NUFORC Sighting 3303

Occurred: 1997-03-10 19:30 Local
Reported: 1998-03-10 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 15 minutes
No of observers: 1

Location: New York City (Manhattan), NY, USA

Shape: Light
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object, Aircraft nearby

Strange lights above New York City

I was waiting for a taxi on Park Ave. It was a very cold and fiercly windy night. I looked up at the full moon behind the thickening layer of clouds. It glowed beatifully in a halo of mist. As I was admiring the view I suddenly noticed a strange point of light "wandering" around the sky at extremely high speed. It crossed my field of view in under 2 seconds. Because I could see a slight halo effect around the light I decided that it must be either inside or above the cloud layer. This would mean that its altitude was above 20,000 feet. The light was extremely small yet intensely bright. It was yellow or gold in color. The point had some dimensionality---it appeared to be a tiny sphere or oval---it definitely had some ball-like shape to it. After zig-zaging around the sky, making sudden turns and traveling in wild arcs, it vanished. The whole process took only about 2 seconds. I watched the sky for about 10 more minutes. During that time I witnessed 4 more lights appear, zig-zag at extremely high speed, and then dissappear. I could hardly believe my eyes. I was so entranced, I didn't think to ask any passers by to look at it and confirm what I was seeing. At one point two of the lights were in the sky at the same time, flying in very different erratic paths, almost as if they were dogfighting. All the other lights appeared in sequence, only 1 at a time. In each case, they seemed to appear from about the same point in the sky and then follow roughly the same erratic flight path and then vanish at approximately the same area in the sky. I could not tell if they were simply turning off or going behind thick clouds. After about 10 minutes the activity stopped. These lights were so small and fast that they were hard to catch even if one was looking up, so I wonder if anyone else saw them. A number of commercial jets were coming in or taking off from area runways during this event and they were quite clearly different in both appearance, sound, and behavior from the lights I witnessed. For one thing, the lights were single points of light and seemed to be far above the clouds, and moved much much faster than any of the jets (or any jet I've ever seen for that matter). The lights did not flash or change color, although there was a slight flicker to them as they moved. It almost appeared as if something was literally skipping along the upper atmosphere. I considered the possibility that it might be some sort of debris burning up, but no debris can change direction or travel in series of loops, arcs and sudden right-angle turns, as these lights did.

Posted 1999-01-28

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