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|National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report|
|Occurred : 3/15/1977 20:30 (Entered as : 03/15/1977 20:30)
Reported: 2/13/2004 2:58:56 AM 02:58
Location: Stevens Pass (ski resort), WA
Duration: 3 minutes
Characteristics: The object left a trail, The object made a sound
|Scintillating orange sphere; exhibits near-instantaneous acceleration from stationary
Recently I've noticed many reports of orange balls of light in the sky on this website. Thought I would post my sighting from 1977 to notify that these orange balls have been around awhile! If they are man-made probes or drones; we had them in 1977! The date given above is approximate; it occurred sometime in March or April, 1977.
"doc" ((name deleted)) and I were night skiing Stevens Pass ski resort (Cascade mountains, Washington State) in the spring of our senior year of high school (that's how I'm certain the year was 1977). We were skiing down "Red chair" at about 8:30 pm, when I noticed an orange light in the sky, while skiing. "Huh", I thought to myself, "a firefly". Although it felt wierd that a firefly would be up in the mountains while they were still snow-blanketed. I had never seen a live firefly; only pictures in books, but my mind automatically labeled it a firefly. I slowed to a stop over about 30 seconds, keeping an eye on the "firefly". As I was slowing to a stop, the light increased in apparent size from about star size to about half to 3/4 the size of a full moon. The light was brilliant orange; scintillating light around it; the overall shape was circular but with ragged, jagged edges of this brilliant orange light. After I came to a stop, I watched it, mesmerized, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. During this time, it's size and appearance did not change and it remained perfectly stationary at about 30 degrees above the horizon--I know that it remained stationary; because it remained just above and to the side of a mountain peak (behind "Big Chief" chair lift, to the direction of the eastern side of the ski area) that served as a reference point for me. During this period, my friend "doc" ((name deleted)) skiied up and stopped beside me; I glanced over and saw his eyes glued to this wierd orange light. As we both stood still watching,suddenly the object instantaneously darted across the sky--it went from being absolutely stationary beside the mountain peak; to traversing (in a time period of about 3 seconds) about 150 degrees of the horizon--from our vantage point; it traveled starting from the east and briefly disappeared toward the south behind a mountain peak; quickly reappearing on the opposite side of this mountain moving toward the south and continuing toward the southwest; when it finally disappeared from view behind another mountain to the southwest. During this traverse, it was losing altitude; the angle of descent appeared about 5-10 degrees below horizontal, from our vantage point--before it finally disappeared, it was actually below us in elevation (down a valley) at about a 5-10 degree angle. During it's transit, the object travelled almost too quickly for our heads and eyes to be able to follow; during its transit it remained brilliant orange and about the same apparent size; but appeared to have a short orange "tail" behind it--hard to say if this "tail" was an optical illusion; due to it's tremendous angular velocity from our vantage point. Also, I seem to recall a faint hissing sound starting just as it disappeared from sight, and continuing for several seconds after it had disappeared from sight. But no sonic boom or other sound. I then looked at my friend, whose mouth was wide open "did you see that?" he said. "What the hell was that" I replied. We just looked at each other, then skiied down to the bottom of the run to get on the chairlift to ski some more. I asked the lift attendant if he had seen anything in the sky, he said no (however, helping people on the chairlift he was facing the opposite direction of the object; and there were bright nite ski lights in the direction between him and the object). My friend "doc" ((name deleted)) and I compared notes on what we saw; our descriptions matched.
What was and still is most baffling to me was the instantaneous change in the object from being perfectly stationary (for 30-60 seconds) to moving at an extremely rapid velocity--given the first mountain it moved behind (and reappeared) was about 1.5 miles distant,and that it traversed about 150 degrees of horizon within a few seconds, it must have been moved at least 3 miles within a few seconds, corresponding to over 3600 miles per hour! And it appeared to attain that velocity instantaneously; certainly within the half-second or less which it would take our minds to register the change from stationary to moving condition (I was a very good ping-pong player and fair badminton and tennis player,so my mind has been accustomed to very quickly registering rapid changes in speed and direction in ball-shaped objects)! This huge acceleration rules out any manned aircraft; g-forces would tear any human apart. Perhaps now in 2004 we have unmanned probes or drones that can perform extreme accelerations (like antiaircraft missiles); but I don't think this was possible in 1977. A meteor is ruled out; because it was stationary in size and location near a mountain peak for 30-60 seconds; and the apparent acceleration was instantaneous, not gradual (as could happen due to parallax effects). I think any man-made vehicle, or known natural phenomena can be ruled out. A missile might be able to accelerate like that; however I think with only a ground-based boost system (not a mid-air launch). This leaves unknown natural phenomena (e.g. some type of atmospheric plasma ball?) or....any ideas? P.S. There may or may not have been a solid object behind this light--we did not observed any solid object; however the light was so brilliant that it would have obscured any otherwise nonluminescent object that it emanated from.
((NUFORC Note: Date is approximate. One of two high-qualiy reports from same source, who describes himself as a "scientist." He does not specify the field of science he is involved with. PD))