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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 3/17/2001 14:00 (Entered as : 03/17/01 14:00)
Reported: 3/17/2001 19:25
Posted: 3/11/2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Shape: Triangle
Duration:8 minutes
White triangular craft over San Jose CA in broad daylight.

2:20pm 3/17/01 It's a first for me as regards sightings. And right now it's a UFO, until I manage to identify it. Saturday March 17th 2001, visible from 1:55pm to 2:03pm. Trying to figure out how to call San Jose airport. Moving due south, spotted in Almaden Valley, from our garden. May have originated from somewhere near the airport, which lies almost due north of here about 5 miles. Height anywhere between 2000 and 10000 feet. No loss in height. No noise. Highly reflective on this sunny day with light clouds. Estimate speed over 100 knots. Visible for 8 minutes from zenith to 30 degrees above southerly horizon, when dwindled to a point. No course deviations observed. Wife saw it at zenith (90) down to about 80 degrees azimuth. Called me, and we both then tracked it until it disappeared into the distance. No time for telescopes or camera; too busy trying to figure it out (hey, I'm a virgin UFO spotter so sue me). Wife asserts (too late for me to tell by the time I got there): * triangular * not a hang-glider (too fast) * not a balloon (wrong shape) * not a parachute (no height loss) * something swinging from the bottom. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2:45pm 3/17/01 I used to fly small planes, so I can say that as an ex-pilot I'm mystified. I called the airport ATC. * Nothing reported from San Jose ATC in the tower, except for a helicopter taking pictures close to the airport. * Wind on ground around 12 knots, little to no gusts. (So unless the wind increased to over 100 knots at a few thousand feet, this wasn't flying unpowered, therefore.) * Visibility: 10 miles. (So - and this is very rough - 10 miles in 8 minutes = 75 knots roughly. Agrees roughly with my estimates. Also, I reckon the visibility due south was more like 15 miles, which makes my estimate of 100 knots even closer.). A nice sunny day with very light and intermittent clouding. No clouds near the object for the entire time we tracked it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6pm 3/17/01 I expected to be excited and/or elated or something, but I guess today being tax return payment day, my reactions are dampened! Also, my wife got the best view, and all I saw was a bright, highly reflective object receding into the distance. We agreed that differentiating between a high large object travelling fast, and a lower, smaller object travelling slower, is damned difficult with no other nearby skycraft as references! There's some more info left out which my wife and I pulled together: 1. It seemed not to be metallic, but rather the texture of bright white silk. 2. The assemblage hanging down and swaying was entirely white, and the same colour as the triangle. It was about the same length as the traingle's span. The hanging part appeared to consist of a single U-loop of rope/cable, whereby nothing (e.g. a load, a person) was noticeable at the bottom of the U. 3. The triangle was neither thick nor thin; maybe 10:1 ratio between span and thickness. It appeared to be a rigid body, unlike the hanging assemblage. 4. The prevailing wind, according to reports, was between 5 and 12 knots, at every altitude from zero to 10,000' MSL. It was in direction 310 degrees (out of the NW), which lines up pretty much with the observed course of the object. 5. We also discount a helicopter on two counts a) wrong shape b) no sound whatsoever. 6. The course of the object relative to our south-facing garden (from where we observed it) appeared to be about one half mile due east, so it did not travel directly overhead. 7. At zenith, when only my wife was observing, the angle subtended by the object was approximately that of an object of size 0.7 inches held at arm's length. When I observed it first, at roughly 80 degrees azimuth, it was about 0.3 inches, and dwindled down to a sparkling point as it receded. 8. At the time of the initial zenith sighting, my wife had been looking up because of the noise of a passenger jet flying by (to or from the nearby airport). If the object were making sound, this could have masked it until it was too distant to hear. Hypothesis: an electric hang glider? Andrew Palfreyman San Jose CA, 3/17/01 I am a professional engineer with over 30 years experience in electronics. I have a degree in physics from Oxford University UK. I am 51 years old. My wife is 30 years old, and has a degree from a Michigan university in theatre. We were both drinking non-alcoholic beverages (and we don't do drugs!) at the time of the sighting. It was a sunny day in the garden with the children, and we were both relaxed and fully aware. We were both wearing our glasses during the sighting, so long-distance vision was excellent.