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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 4/21/2004 03:15 (Entered as : 04/21/2004 03:15)
Reported: 5/6/2004 12:56:24 AM 00:56
Posted: 5/10/2004
Location: Windsor, CA
Shape: Light
Duration: 1 to 1.5 minutes
Characteristics: There were lights on the object
Glowing Orb - looked like reddish-orange fire burning on the inside of a transparent round ball.

My wife and I were driving north on US-101, to visit some family in Sonoma County. We started out earlier in the day in the Orange County area and we saw many airplanes and stars throughout the drive up. When we got into the bay area, it was socked in and raining. The clouds didn't let up and I would estimate that the ceiling was down to about 500 feet when we got to Windsor, CA. We were looking for a motel to stop for the night when I noticed a dull reddish orange light off to the northwest. (I would estimate the size of the light to be the size of my fingernail held at arms length.) I asked my wife, "what the heck is that?" She said, "it's an airplane." Then I said, "that doesn't look like an airplane because it has no anti-collision 'strobe' type lights on it." I also said, "who would be crazy enough to be up flying in rural northern california, at 3 in the morning, when the visibility was down to about 5-10 miles and the ceiling was about 500 feet?" That is a true statement because this area is dark as a hammer and it would be almost impossible to fly using dead reckoning at night, especially in extreme IFR conditions. After coming to an almost complete stop on the highway, I decided to exit at the next offramp. I did and when I stopped to look at the light, I noticed another car on the freeway that had slowed way down, to about 15 mph. I wonder if they were seeing the same thing we were seeing. That car kept on going and we were sitting there on the offramp at a dead stop so I rolled down the window to see if I could hear any aircraft noise. We didn't hear anything. At this point my wife said, "you're right... that isn't an airplane. What is that?" At this point the object was moving really slowly, but in an erratic motion where it was travelling sideways, but also in an upwards motion, then it would instantly change to a downward motion. Definitely not how I have ever seen any airplane fly. After about 10-15 seconds of this erratic flying, it moved in a straight! sideway s motion, at a high rate of speed, covering the distance of what I would estimate was about 300 yards and disappeared into the rain clouds. At that point, the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up. My wife and I spent the next 10 minutes or so driving down the side road that parallels the freeway with our heads hanging out the window looking for the object. We never saw it again. Just thinking about this incident as I am sitting here typing this in is giving me goosebumps. Whatever it was, it was really weird. Never seen anything else like it.

Let me try to explain what this thing looked like. The best way I could describe this light is this: You know when you see a jet on approach to an airport, but it is a long ways off, like 10-15 miles; you can see the landing lights on, and it looks like a reddish orange glow because of the smog and impurities in the air? That is exactly what this thing looked like. And that is what I thought it was right at first, but then it dawned on me... it couldn't be because of the low clouds and limited visibility. That was when I realized that it had to be only a mile or so away from me and I realized I was looking at something else. And it wasn't until I stopped the car that I could tell it wasn't flying straight and level and it was actually flying erratic. The fact that there were no strobe type anti-collision lights on it really made me think this was something other than an aircraft.

If anyone else reported anything similar to this, I would like to know. If you need further clarification, feel free to contact me. Thanks