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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 9/1/1999 21:30 (Entered as : 09/01/99 9:30 PDT)
Reported: 9/2/1999 01:39
Posted: 3/21/2003
Location: Northern California (16,500 ft over Sierra Mountains), CA
Shape: Other
Duration:1min 30 sec
6-7 flaming light objects with comet-like tails viewed by pilot of aircraft at 16,500 feet in dark over Sierra Mountains.

I am a commercial pilot and was flying, on a private flight over northern California this evening and witnessed the objects from the cockpit of my aircraft. I was cruising at an altitude of 16,500 feet traveling over the northern sierra mountains at 9:20 to 9:30pm. (by the way, on landing, I heard a report on the local Reno radio station, KKOH, that all the electricity is out in the cities of Carson City, Minden and Gardnerville Nevada.) I was flying from San Diego to Quincy California level at 16,500 feet, in the dark. I had just made a turn northward from over Beal Air force base, (where the SR-71 is based) on a magnetic heading of 356 degrees, or almost north. I looked up and from about eleven o'clock above me I was surprised by a half a dozen objects coming toward me. My first thought was that it was a huge meteor but there were multiple objects, they appeared to be traveling much more slowly than any meteor and they appeared to be in formation. I then thought "is this what a U F O sighting looks like?" As the group of objects passed slowly, almost "drifting" past my windshield higher than my aircraft, I could see flames coming from each object and a comet-like tail behind each object. My next thought was that it might be a huge aircraft breaking up, some objects were long like a wing or odd shapes. However, it was not descending, but rather was moving straight and slowly across the sky almost appearing to be level. It had the appearance of flaming, huge objects, in formation, or in a group. There was one large object following the group somewhat behind the others. I thought it might be space debri but they all appeared too large and too many. The group moved slowly from front left to right over at least a minute to a minute and a half time. I had time to turn down all the radio and instrument lights in my cockpit, watched the objects and turned right to attempt to follow them. I followed them at 200 knots. They continued south-southeast bound, toward southern California. I have never seen anything like this in over thirty years of my flying career. Anyone interested may contact me at (530) ((deleted))home where I am now, or 283-((deleted)) office. -((name deleted))