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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 7/26/2016 19:00 (Entered as : 07/26/2016 19:00)
Reported: 7/31/2020 7:42:00 AM 07:42
Posted: 7/31/2020
Location: I-49 south toward Joplin, MO
Shape: Disk
Duration: 15 minutes
Characteristics: The object emitted beams, There were electrical or magnetic effects
Bright flashing disk moving south along I-49 in Missouri on July 26, 2016

UFO Sighting Southern Missouri (driving south on I-49 toward Joplin) Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Background of observers: My father, mother, and myself (female, age 30, adjunct professor of philosophy) were in my parents’ van driving back to their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from our relatives’ home in Minnesota. I was visiting my family for several weeks while my husband was chaperoning a high school trip to Europe.

This report was written down on July 27, 2016, one day after the sighting: Driving south on I-75 in southern Missouri, we came to a line of dark clouds, but there was no rain or storm. However, as I was in the back seat of the van, looking out of the window to my right, I saw the strangest disk-shaped flashes of light. I have never seen anything like it and told my Mom to look. She saw it too. Dad was driving but he said he also saw it a few times out of the corner of his eye.

I saw the light between 15-25 times. Sometimes it was behind a very small, light grey cloud. Other times it was in the pale part of the clear sky, and other times in the dark storm clouds, but I only ever saw it in one place at a time. It appeared to move south, towards the dark cloud line, faster than we were driving south. However, sometimes it appeared to have “backtracked” a bit. The light itself never moved, but each time it appeared, it appeared further to the south, faster than we were driving. The light was exceedingly bright and blinding, and exceedingly quick, flashing for only an instant and disappearing. Wherever it appeared—-behind a small light grey cloud, in the clear sky, or in the dark clouds—-it was an elongated disk or elongated diamond shape, like this: (Note: There is a hand-drawn picture here in my original account), and it was quite large in the sky. It was so bright and so fast and very frightening for both reasons. It did NOT “light up the clouds” li! ke lightning or heat lightning, but it was so bright that it seemed to shoot out its blinding white light all the way to me in the van. It was as bright as the sun, if you were to look at the sun, but it was not near the sun, even though the sun was still brightly shining in the clear part of the sky.

Both Mom and I tried to film it on our iPhones. I took a video longer than a minute, during which Mom and I both saw the light multiple times, but it does not show up in the video. Strangely, after watching the video later, I did see a very quick, bright flash that appears for an instant on the telephone poles as we whiz past them in the video. In reality, the light was up in the sky, and not on the telephone poles. However, we think that the light was perhaps a type of St. Elmo’s Fire or similar natural phenomenon, and my own guess is that the light did shoot from the sky to the tops of the telephone poles, which is why it appeared so blinding to me from the van, and why it appears on the telephone poles in the video footage. It was very, very strange looking, whatever it was. At one point, Dad even pulled over along the freeway so that we could all watch for the light, but we did not see it at all while pulled over.