|Occurred : 1/16/2016 19:35 (Entered as : 01/16/16 19:35)
Reported: 1/16/2016 6:27:01 PM 18:27
Location: Mill Spring, NC
|Slim object with band of flickering lights seen hovering above nearby mountain peak - making unbelievable erratic maneuvers.
A bit of info on my background: I am disabled with RA and heart problems so I spend a lot of time here at home. I was a chef and restaurant manager, but I've also worked as a journalist and photographer (which is what I studied in college). I mention that because I do consider myself a good observer and I've been trained to notice details... for descriptive purposes and setting up photographs.
I'm an amateur sky-watcher and often spend nights outside with my Son during meteor showers or other celestial events. I've seen plenty of aircraft, satellites and often the International Space Station.
Many times we have observed strange lights or craft, but in every single instance we have come up with a rational explanation. For example I'll mark the time and direction of travel and with a bit of research on the internet or with an app on the iPhone it's not too hard to name a satellite or natural object that fits perfectly with what we have seen. I'm open minded about UFOs, but I'm always going to look for the most logical explanation... a way to identify that object first. To me the truth is what is most interesting.
Well, tonight I'm at a loss. I was sitting on my couch in my office watching a football game when a flickering light in my window kept getting my attention. I'm naturally curious about everything in the sky and I thought it was a helicopter which I don't see often at night. So I turned off my TV and decided to watch it.
I live many miles away from a small town so there is no light pollution. I don't have any immediate neighbors or streetlights. The area is wooded and extremely hilly, nestled nicely in the western NC mountains. The lights from the craft were to the northwest of me over some nearby peaks. There are trees between me and the mountains, but the lack of leaves in the winter allowed me to keep a visual continuously.
It took me less than a minute of observation to realize this was not an airplane or a helicopter. At the distance of my viewing I never got to see the solid body of the craft, but the outline of the of the lights led me to believe that it was a cigar type shape. There were four or five lights in a horizontal line that constantly flashed on and off in linear sequence. The timing of the sequence was fast... less than a second... and then it repeated throughout the entire sighting. All I could think of that it reminded me of was the flashers on some police cars... but stretched out.
If the craft I saw simply displayed these strange lights and moved off in a steady manner like a conventional aircraft I would have just shrugged my shoulders and went back to the football game. But, the way this thing moved got me clamoring for my overcoat and smartphone. Standing on my back porch gave me a much better view and I could not (and still don't) believe what I was watching! I found a nice gap in the trees and stood there amazed as this thing with strobe lights moved around in the night sky like something was wrong with it. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING should be able to maneuver like this object was. It was jumping/skipping from spot to spot; not great distances, but up, then over, then back where it started. The movement was erratic with no pattern that I could discern. It almost looked like I was seeing some sort of video game glitch.
I watched this same action for, I'm guessing, about four minutes. There was no sound, but that really doesn't mean much because I see many aircraft in these mountains and often there is no sound or very little, it just gets swallowed up. I mention that because there were planes in the sky at the same time. I had been seeing another aircraft to my left (farther to the west) and didn't pay it much attention at first.
All of a sudden the second craft moved rapidly in a straight line toward the first, pausing for about twenty seconds when the two were extremely close as if investigating - but, that is just conjecture on my part. This new craft then moved around the strange flashing object (I could not tell if it went in front of or behind it) and flew off out of sight into the mountains to the north at a high rate of speed.
This second craft very likely could have been a helicopter as it moved like one... but I have no way of knowing for sure. I do know that the interaction of the two objects was very unconventional. Manned aircraft don't get that close to each other on purpose, especially at night.
I tried taking a video with my iPhone but, I'm pretty sure I got nothing... too dark, and too far away. I did grab my camera and got in my Jeep and tried to ride to a better vantage point to get a picture. I saw an aircraft that could have been the possible helicopter involved, but I never could find the strange object again.
If anyone has an explanation I'd love to hear it.