Occurred: 1998-11-21 20:45 Local
Reported: 1998-12-03 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 30 seconds
No of observers: 2

Location: Helena (north of, on highway 49), AR, USA

Shape: Circle
Characteristics: Lights on object

A large circular or oval shaped object was observed moving southward in the clear night sky over highway 49 outside of Helena, Arkansas. The land over which it moved was flat delta, barren of trees and homes. The object emitted bright pulsating light, flashing on and off every second or two.

I (age 47, professional) was driving north on highway 49 having crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas from Missouri. My father (age 77) sat in the right passenger seat. My mother (age 74) sat behind him. It was a dark, clear night. Stars were visible. On either side of the road were flat delta rice fields. I don't believe there were any trees. No homes were in sight. The road ahead was straight and flat. I had a clear view ahead as far as the eye could see at night. There were no headlights ahead. Behind me I saw the distant headlights from a car far behind. I noticed bright white flashing lights a few hundred yards ahead, up and to my right, somewhat higher than I might expect to find the tallest treetop. My first thought, as I recollect, was that I was seeing a light tower. I was really rather paying scant attention to it at the time. At about the same time I first saw the object, my mother asked, "What is that?" I then noticed that the object was moving in the opposite direction in which we were headed. I remember thinking that it must be a plane. Again, my attention was not full; I was not particularly interested. I watched as it flew by and out of sight. I again directed my attention to the road ahead. Then in the seconds that followed, for the first time I began to focus more intently on what I had just seen. I turned back to see if I could catch sight of the object but I did not see it. I thought then that my inability to see the object was due to the restricted view, limited to the back window and rear-view mirror. As I gazed at the road ahead of me, the image of what I had seen sharpened. I realized I had seen a large circular object with a panel of bright white light spaced evenly along its side. The lights pulsated every second or two. The object seemed to have a shell of bronze/silver metal. This was the first time I had the thought that I had seen a "UFO." I turned toward my mother and asked, "What did you just see?" She, too, described a large circular ob! ject with bright white lights around it. My mother had a somewhat longer look at the object. She watched the object move from the window to her right. As she described it, she turned to her right to follow the object's flight when it suddenly disappeared. Neither of us had heard sound. What made this sighting especially intriguing to me is that my mother had seen this object. Although I'd never before laid claim to observing a UFO, I do maintain an interest in the phenomenon. My mother, on the other hand, has no interest in such things and would not believe in the possibility of UFOs and visitations (of course I realize that a UFO would not necessarily imply otherwordly objects). My mother remains convinced that she did not see an airplane or other aircraft she might identify. She was rather stunned in fact. At home, later that evening, my mother and I drew what we had seen. The drawings were essentially similar, the slight difference likely accountable to the different perspective in viewing. I might add that my father did not observe anything unusual. I attempted to account for that. He said that he was neither asleep nor had his eyes closed, but I'm not certain of that. I know, sadly, that my father has lost his sharpness of mind over the last several years (early stage dementia is suspected). I also know that there was not any fuss as the event unfolded. Other than my mother's simple question, "What is that?" no other words were spoken. My father's attention was not called by these words.

Posted 2002-09-28

© 2023 National UFO Reporting Center. All rights reserved. Use or reproduction within any application without written consent is prohibited.