NUFORC Sighting 180482

Occurred: 2024-02-17 19:46 Local
Reported: 2024-02-18 14:10 Pacific
Duration: 15-20 seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
Location details: Santa Monica, north of Wilshire Blvd

Shape: Light
Color: White
Estimated Size: Same size or smaller than small plane
Viewed From: Land
Direction from Viewer: West
Angle of Elevation: 45
Closest Distance: 1/2 to 1 mile
Estimated Speed: Very slow/leisurely, maybe 60-75mph?
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aura or haze around object, Aircraft nearby

3 white lights heading west and out over the pacific

Left home at 7:42pm, walked north partway up the block. Clear night overhead, so I stopped to admire Orion’s belt, and then saw an airliner flying south, probably en route to LAX. When I lowered my eyes from the airliner, I saw three white lights slowly flying west in what appeared to be a vertical triangular formation. They made no noise, which seemed to rule out small aircraft, helicopters, or commercial drones. Returned home at 7:53pm.

The lights were haloed/fuzzy, but not highly luminous white, which might be due to their flying off into the marine layer, but the halos did not suggest the presence of hard physical craft. Judging by the angle of observation, and their height relative to that of the airliner, I estimate they were flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet or lower, certainly much lower than the airliner. It seemed the rear or bottom two lights in the triangular formation were following the top one, but each of these two swayed a bit left and right under/behind the one on top, suggesting they were not all part of a single rigid entity, but were three separate entities flying in fairly close formation. The overall movement of the three was somewhat charming to watch, as these slight maneuvers gave the impression of modest interaction. I was able to observe them only for about 15-20 seconds, at which point they diminished in size as they flew away, until they disappeared completely out over the western horizon. I have a Ph.D. and many years of professional research experience, although this is my first ever sighting and report.

Posted 2024-03-13

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