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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 3/20/1970 16:00 (Entered as : 03/20/1970 16:00)
Reported: 3/28/2004 10:50:20 PM 22:50
Posted: 3/29/2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Shape: Disk
Duration: 10 minutes
Scintillating silvery, metallic object, probably disk-shaped, apparently changing attitude

I was standing on the crest of a hill above my parent's house (in Fort Worth, Texas), looking northwards, on 20 March 1970 (approximate date) at about 4:00 PM (I was 13 years old at the time). I would sometimes look for air traffic from Carswell Air Force, to my west, from this vantage point. The sky was clear. There was no air traffic in my immediate field of view.

I noticed a silvery, metallic object about 30 degrees above the horizon, due north. It appeared to be elliptical, but was probably disk-shaped (1). The object was perhaps two degrees in size, measured along its horizontal axis, and appeared to be fairly distant (there were no physical points of reference that would allow me to judge the size or distance of the object). The outline of the object's surface was distinct. I might not have noticed the object had it not changed its physical appearance while I was watching it. It appeared to scintillate or "wink", causing the object briefly to "disappear", or at least become difficult to see. For the duration of the observation, the object did not move horizontally or vertically from its position, nor did it appear to change size. I presumed from this that the object was spatially motionless. I could detect no sound from the object, although this may have been a function of the object's possible distance from me.

(1) I could not, at the time, account for the object's scintillation, although I thought it might have been due to some kind of movement. I now believe the object was in fact disk-shaped, having an apparent elliptical shape due to the oblique angle at which I was viewing it. I also now believe that the object's scintillation, or "winking", was the result of the object changing its attitude relative to my position. If, for example, the object had been shifting its attitude (relative to me, the observer) by, say, plus/minus 45 degrees along its horizontal axis, it might have appeared to be a scintillating ellipse.

I observed the object for perhaps 10 minutes, after which I could no longer visually resolve it in the fairly bright sky.

Had the object been a conventional fixed-wing or rotor-winged aircraft, I believe I would have been able to track its movement from its (apparent) rest position to a point in the sky where it would have been obscured by some intervening object or would have gone below my field of view. It was not a lighter-than-air vehicle (e.g., a blimp or weather balloon), as I had seen these in Fort Worth before and was familiar with their appearance in the sky. It was not a missile, as I was also familiar with their appearance in the sky. The fact that the object appeared to loiter also presents some difficulties with its being a conventional aircraft.

The object did not appear to be any meteorological phenomenon - at least none with which I was or am familiar. It was also not an astronomical phenomenon. The sky was far too bright to have allowed stars to be seen and, as we all know, planets do not scintillate.

The object could have been some type of experimental vehicle. Working for a major manufacturer of advanced (read classified) air vehicles, though, I do not believe this would have been the case. If for no other reason, disk-shaped structures are difficult to control aerodynamically with current technology. It is also difficult to explain why an experimental (or conventional) air vehicle would want to change its attitude in the manner this object appeared to have.

I am 46 years old. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I studied astronomy and physics as an undergraduate and have two Master's degrees (although not in physics or astronomy). As I mentioned above, I work for an aerospace company, selling manned and unmanned air vehicles and systems.

((NUFORC Note: Date is approximate. PD))