Occurred: 1973-10-24 00:00:00 Local
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA
Shape: Changing
Duration: 2-3 Minutes
No of observers: 2
Reported: 2004-01-28 01:03:47 Pacific
Posted: 2004-01-31 00:00:00
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object, Left a trail

You may be surprised that I am reporting this after 30 years. I remember the date clearly as I told myself I would never forget. I have told this story to quite a few friends over the years, but have never made an official report. I have always been afraid of the attention this story might arouse, and of ridicule.

I was 19 years old. I was in my front yard in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. looking north. About 5 miles north of where I lived is Mayport Naval Station. I saw a very small red object in the sky that seemed to stay in one position for a long time. Then it would move slowly to another position and stay awhile. I went inside and told my Father about this light. It was too far away to determine what is was. I went back out and watched this light again. It started moving slowly eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean which was only a mile from my house. I went inside and told my Father I was driving down to the beach to see if I could get a better look at this object. I drove down to the beach and parked in a parking lot beside a Holiday Inn in our town. This is right up to the seawall. I looked to the north and believed I spotted the object out over the ocean to the Northeast. But it was tiny, and I could make out no detail at all. I watched this object for maybe 10 minutes. But I could see no detail, and grew tired of watching it. I was standing on the seawall. I turned south to walk back to my car, when I saw a large orange football shaped object coming down our beach. It looked like glowing steel in a furnace. It glowed. It also had a halo or a fog around it that was also orange. It did not appear to be even 200 feet in the air, and was moving slowly northward toward me. We had a pier in our town that was about 1 mile south of my location. This object was closer, because I could see its reflection in the water between me and the pier. There was a car driving up the beach. The object appeared to be almost directly over it. But the car was actually approaching me faster than the object. I would estimate this object was 60 feet long. It appeared about the size of a streetlight maybe 75 feet away. As this object moved slowly toward me, I began to be a little afraid. This was late at night near Midnight, and there were not a lot of people out. There is a stairway on the seawall down to the beach itself. I started to go! down in there, when I saw a man standing in front of the Holiday Inn smoking a cigarette. There was a railing on the seawall. He was leaning against it and looking eastward out at the ocean. He did not seem to be aware of this object that now only appeared to be 3 or 4 blocks south of me. I ran over to the man and said, "Look at that!" pointing. He looked up and said, "Wow, what is that?" I said, "I don't know, but I think its one of those UFO's!" The object had stopped now and seemed to just sit still. At times it seemed to glow slightly brighter and then dim. We both just stared. Then the object seemed to flatten out into a long narrow rectangle. Maybe like a cereal box on edge. Even at this shape it seemed to glow brighter and then dim slightly. It stayed like this for maybe 1 minute. Then, it shot eastward at the most amazing speed I have ever seen. It moved so fast that it appeared to stretch like taffy and then turn into a tiny orange ball that shot over the horizon to the east over the ocean. It left a long orange vapor trail that took several minutes to fade away. The man asked, "Do you think that was a rocket?" I said, "No, I've seen rockets before, and they don't move like that" (You could see rockets go up from Cape Kennedy on clear days where I lived. I have seen numerous Apollo launchings and even the Space Shuttle years later). The man asked me if I was going to tell anybody. I said I didn't know who to tell. We talked for a minute. He told me his name but I can't remember. I do remember he told me he was from Detroit, Michigan and was down for vacation. I left and drove home. I tried to tell my Father about it when I got home, but I woke him from sleeping, and I don't think he was quite awake. I told some co-workers the next day, who laughed at me. After that, I didn't tell anyone for a year or two. But after that, I would tell some friends. I still tell people sometimes, but I have always feared people would think I'm lying or some kind of looney.

Just to let you know. I am very familiar with military aircraft. My Father worked for the military as an Aircraft Instumentation Calibrations Technician. I lived by air bases most of my young life, and have seen many odd military vehicles. But I have never seen anything like this object. It was very close. It was not a rocket, plane, helicopter, balloon or whatever. I don't know what it was.

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