Occurred: 2005-07-19 22:40 Local
Reported: 2005-07-20 01:18 Pacific
Duration: 20-30 seconds
No of observers: 2

Location: Escondido, CA, USA

Shape: Other
Characteristics: Lights on object

This was a night sighting of a slow-moving, kite-shaped craft with lights on it, 20-25 miles north of San Diego, CA.

Object: "Kite-shaped", but shorter and wider than a typical kite-- approximately a 5 to 4 length to width ratio-- travelling toward what would be the "top" of the kite. The following diagram approximates the axes of the kite shape.

| -|---- (Direction of travel: <---) | At the "nose" there was one bright light flashing at about one-second intervals, along with two smaller, softer white lights, close together and slightly off-center to the left. There was one soft white light at each of the other three corners, not as bright as the strobe. No red and green port and starboard lights. As indicated in the diagram, the cross-axis defined by the "side" lights was no more than 20% of the total length back from the nose-- too far forward to be at the wingtips of large modern airplane designs. The lights made it difficult to see the shape clearly, but stars disappeared and reappeared behind it at the edges of the kite shape-- i.e. not as would occur with wings and a fuselage.

Size: Visually equivalent to a Boeing 757 at 2,000 to 2,500 feet altitude. That is also our best night-time naked-eye estimate of its maximum altitude.

Sound: A loud, fairly high warbling whine, from a single sound source. No jet exhaust roar, definitely not a piston engine. Also, there was no interference "beat" or other indication of multiple engines/sound sources. (I'm a musician, and am used to using wave interference to tune instruments, and used to distinguishing between single or multiple voicings of a given sound.) Speed: The object took about 20 seconds to go from directly overhead to disappearing beyond trees and a ridgeline two or three hundred feet high and a quarter mile away. Estimated distance traveled while in sight no more than one mile. The other witness is an ex-pilot, multiple-engine rated. Her first comment was that it must be "in trouble", because the sound was all wrong and it was at or below what would be stall speed for an airplane that size.

Direction of travel: Northeast, with Polaris in sight for visual reference, observed from a house and walkway oriented within one or two degrees of true north-south. The sky was clear except for some high "mackerel" (cirrus?) clouds off to the south, with a three-quarter moon.

Location: Del Dios community on Lake Hodges, approximately 4.5 miles southwest of the town center of Escondido, California.

(Note: An ex-air force friend, told about a similar sighting in February of 2004, said "it's one of ours" but would not go into any further details.)

Posted 2005-09-02

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