NUFORC Sighting 179905

Occurred: 1989-11-06 01:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 2023-12-26 05:06 Pacific
Duration: 5 to 7 minutes
No of observers: 2

Location: Washington, DC, USA
Location details: Quiet, suburban neighborhood

Shape: Other
Color: Unknown
Estimated Size: Height: 10 ft, Width: 12 ft, Length: 40 ft
Viewed From: Land
Angle of Elevation: 2
Closest Distance: Roughly 300 ft
Estimated Speed: Initially stationary, then 5 to 10 mph
Characteristics: Lights on object

Bizarre silent helicopter. One night in 1989 (I don’t recall the exact date, say early Nov. 6th) I woke up at exactly 1:00 am. For some reason I peeked out of my second-floor bedroom window, which had its shade pulled mostly down. To my shock I saw a craft of some kind hovering silently, just a block away, only a little higher in the air than the roof of a nearby two-story house. The craft was roughly the size and shape of a helicopter with a dim yellowish light bathing the cockpit. It had a fixed, non-wobbling mid-air position, as if anchored to the air, with a large, transparent windshield facing directly at me. I think it had red and green navigation lights on its sides. I didn’t see propellers at this time, but that may have been due to the low-altitude, nearly level viewing angle. It was less than a hundred feet off the ground and only a few hundred feet away, low enough to land on a house in my densely populated suburban neighborhood. What shocked me most was the total lack of noise (a helicopter this low should have woke the entire neighborhood) and the freakish looking, dimly lit interior of the cockpit, like nothing I’d ever seen. (In retrospect, my first glance impression of the craft, seeing it head-on, was a close resemblance to a head-on view of the propeller-less Star Trek: The Next Generation “Type 15 Shuttlepod”, from episode 2x13, 4-3-89.) In any case the craft’s appearance combined with its silence scared me half to death! The area in the cockpit where a pilot might have sat was too dark to see. Suddenly, roughly ten seconds after first seeing the craft, it aimed a bright, white searchlight directly at my window, as if it had spotted me. I quickly moved from the window, but the light stayed in place for about ten seconds. Then it swung down, disappearing. I hurriedly woke someone, and 2-3 minutes later we looked and saw the craft had pivoted 90 degrees, now showing its side. From the side it was possibly indistinguishable from a Bell 206 helicopter, color indiscernible in the dark. It may have had English alphanumeric identification markings (don’t recall), and I may have seen propellers at this point (not sure since it was so level), but I still couldn’t hear it. It then drifted silently, lazily at 5-10 mph in a straight path west to Rock Creek Park and out of view, staying perfectly level the whole time and never changing its ultra-low altitude (like a train riding an invisible, mid-air track). Since then, I haven’t seen a single helicopter anywhere near this low over a residential area. More importantly, every single helicopter I’ve seen since, whether nearby or distant to the size of a speck, has made very loud noise, even through a window. Yet, this “helicopter” was dead silent only a block away from me while hovering just over the roofs of a quiet, densely populated, suburban neighborhood in the middle of the night.


The witness submitted this revised, more detailed report to his submission origially made on 7/24/2023.

Posted 2024-02-15

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