|Occurred : 5/28/2000 14:00 (Entered as : 05/28/00 14:00)
Reported: 5/31/2000 13:17
Location: Maricopa, CA
|Single Oblong Object w/ dull metallic sheen spotted at high altitude and moving slowly at approx. 2pm, clear, sunny day.
A friend and I were chasing a large free flying(uncontrolled)model airplane on a cross-country duration competition flight aboard our ATC cycles. The model had reached an altitude of approx. 1500 feet and was very small in the sky which was a very clear blue with bright sunshine and high temperatures (90's). While traveling on a trail paralleling Hwy. 118 just north of Maricopa, I noticed a very peculiar looking object just above the model in the sky but obviously at a much higher altitude and greater distance. The shape was very clearly egg-like but more symmetrical and oblong, not unlike a ball squashed down in the center viewed from the side. The color was dull silver / grey metallic that did not reflect the sunlight appreciably and at times appeared almost translucent. We stopped the bikes momentarily and I asked my buddy, "what the hell is that thing above the airplane?" He said that he had no idea but that it was certainly peculiar. We both agreed that it bore no similarity to any conventional aircraft (my buddy is a certified aircraft mechanic and pilot). The object was moving very slowly from east to west towards Maricopa and when a jetliner appeared slightly above the object, we realized that the jet had a completely different appearance, was moving much faster and leaving a contrail. We resumed our pursuit of the model and after about a minute the object appeared to be blending into the slight haze and when I looked up again, it was gone. The only possible explanation we both could think of was that we were seeing some kind of large high altitude research balloon (Skyhook?) because I read where these tend to condense and elongate as they reach the upper atmosphere.
((NUFORC Note: Two similar reports received from Albuquerque, NM, and southeastern AZ on 03JN00, which may be related to this report. We presume the reports were caused by a high-altitude balloon, and the witness in this case suggests, but we are not certain. PD))