NUFORC Sighting 124731

Occurred: 2015-12-14 22:40 Local
Reported: 2015-12-17 15:55 Pacific
Duration: 20 seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: San Jose, CA, USA

Shape: Unknown
Characteristics: Lights on object

This event was actually two related sightings on the same night at locations that were within 10 minutes of each other.

The first sighting occurred at approximately 10:35 pm on Monday, 12/14/2015. I was driving my car, turning right onto Cropley Ave. from Conifer Ln. in San Jose, CA. As I looked left to make sure there was no oncoming traffic, I noticed quite a bright "star" streaking toward the easterly direction. It lasted less than two seconds, tracing across perhaps a fifth of the sky.

My first reaction was that I had seen a meteor. But the object wasdefinitely a small round disc (like a golf ball seen at about 30 feet away). The luminosity was similar to that of an LED light and, although moving rather fast, it did not exhibit a "tail" as the natural light from a meteor would do. As I made the turn and continued to drive, I really didn't think anything more about it.

My drive proceeded southwesterly along Cropley to Morrill Ave., turning right on Morrill to get to Landess Ave., where I then turned left. Landess heads roughly westward and turns into Montague Expressway after the Highway 680 overcrossing. I proceded southwestward down Montague, crossing over Highway 880, until I stopped at a red light at either Zanker Rd. or N. 1st St. (I'm not sure which one.) The time was approximately 10:45 pm and it was here that I saw the golf-ball object again while looking up to the left through the windshield at about a 40 to 45 degree angle. Instead of streaking as it did before, it made a sort of randomly "hilly" curve in the sky that lasted about as long as the first sighting.

I was rather surprised, however, to see that (in the background sky of the golf-ball object) there were (I believe) eight lights of much lesser intensity than the golf-ball. Each light was (as best I can describe it) shaped kind of like a flattened diamond.

The most noticeable feature of these lights, to me, was that they were divided into two rows of four lights each, one row below the other by perhaps 5 to 10 degrees, from my vantage point. Each row's lights were evenly spaced, and the bottom row's lights were aligned directly below the top row's. The lights alternately dimmed and intensified, in unison, with a period of perhaps two to three seconds.

As I stared at the configuration, I thought it might be due to an optical artifact of the area's street lights reflecting on my windshield. But I rolled down my window and stuck my head outside to look; they were still there.

It also occurred to me that there could be Christmas lights on the top edge of a nearby building. I wouldn't be able to see the building because it was night and the brighter street lights would interfere with any ambient backlighting behind the dark building. However, at the angle and direction I was looking (~ 45 degrees up, southward), no buildings are that tall when one takes into account the distance between my stopped car at the intersection, and any building to the south.

Finally, the lights could not lie on a possible power line because both rows were arranged absolutely ruler straight, whereas there would likely be a slight bow in the arrangement if attached to a power line (due to line sag).

The whole sighting at the stopped light on Montague probably lasted about 15 to 20 seconds. Just before my traffic light turned green, there were (I believe) three other cars at the intersection: one next to me on the right, one in the opposite direction that was beginning a turn northward onto the cross street, and one waiting on my left on the cross street, at his red light. I looked to see if I could detect any awareness of the unidentified lights by the person on my right, but it was difficult to see the driver inside the car. It seemed as if no one else noticed.

The sighting was over when each row of lights split in half, two lights accelerating to the right, two accelerating to the left. The intensity of the lights quickly dimmed to zero as their speed increased, and they never deviated from their ruler straight horizontal paths.

BACKGROUND OF WITNESS: ---------- -- ------- A.B., Physics, U.C. Berkeley; M.S., Mathematics, San Jose State University. Former scientific software engineer. Lived in area since mid 1970's.

Posted 2015-12-21

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