was far, far away, and enormous, but repeated observation over about seven minutes convinced me that the object in the sky was not a jetliner and was not moving toward the airport at all.

Daylight was coming soon, and I doubted that I could locate my digital camera and get it set up in time to photograph the unrecognized object, but I hoped that it could be done, and by steadying the camera and going to full 15x optical zoom. I could get some 10 megapixel color videos to study at my leisure. The binoculars are about 10x, but the images were fleeting and begged to be studied carefully.

I took the camera off its tripod and rushed to the balcony.

I hoped the batteries would last. The warning screen on the back of the camera showed some red lines across the battery icon, and I know my time was short.

I sat on my sturdy chair, leaned the lightweight folding table against my knees, and did my best to locate the strange object using the view screen on the back of the camera. It was a challenge, and the camera was unsteady. The image on the screen was basically a black grey haze, and the craft was invisible. With the naked eye I could see the craft and using a left of the table and a tree branch visible on the view screen, I aimed and shot several videos. I finally stopped and rushed to get fresh batteries. I changed from the view screen to the “through the lens” viewfiner. At last I could see the UFO, and hoped that despite the shaking of the camera, I might capture at least a few images of the elusive UFO. Soon the sky was too bright for viewing the UFO, and I left the balcony. It was about 6:30 AM and I had a lot of chores to do to prepare for a visit from a relative. I finally got enough work done to allow me to slip the SD card into my desktop computer and chec! k my videos. I was delighted to see that in the several videos I shot, a few second of “UFO” images appeared. The shaky camera made it look like the UFO was zooming all over, but it was not. With the naked eye, it appeared to be motionless in the sky. I don’t know if my UFO was actually a set of lights on a tall tower atop a distant hill, or an actual craft in the sky. Because I have never noticed anything like this UFO in the 29 months I’ve been in this city, even though I have been an avid airplane watcher for seventy years. I was a Civil Air Patrol Cadet, studying at Randolph, Lackland and Barksdale AFBs in the 1950s and an aviation enthusiast the rest of my life.

Upon examining the videos, it seems that the UFO was actually three or four lights, perhaps all attached to one hovering object. On the right was a round, seemingly “shattered” white or light-greenish orb. If the craft had been headed for a landing at the airport, the light on the right would be at the “front.” Additionally there was a red dot of fairly bright light below and on the middle of the bottom, and a dimly lit thin horizontal line of yellowish white light at the “rear” where the vertical stabilizer would be on a jetliner. When I first spotted the craft, there was a blinking white light where the red light appears in the videos, and I thought it was a regular aircraft strobe light. Upon examination, I have not seen it.

When I say “front” or “rear,” I am assuming the craft was aligned with the landing approach jetliners follow from north of the city to the airport on the south east.

I’m sorry that the videos are tedious to look at, but I don’t know a thing about editing them to eliminate all the “dead” time.

August 18, 2013