|Occurred : 11/19/2000 17:58 (Entered as : 11/19/00 17:58)
Reported: 12/4/2000 06:48
Location: Benicia, CA
|Observed: elliptical object with unusual light
(Report was written 1 hour after sighting) This evening I saw something interesting as I was traveling home after a weekend at Tahoe. This occured at 5:58 pm, this Sunday. I didn't drive, so I was passing the time looking at landmarks, lights, and stars in the sky. As we were passing Benicia on hwy 680, I noticed, at my 1 o'clock, what at first appeared to be a low-level aircraft passing to our right. What caught my eye is that it didn't have standard lighting: I saw no red/green indicator lights, tail lights, forward lights. My attention was drawn to a light or lights on what appeared to be the leading edge of the object, gold in color, and blinking in a random fashion. I would almost describe this point-source as "sparkling". Within a few seconds of my initial sighting, this point-source grew in size. At that point, the light would "blink" randomly, and as it did so, it would grow into a triangle whose longest sides pointed down. The triangular light'(s) downward-facing vertex was approx. 4 times as tall as the shortest side. All edges of the light were of the same sharpness and intensity. As the light grew, it appeared to be composed on many smaller lights, and it continued to blink in an irregular fashion. Naturally, this caught my attention, since it didn't exhibit conventional aircraft lighting or other recognizable features. I continued to watch as it appeared to angle away from the bearing of the highway. It appeared to grow distant, and the shape of leading-edge light returned to a point source, which appeared to sparkle. As I continued to watch, there was one point where this object was briefly illuminated, perhaps by city lights (it appeared to be reflected light) It was at this point I could see a lighter outline in the night sky. My first impression was the shape was similar to a blimp, except it was more elongated, and the "ends" of the shape weren't at all like a blimp (no stabilizers or canopies were visible). The shape ended in squared-off points, and the edges leading to the more curved shape in the middle appeared jagged. Otherwise, the shape was roughly elliptical, with the long axis approx. 3 times longer than the short axis. The point-source was clearly on the front "point", and the light appeared to change shape randomly. I saw this object for about 30 seconds, from 30 to 15 degrees from the horizon (its apparent position lowered over time), and when the illuminated shape subtended about the width of a nickel at arm's length.