NUFORC Sighting 180054

Occurred: 2024-01-10 20:10 Local
Reported: 2024-01-10 23:40 Pacific
Duration: 25 minutes
No of observers: 2 - Pilot

Location: Yakima, WA, USA
Location details: In the western sky around the star Pegasus.

Shape: Light
Color: White
Estimated Size: Not sure.
Viewed From: Aircraft
Direction from Viewer: 280°
Angle of Elevation: 20
Closest Distance: Not sure. Guessing 50 to 100 nm.
Estimated Speed: Not sure. Subsonic.
Characteristics: Lights on object

Flying from DEN to PSC at 34,000’. Witnessed moving lights moving very fast and would appear and disappear. ATC had nothing on radar.

Flying from DEN to PSC (Pasco, WA) at night in an Embraer 175 at 34,000’. On about a heading of 300°. Noticed a light about the brightness of a star moving in an unusual pattern. I pointed it out to my first officer. I told him I thought it might be a satellite but he said it wasn’t moving fast enough. The light would disappear for a few seconds then reappear. We both watched it for a while. Seemed to circle around a star which I think was Pegasus based upon my star app. It appeared that the white light was flying in a pattern and would be visible when flying towards us and not be visible when flying away from us. We could eventually see there were two separate lights moving. After watching for 10-15 minutes, I asked ATC if there were some fighter aircraft practicing dog fights at our 11 o’clock high. ATC said there was nothing in that direction. We were at 34,000’ so the object must have been 40,000’ to 50,000’ or higher. The movements seemed too abrupt and aggressive to be tanker practice. The controller said he had no such activity in that direction and he then asked an Air Force aircraft if he saw anything in the direction I had reported. They said no but answered quite quickly so not sure how much they invested visually. As we continued toward Pasco, the lights became brighter and we could see two separate lights which appeared to follow the other. I told the controller I thought it might be some military activity at high altitude. The controller said he had nothing on radar in that direction and no military activity in that direction. I estimated it was over the Yakima area or further. The controller gave me this website to report it. It was brightest as we got closer to Pasco and were descending. It appeared to have forward facing lights by its movement. Eventually we descended into the clouds and lost sight of these lights. I used the Flightradar24 app history to search any possible aircraft circling in that direction from our view once on the ground but found nothing.

Posted 2024-02-15

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