|Occurred : 9/14/2000 20:00 (Entered as : 09/14/00 20:00)
Reported: 12/20/2000 22:29
Location: Steens Mountains, OR
|From a remote mountain top in the desert, observed a red strobe light surrounded by many other lights creating specific patterns.
My wife and I are both college graduatates. We were camping on the Steens Mountains for sight seeing and picture taking. We drove to the top of the fault block mountain at approximately 9500' and sat on rocks to take a video and picture of the rising full moon. We were sitting on rocks on the edge of a virtual cliff with the Alvord Desert and remote roadless desert 3000' below looking east. Video and pictures of the large rising moon were taken. My wife noticed lights on or near the ground while I was doing this. They were approxiamately 10 miles east of us and a little north of the moon rise. At first glance they looked like headlights from a cars on a highway. We had been at this vantage point several times before in years past and there were never any lights. Also, the area in that direction is only accessable by 4 wheel drive and very rugged with isolated cliffs, valley's and sagebrush. We began to focus the camera, video camera and binoculars on these lights. My wife watched mostly through the binoculars while I took about a 10 minute video. Also, a 10 minute exposure by camera with a 200mm telephoto lense. The observations lasted about 2 hours until we became cold and went back to camp a few miles away. The cluster of lights to the right had a red strobe light in the center. They were the size of peas held at arms length and amber. My wife referred to them as a "string of lights" as there were about 10+ lights on either side of the red light, moving slowly from left to right. Somtimes they appeared to not move at all. The lights, except the red one, would disappear at once, then reappear seconds to minutes later. As they moved very slowly left to right more would suddenly appear just to the left of the red light and the process repeated. Just a little north of this activity (several hundred yards? a mile?) were more lights, 1-8 at a time moving around doing various manovers. They were on or slightly above ground, never going obove the horizon. Sometimes they created triangles with just 3 lights other times triangles with 2 lights in each corner. One time, with about 10 lights visible, all went dark for about a minute, then suddenly three brighter lights were seen one on top of the other with a definate space in between each light. This lasted several minutes before they disappeared and other lights reappeared. Wish I had more video but ran out of film after 10 minutes. Amber, red and green lights show on the photo. We never saw green lights when we were there. The lights are in streaks because of the 10 minute photo duration. There was just so much activity in "a middle of no where" place.