Reported: 2012-01-07 09:23 Pacific
Duration: 10 secs
No of observers: 2
Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
Pure white oval object seen at the Catalina Mountain Range, Tucson, Az. 01/06/12
On the morning of 01/06/12 at 8:30 my friend and I were hiking east of Tucson at the end of Broadway Blvd. in the Saguaro Nat'l Park. I am 61 and work in retail sales and he is in his 50's and is a professional therapist. Due north of us is the Catalina Mtn. Range. I estimated the range to be approx. 5 miles away and upon looking at a map that distance is confirmed.
At approx. 9:10 AM I looked to the north towards the Catalinas and saw a pure white object below the skyline thus framed against the mountain itself. It appeared to be the size of a small plane or good sized helicopter at first notice and was traveling due east skirting the mountain range at a speed that would not be inconsistent with such vehicles. Since I wasn't paying attention to sound in the environment due to my friend and I having a conversation I then stopped hiking, called the attention of my friend to the object and then listened for engine or rotor sounds.
I initially heard motor sounds but we soon both agreed that it was coming from northwest of us and was clearly machinery being used in roadwork or something similar. I then watched the pure white semi-round object begin to have a ripple effect similar to a bed sheet fluttering in a breeze. This effect was contained in the confines of the object itself and was not a phenomenon that the object was projecting in any way.
It then proceeded to travel on its unwavering horizontal course and became pure white again. it should be noted that my optometrist told me that with my glasses on (which I was wearing) I have better than 20/20 vision. My friend told me he has 20/15. He said he didn't see the initial couple of seconds of the incident due to a cactus being in the way but we both saw the next phase where the object either appeared to be glinting light or creating light. At this point the object itself could not be seen other than a complete ball of light similar to when a silver plane catches the sunlight and reflects with a strong glow or glare except in this case it was evenly distributed and all encompassing.
At this point my friend got a call on his cell phone and he looked down to press the keys to answer the call and that was the end of him seeing the object. What I saw at that moment was this ball of light that then subsided back into being a pure white object that then made a arced turn towards the north at the same altitude and disappeared heading north and within a second or two was obscured by some mountain peaks.
This object was close to being round but seemed more to be slightly elongated from the front to back rather than top to bottom. There were no noticeable wings or other structures or markings visible on the object and definitely no helicopter propellers. If I were to guess the size in relation to stars even though it was daytime I would say it was 4 times the size of Venus. The entire event for me was approx. 10 seconds. For my friend it was about 5 seconds. From the beginning to the end of the event it travelled approx. 20 degrees of a 360 degree radius of the sky.
Initially due to the height of the peak it was framed against it was below the skyline and framed against the mountainside that was behind it. Due to the contours of the mountain even though it was traveling on the horizontal, in a couple of seconds it was then seen with the sky as its backdrop. What really struck me at first was the fact that this object was below the skyline which made it impossible for it to be no more than a few miles away and thus I automatically assumed it had to be a helicopter since many of them pass through that area. Again, no sound and sound travels far in the desert and definitely no propellers or wings seen on the object. When I saw it turn north it's speed and movement was not at all consistent with a helicopter since the turn and speed were too fast for a helicopter or even small plane.
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