NUFORC Sighting 62478

Occurred: 2008-04-01 05:30 Local
Reported: 2008-04-01 16:23 Pacific
Duration: 3-4 Minutes
No of observers: 1

Location: Homer Glen, IL, USA

Shape: Light
Characteristics: Lights on object

On 4/1/08 at 05:30 I saw three objects with very intense bright white strobes over Homer Glen Illinois. I was getting on Toll way I-355 north, from west bound Route 6 in New Lenox. I noticed the strobes while on the ramp and watched them for the next several miles (minutes) as I headed north on I-355. The objects were northwest from the Toll way and about 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon. The weather was dry but overcast, I have no idea what the ceiling was at the time.

The three objects appeared to be identical in the fact that all three had the same varying intensity, and frequency of the strobe effect, but the objects were not in sync with each other. Since they were identical in brightness and appearance I assume they were of the same size and distance from me. There was also many strobes on each object with some slightly more intense than others, making each object look like a continuous varying strobe. There were no other lights, no red or green or landing lights, no steady lights of any kind, just very white intense strobes. I could not see any discernable shape of an object or objects, or tell how many strobes there were per object since the strobes on each object were very close to each other. My best description is each object was like a cluster of tightly packed, very intense strobe lights.

The objects also appeared to interact with each other, meaning as one moved another would follow. This dance went on for a minute or two. Then while two of them were more or less stationary the third one headed away then quickly, amazingly quick, turned around and passed right between the other two and came to an abrupt stop shortly after passing them, making all three the same distance apart. Shortly after that maneuver the three objects got in a straight line with one another (north to south), were equidistant to each other, and appeared to be heading south (remember I’m heading north at 65+ MPH) and then climbed away slowly at a 45 degree angle. At this point they were now due west of me. I never did see them enter the cloud deck or if they changed direction due to my vantage point while driving, and a strong desire to stay on the road. As they were climbing away the distance between them slowly increased but they were always equidistant to each other, as if in formation, and their appearance and strobe intensity although fading, remained constant between them.

I am an aircraft technician and I am very familiar with various, not all, aircraft and helicopter lighting. I see airplanes almost everyday and night, going into and out of Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports, and several smaller airports, as I travel over 100 miles roundtrip every day (or night) to and from work. I am very familiar with the traffic and holding patterns too. In fact I did see airplane traffic in their usual routes, north and east of my location (for the given wind direction at that time). These objects were not in that vicinity, they were alone. I am also aware that there was a Hotel fire in Lockport Illinois, to the south and west from were I witnessed these objects, and the local news teams did have their helicopters up covering it, but these objects were nowhere near that location.

I have never seen helicopters with so many intense strobes. I have never seen helicopters or any other aircraft accelerate and decelerate in such a short distance(?) and time. And, I have never seen them “play” with each other for a lack of a better description, and depart in single file and climb at a 45 degree angle. I am not saying it couldn’t have been 3 identical aircraft or 3 identical helicopters playing cat and mouse in the predawn hours, all I’m saying is I have never witnessed anything like it in my 30 plus years in aviation.

Posted 2008-04-17

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