Occurred: 1968-12-15 21:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 1999-12-02 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 1-2 hours
No of observers: 20

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, CA, USA

Shape: Flash

Multiple silent flashes in the sky.

I was camping in Joshua Tree with my husband and several friends. We had been there for several days when another group of people arrived and camped next to us. We did not know them, but we all became aquainted pretty quickly. We were all hippies (at least that's what people called us then). One of the men from the other group was coming back from the outhouses and he was walking along a narrow dirt road that led back to our campsite. He was only a few feet away from the central campsite when he suddenly stopped and looked up into the sky and said, "What the hell is that?!" We all gathered on the road next to him and watched an amazing display of flashing lights that covered an extremely large portion of the sky above us. Each flash was independent of the others and there was never a flash in the same place twice. (On your form I estimated that there were 400 flashes but I actually have no idea.) We stood there for at least 45 minutes or so watching and trying to figure out what it was. We knew it wasn't aircraft because it was totally silent. (In the desert sound carries for very long distances). We knew that we were near two airports. One was Palm Springs Airport and the other is a military air base nearby. I don't know the name of it. When the planes went over we could hear them very well long before we saw them. These lights did not trail in any one direction like you would see on a plane with blinking lights on it. It was as though we were seeing the lights from several objects that were zig-zagging all over the sky at incredible speeds. I was not aware of anything being blacked out behind these objects. They were flashing at such incredible speeds all over the sky that it seemed we were only seeing lights not objects with lights on them, but the flashes were such a bright white light that I wondered if this was some kind of natural lightning phenomena. As far as I can remember there were no flashes that occured simultaneously. Each flash was independent. The weather was clear, cool and dry. (It gets cold in the desert in December!) There were no clouds and no moon that night. The only other light that could be seen was the faint glow of Palm Springs on the horizon. We eventually got bored with it and went back to what we were doing. Every now and then someone would look up to the sky and say, "It's still happening". It went on for approximately 2 or more hours. I would have reported this sooner, but I didn't know who to report it to until I heard an interview with Peter Davenport on WERE 1300 radio in Cleveland today.

Posted 1999-12-16

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