|Occurred : 12/26/2016 21:30 (Entered as : 12/26/2016 21:30)
Reported: 1/6/2017 4:06:47 PM 16:06
Location: Philadelphia (100 naut. miles E of; over water), PA
Duration:10 minutes plus
|Solid/Flashing light over the Atlantic Ocean.
December 26, 2016. While on a routine flight from New York to Miami, we saw a very unusual light. We were in cruise at FL410, Mach .80, unlimited visibility with a temp of -55c, approximately 100NM off the coast near Atlantic City (close to Philadelphia), and on a true course of around 160. Between 2130-2200 EST.
I looked up I saw a very large and bright flashing light, which I brought to the other pilot’s attention. His response when seeing it was pretty much the same as mine…. “What in the hell”… “What is that?”
The size of course is hard to tell. The other pilot explains it as 3-4 times the size of the largest star around. I think it was 4-5x.
The object was approximately 25-30 degrees up from our line of sight when I first saw it. Its range of motion was between the horizon (from what I could see) to around 35 degrees up from our line of sight. At first sight the light was approximately at our 1 o’clock position. It moved to 12, 10, 11, back to 12. At that time, the light appeared to move North, then south, at a pretty rapid rate. Or I would describe it as closer and further from our position as the size seemed to get larger and smaller. The light ended in the 1st position and then moved out east and once at our 10 o’clock position disappeared. The other pilot stated he could see an! orange/red flash in between the white flashes.
We did flash our lights at it a few times and the other pilot believes it flashed back in sequence, I felt the return flashes were probably coincidental, but possible. The flashing didn’t really appear to have any pattern. The whole incident lasted a minimum of 10 minutes.
Neither one of use have ever seen and/or heard of an occurrence like this. We were going to report it to ATC, but mutually decided to let it be. I have no explanation for what we saw nor does the other pilot. We did try to video the incident, but it wasn't possible.
((NUFORC Note: We spoke twice via telephone with the source of the report, and he sounded to us to be both sincere, and sober-minded. We suspect that he is a superlative, and highly reliable, witness. PD))