|Occurred : 5/18/2001 21:34 (Entered as : 05/18/01 2134)
Reported: 12/26/2001 6:22:34 PM 18:22
Location: Mounds View/Blaine, MN
|5/18/01 Minnesota sighting of unusual object which ejected at least 3 others before splitting in two and disappearing.
My sister and I had just finished watching the Blues/Avalanche NHL playoff game on TV (which ended abruptly in overtime) and as I was frustrated that my team lost, I immediately proceeded to get ready to drive my sister home to St. Paul. She went outside ahead of me, while I grabbed a quick glass of water for the road. It was about 2134 CST on May 18, 2001.
A few seconds later she yelled for me to hurry and take a look at something which was moving slowly almost directly overhead in the sky (which was clear). I stepped out of the doorway and looked up. What we saw for the next 6 minutes is as follows: A large object almost directly overhead, slightly east of our position, which was at a point just west of Interstate 35W and just south of US Highway 10 in Mounds View, Minnesota, USA. As I have been trained in this area, I estimated this object to be at an altitude of somewhere between 8000 to 10000 feet. The object first appeared as an oddly shaped rectangle though roundish on the bottom, with a deep-orange seemingly pulsating or shimmering underbelly, similar to a liquid metal appearance, with what appeared to be brighter orange highlites (which appeared as possibly tubular openings) in the front end which I viewed just prior to it passing overhead, which then hid those frontal features. It also appeared to have a halo, or jellyfish type of bubble on the top of the object well above the shimmering orange bottom.
It was moving very slowly from the east to the west/northwest, and made no sound, and no other lights of any kind were visible, though its general shape seemed to ebb as its orange underside was unstable as it was pulsating slowly.
As this was something that I have never witnessed before, it seemed significant enough for me to dash inside to grab my video camera, and I was fortunate enough to tape nearly two minutes of this object.
After taping this object for nearly a minute, I was surprised to see that another object seemed to be released from the main object and zip away from it fairly quickly, with this splitting visible in the frames prior to my nervous jerking of the camera to get a better angle as it was moving behind trees. Within seconds, the object released an additional two (possibly three) objects which are clearly visible on the tape. These objects seemed to fall in a downward motion though they could have been moving into the distance. One object is shown to fall off vertically behind trees while it suddenly reappears a second later moving horizontally and completely disappearing a few seconds later. This also is clearly visible.
During this second release of smaller objects, there was no apparent change in the main object's structure, though it seemed with the naked eye to dim slightly after the release.
About thirty seconds later, the main object then split into two major sections and the sped off in opposite trajectories from each other though in a seemingly downward motion in relation to the camera's angle, which was pointed upward at an approximate 45 degree angle in relation to the ground. The objects then disappeared from view behind trees.
I have estimated that in relation to the camera's angular position, that this object split apart in the vicinity of Coon Rapids, Anoka, or Champlin, Minnesota, or in that general region, to the northwest of Mounds View.
There were at least three witnesses from our location: myself, my twenty-year old sister, and my forty-nine year old then roommate, who only saw the object briefly. I yelled for another individual who had been entering his vehicle a half-block away to look, but the person either didn't understand or didn't fully hear me trying to get his attention.
My personal credentials include military service in the United States Army as an MOS 16T10 (Patriot Missile). As this is an Air Defense position, I was specifically trained to spot and identify all known types of aircraft and other flying objects (balloons, missiles, drones, military flares, meteorological phenomona, etc.). Despite my background, I have no experience with the object I witnessed this particular evening. I can personally attest to the facts presented herein, and can faithfully presume that it was not an aircraft, nor a "shooting star" (meteorite), nor a military flare, and certainly not a weather balloon (the wind was blowing from the west to east at about 10-15 mph yet the object was moving east to west/northwest -into the wind). Additionally, the sun had already set, yet the object was luminescent or emitting its own light on the side not facing the sunset.
At the same time that this object was sighted, I did notice a high-flying commercial jetliner that was flying from west to east at an approximate altitude of 36,000 feet, and was visible from its exhaust contrail.
In terms of its possible size, I would judge this object as it first appeared overhead to be the size of between a 747-400 and a C-5A military transport aircraft. The object certainly was well below the altitude of the high-flying commercial jet which was moving in the opposite direction.
To describe its size in a simple form, if you basically stretched both arms over your head and put two thumbs (and possibly another half of one thumb) next to each other, that's the size it appeared at its closest point.
I wanted to share this story with your investigators and the general public because I felt that it was significant enough to warrant further investigation to determine what the object could possibly have been, and as to whether there were other witnesses ( which I have noticed that there was another sighting in the St. Paul, Minnesota suburb of Hastings about 2 hours previous to mine with a similar description) and if there have been other similar sightings with similar object behavioral characteristics.
There has been some local investigation by the Minnesota MUFON network field investigator, and he is apparently still putting the finishing touches on his report.
I am highly interested in knowing if your organization has connections to those who may have experience with video tapes, and who would be interested in examining the tape to determine the light source evident on it, and possibly enhancing the tape to show more detail.
Thank you for your efforts regarding this.
In closing, I would also like to share that within a few days of this sighting, I made attempts to get local media coverage of this sighting. Copies of the tape were made in the studios of KARE 11 (NBC affiliate), WCCO 4 (CBS affiliate), and KSTP 5 (ABC affiliate). None of the organizations returned any information regarding the sighting for a possible story, which I find highly unusual.
I also contacted the local air traffic control center, which is a major regional center located in Farmington, Minnesota. They told me to contact the control tower at MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul International). I spoke to a supervisor (whose name I'll give if needed) there regarding possible radar tapes from that evening to see if an object was sighted, but was told a few days later that nothing unusual was on those tapes.
I am also interested in what local television weather radar, NWS radar, and NOAA weather radar scans show for that specific time period on 18 May 01.
Thank you once again.