NUFORC Sighting 170330

Occurred: 1983-02-23 17:30 Local
Reported: 2022-07-09 16:26 Pacific
Duration: 5 minutes
No of observers: 2

Location: Norco, CA, USA
Location details: South Norco near Santa Ana River and 15 freeway

Shape: Circle
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aura or haze around object, Aircraft nearby

Hazy white lighted object seen from aircraft

Was flying as a passenger in a vintage aircraft at about a 5000 foot altitude westbound above south Norco after leaving Riverside airport. The time was about 5:30 PM and the sun had gone down but it was still fairly light out.
We were just southeast of Ontario International Airport preparing to cross over the main runway enroute to Cable Airport in Upland when I spotted a light directly ahead of us to the west. The light appeared to be a rather dim white color similar to a mercury vapor street lamp. As it closed in on us it was obviously headed eastbound and I could then see that it was very hazy and diffuse in appearance and displayed lighting quite unlike any standard aircraft lighting. The shape from the front seemed rather like an oblate spheroid as in a ball squashed in from the top and bottom. It was clearly moving very slowly as the closing speed was not great and we were flying at about 100 kts. The pilot then radioed in to Ontario air traffic control inquiring about other traffic in our area. ATC came back negative - no traffic nearby. The pilot shot back that he had traffic ahead at his altitude and requested a course deviation to avoid collision. Before ATC could respond the pilot started to take evasive action breaking right just as I watched the object shoot by about 300 feet under our nose. I could see it very well as the bottom wing (aircraft was a cabin biplane) was small and set far back. The object was perfectly round very dimly lit and diffuse or hazy appearing with a diameter of no more than 10 to 15 feet. It was clearly solid as no ground lights shone through it's structure. I was amazed by what I had just seen and asked the pilot what that was. He came back sounding quite rattled with "I don't know son. I just don't know." We crossed over ONT and soon landed at Cable. As we exited the plane I again asked the pilot what that strange light was. Sounding evasive and upset he just said he didn't want to talk about it so I just left it there. This man was a 71 year old retired TWA captain with thousands of logged flight time hours over a long career. Based on his troubled reaction I got the feeling that this probably wasn't his first encounter with something anomalous while flying.

Posted 2022-09-09

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