|Occurred : 2/19/2001 18:48 (Entered as : 02/19/01 18:48)
Reported: 2/19/2001 19:14
Location: Irwin, PA
Duration:4 minutes (?)
|Very slow-moving, silent, triangular formation of lights; some RF interference
I was driving US Route 30 East from Forest Hills (just outside Pittsburgh) to Irwin. This is the usual route I take home from work. My wife was in the car but was dozing and laying down. As I came over the hill near Norwin High School I saw a light in the eastern sky - nothing unusual at first. As I approached the intersection of 10th Street (Irwin) and Rt. 30, I noted that it was getting very much brighter (white) and was slowly "pulsing" in brightness - about one second from bright to dim and one second back again. When I got closer, perhaps 1/2 mile from directly underneath it, I could see that it had two close-set front lights like headlights, both white, which no longer appeared to be pulsing. It also had a red light on its port "wingtip" (relative position of the lights implied "wingtip", but I could see no silhouette, only the lights), so I concluded it was a plane. It was moving to the west very slowly, though. When I got closer still I could see the starboard "wingtip" light which was also red. This struck me as a bit odd. It was passing nearly directly overhead at this point. My car's digital clock read 6:48 PM. I was listening to a Pittsburgh station (1410 KQV-AM) which breaks up and fades back in a lot in Irwin, but the static is typically just white-noise. As the object passed overhead, the signal was lost in a wave of loud "angry" buzzing, which caused me to shut the radio off. The car was not otherwise affected. The object was moving west very slowly indeed at this point. Since neither size nor distance were known I'll put this in terms of objects at arm's length. Its length was about 1/2 the width of a normal music CD at arm's length, and it was moving (when directly overhead) about 1 CD-diameter in about 7 seconds. Since it was moving in the opposite direction to me, I thought this was unusually slow for a non-hovering aircraft, so I rolled down the window to see if I could hear it (thinking perhaps it was a helicopter and the "wingtip" effect of the red lights was an illusion). I could hear absolutely nothing but the other cars - no "airliner roar", no chopper blades, nothing. I should note that I work near several hospitals in Pittsburgh. If a helicopter is sufficiently low to appear that large (and they often are), I can easily hear it going overhead, even over the roar of a busy Pittsburgh street and my car's engine with the windows rolled up. So between the red (not green) starboard lights, the radio interference (which was gone after I passed about 1/2 mile "behind" the object), the slow motion, and the silence, I'm very confused. Again, all I could see was two white "headlights", closely set, with two red lights at "wingtip" positions. I guess you could call it a "triangle", but again I emphasise I saw no silhouette, only the lights themselves. It may have been a perfectly conventional craft, but it was nothing I'm familiar with.