|Occurred : 7/13/1999 18:00 (Entered as : 07/13/99 18:00)
Reported: 7/14/1999 15:53
Location: Tacoma, WA
|Silvery craft looking like a Boeing 777 shape sized craft w/no discernable wings or tail (except a small vertical stabiler, looked like it was masking itself as an aircraft, It' speed, was behaving normally, except it's yaw. It was slide slipping like a blimb with NO noise as you would expect a blimp to do in the wind.
It was 18:00 (6 P.M.), on 7/13/99 at Owens Beach in the Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA. The sky was clear blue with NO clouds whatsoever. It was late afternoon and my 2 year old son and I were looking at aircraft leaving and approaching Sea-Tac airport. From Owens Beach, airplanes appear to be approximately 5,000 feet in altitude and about 1 to 5 miles away depending on which aircraft we were looking at on a particular moment. All the commercial craft had that late afternoon reflectivity that makes them really stand out against the blue sky. ALL the airplanes we saw had visible control surfaces on them and made the usual jet 'noise'. All, that is, EXCEPT this one. I was looking over my right shoulder. From the South East, coming about the direction of Ruston Way, here in Tacoma, was what I thought to be a Boeing 777. But, it had no discernable wings that I could see. It appeared to be then approximately 3,000 to 5,000 feet in altitude and about 3 miles away, (about the width of my thumb at arms length). I then listened for any jet 'noise', there were none. Then I looked at the tail. The only tail visible was a shorter than usually vertical stabilizer. A little background is due here; I am always looking at aircraft in the sky (I have had a love for them and have been doing so for many years now). The reason I bring this up is to relay to you that I know how they should look, sound, and behave, dependant on the conditions and time of day. Back to what happened; The craft is heading almost overhead now and I can still see NO wings or horizontal stabilizers. There is still NO noise either! It is now about the size of a half-dollar at arm's length. The aircraft is now heading from over head, due north, to the southern tip of Vashon Island. Now I am really concentrating on the physical behavior of the craft as it heads due north from my position. Let's see; 1) Still NO noise 2) NO Wings 3) NO horizontal stabilizer 4) Shorter than normal vertical stabilizer 5) The fuselage shape is correct for a Boeing 777. Blunt nose and a tail that comes to a point, (NOT fat like a blimp, or even the shape of a 747 would be) 6) Speed looks right (much too fast for a blimp) approximately 300-400 mph 7) Consistent forward momentum 8) Pitch is flat, (a little too flat, NOT climbing OR descending) 9) Wait a minute, it's the yaw... That isn't right... What I noticed about the yaw is this; What ANY aircraft does in a turn is bank. This didn't. It would yaw (turn) 30-40 degrees to the left in a smooth motion taking about 5 to 10 seconds to do so WITHOUT banking! The vertical stabilizer is still completely vertical. Then it would turn forward (due north, FOLLOWING it's forward momentum direction) in the same 5-10 second period. Then it would turn right, the same 30-40 degrees at the same 5-10 second period. All turning id done WITHOUT modifying its forward momentum's direction. I have observed a lot of aircraft in my lifetime and NEVER seen anything like this. It was behaving like whoever was controlling this craft was being as inconspicuous as possible and controlling it so it would 'blend-in' with the other commercial aircraft in the area. One final thing about the commercial flight path for this date was that this was the only commercial 'looking' craft that was NOT in the same flight corridor. All the commercial aircraft I saw this day from Owens Beach were traversing from the N.E. to the S. W. (or visa versa). This craft game from the S.E., headed almost overhead, and then headed due North from me.