Reported: 2002-06-21 15:00 Pacific
Duration: 15-30 mins
No of observers: 1
Location: Laconia, NH, USA
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aircraft nearby
Observed jet fighters discharging flares over the White Mountain area of NH
I am a police dispatcher in the Lakes Region of NH. I am also an avid night sky watcher, but I do not profess to have a great knowledge of the constellations.
On 6/18/01, Tuesday, at between 2045-2115 hours, I was sitting in the parking lot of the local Burger King, which overlooks the lake. This location looks west and north. I first noticed the lights in the cloud cover that appeared to be fireworks, but realized it was too high in sky. The location of the lights were in the North and appeared to over the White Mountain area, possibly the Sandwich, NH, area.
After a short while, I used my binoculars to watch, and could clearly see white strobe lights of aircraft. I realized then it was jet fighters who have often practiced over the White Mountain area. As seen on tv shows, they were clearly dogfighting or doing practice bombing or straffing runs and dropping the the "chaff" or flares, to practice avoiding anti-aircraft fire. The show lasted about one half hour and they left and flew to the west.
I believe there are F-16 fighter places in Vermont with the Air National Guard, and have seen A-10's many, many times in the Sandwich, NH, area.
There were several flights coming and going from Laconia Airport, at which time NO planes were aluminated by any strange lights.
This was clearly and without question a training flight of some sort and nothing at unusal happened.
PS. when the flares were released, they appeared to be in a counter-clockwise direction, forming an arc and always being about 6 in number.
I hope this helps with any questions people might have.
A description of this event can be found on the NUFORC homepage. PD
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