|Occurred : 4/18/2000 11:32 (Entered as : 03/18/00 11:32)
Reported: 5/2/2000 03:12
Location: Tacoma, WA
|Sighted from a Cessna C206 by 20,000 hour pilot and passengar. Bright as the sun, very unusual sighting. See full description
At 1132 PDT on 3/18/00 while flying a cessna C206 at 5,500' on a heading of 155 magnetic, approximately between Bremerton and Tacoma, WA airport, we sighted an extremely bight light with an intensity approaching that of the sun at about our 12:30 to 1:00 position. The haze layer top was about 4,000' and this light appeared to be below the haze layer top. It was judged to be south of Fort Lewis Army base but north of the hills south of Fort Lewis. Sky conditons were clear and unlimited visibility above the haze layer. We initially thought it to be light reflected from a metal roof but the light stayed in the same relative position making that unlikely. I held my thumb to the light and was able to block it out but the size of the light must have been very large as I judged it to be many miles away. After a couple of minutes another light appeared over and separated from the large round light. This was a more flat or crescent shape, roughly the same diameter as the round light. I attempted to call Tacoma Tower to ask if they had it in sight but they did not answer. Due to airspace restrictions I had to descend to pass over the southern tip of Vashon Island. In the descent, at about 4,500' the light suddenly disappeared. I have been a pilot for 47 years, military and civilian with over 20,000 flying hours. I have not seen a similar event during that time and judge this to be out of the limits of anything I have noted during those flying hours. I did not have a camera with me so have no photos. The intensity would be similar to White Phosphorus burning but in this sighting, no sign of drifting or descending as a white Phosphorus shell or flare would exhibit so I ruled that out. The intensity was near that of the sun.
((NUFORC Note: Witness corrected date to 18AP00. We have made correction here. PD))