|Occurred : 11/21/2013 19:45 (Entered as : 11/21/2013 19:45)
Reported: 3/4/2014 10:07:47 AM 10:07
Location: Philadelphia, PA
|Orange Objects Ascending Over Philadelphia.
On the evening in question I was traveling northbound on 95 approaching the Aramingo avenue exit. I saw to my right several slowly rising objects from the northeast in my peripheral vision. I then focused my attention to the objects.
I counted approximately 12-15 of them. The objects appeared to be triangular in shape with a solid orange color. There were no visible navigation, beacon, or strobe lights, which are required on all civilian aircraft, and usually on military aircraft as well. I did not hear any sound from the objects, although I was traveling at highway speed and only briefly put the window down. The objects slowly gained altitude. I would estimate from approximately 150 ft AGL up to 12-1300ft AGL at which point I lost visual reference due to traveling in the opposite direction.
They appeared to originate from an approximate heading of 040º magnetic on an outbound of approximately 235º toward the downtown area. It appeared as if they remained in a tight formation of 2-3 craft in front, at a slightly higher altitude, 4 in a roughly arrow formation, and the remainder flew in sequence. The overall formation reminded me of the uneven arrow which geese fly in when heading south for winter.
My passenger also witnessed the event and she continued to maintain visual reference while I returned my attention to driving. I could see the objects in the rearview mirror for approximately 2 more miles until I exited the motorway.
Sky conditions on the evening in question were approximately 8 miles visibility, no cloud bases, and a light (<5knots) wind. There was no snow on the ground at the time, there was no snow falling at the time, nor were there reports of snowfall in the area. I reviewed temporary flight restrictions, which would notify airmen of any launches or abnormal flight operations, and found none for the evening in question or the surrounding week. My background is in aviation, and this is unlike anything I have seen in my career.
The lack of sound and slow speed makes me of the opinion that it was not a formation of fixed wing aircraft. The lack of sound, abnormal lighting, and elevation also makes me skeptical that it could be a helicopter fleet.
I have made this report several months after the fact only because I did not get around to it and also because I have recently seen several videos online, from Philadelphia, which show almost exactly what I saw. Having seen those, my opinion is even more so that what I saw was indeed abnormal.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the event is approximate. PD))