Reported: 2003-07-08 22:45 Pacific
Duration: 12-15 minutes
No of observers: 1
Location: Palos Verde (northeast of), CA, USA
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object, Aircraft nearby
There seemed to be no dissipation of the glow coming from the sphere. It surrounded it, stretched in one direction and stopped!?
As my friend and I neared the end of our month-long drift down the Colorado River, we noticed a concentrated illumination going from right to left and stretching halfway across, maybe 300 meters downstream. We speculated it was coming from car headlights, but reminded ourselves we were still quite a ways from a driveable road. Guiding ourselves close to the bank using partially submerged stumps and branches to steer us, we came to an inlet and up on the bank which rose at about 30 degrees we observed an incandescent sphere of light hovering about three feet above the ground and perfectly still. It was somewhere between twelve and sixteen feet in diameter and was no more than 30 or 40 feet away from us on the level ground above the bank. We observed it for the longest six minutes or so and noticed that it appeared perfectly symmetrical and hazily transparent except for an irregularly shaped denser bluish-green core, maybe four feet across and two feet high. We could not see through this portion of the sphere. It made no sound and eerily all sounds on the river (muskrats diving in etc.) seemed to have ceased from when we first noticed the (beam) light. Holding our position right by the bank, I considered the prospect of exiting the boat and walking up to the sphere. Before I actually decided on this, the sphere moved both upwards and backwards in the blink of an eye shot into the clear black sky. I kept my eyes fixed at the point where it had seemed to disappear and within seconds observed an emerald green streak shooting from right to left at about 15-20 degrees. The whole thing lasted only a fraction of a second and we let go of the branches anchoring us we resumed drifting downstream. My friend and I and talked about the event(s) facing each other seated in the boat, he at the bow, I at the back facing foward. It was only minutes later that I observed what seemed to be a bright triangular opening in the sky at 11 or 12 o'clock and this turned into a widening bright puff and eventually something similar to a smoke ring before disappearing. I have since come to recognize this as a probable VanDeberg launch which would easily enough date the event exactly as I am only guessing now at the date. I was pointing this out to my friend when suddenly the river came alive with the sound of helicopters. We had now positioned our boat close to the center of the river and though it appeared the craft was flying along both banks, we could not tell how many there were. They were apparently painted in a dark color and try as we could, neither of us could make out any markings on the fanthom shapes. If there were any lights, they were minimal and they used no floodlights or other means to illuminate the area. We did not sleep that night and when the next morning we came across the first riverside business in almost a month, we inquired if anything unusual had been reported the night before, and were told "nothing."
We are confused by several elements of this report. Perhaps the witnesses observed a launch from Vandenberg AFB, but their description is of something much closer. Moreover, missiles are launched to the south from Vandenberg, so a missile would not have been seen from the Colorado River moving from left to right, unless it was a launch out into the Pacific. However, we believe that those launches, intended to test the anti-ballistic missile capability of rockets launched in the mid-Pacific Ocean, began only relatively recently, not in 1971. We have asked for clarification from the party who submitted the report. PD
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