|Occurred : 7/20/2002 21:40 (Entered as : 07/20/02 21:40)
Reported: 7/20/2002 10:52:06 PM 22:52
Location: San Jose, CA
|Amber wedge shaped object with a companion object.
I live three miles East of Reed-Hilview Airport in San Jose, CA. I was observing a South bound single engine aircraft climbing in altitude following takeoff and the normal 90 degree turn normally performed to avoid entering the traffic path of aircraft departing from SJC. I noticed an unusual reflection which at first appeared to me to be a very light colored balloon reflecting what I believed to be the amber color of the city lights below. The object appeared straight West of me at about 70 degrees, well above the aircraft I was observing. At first I beleived the object was only two hundred or so meters from my location.
As the object continued on what appeared to be a South East direction, I watched it and noticed that the shape was more of a wedge shape. I became aware that the winds were calm and that the object was moving at a rate of speed far beyond wind velocity. There were no distinct lights or sound produced by the object and because of this, the altitude is difficult to estimate beyond my belief of at least 1 mile or better above the ground. I reside in the Eastern Foothills of the city at around 300 Feet above sea level in comparison to the valley floor at 80 feet above sea level. The object's altitude appeared to remain consistent and I was hoping to get a better view of the object as it's direction of travel was bringing it towards the full moon. Unfortunately, the object, slightly larger than half the size of the moon, did not pass into the moonlight but the moon did briefly display a companion object to the right and slightly behind the object that was not previously visable.
The object continued a consistent direction of travel, disappearing around a minute after the initial observation. What seemed unusual about this is the object speed, the shape and that as it passed into an area where city lights would have dissapated the reflection but the consistent coloration and shape did not reflect that.
I have seen weather ballons lanched from near the San Jose international airport during the day and I'm sure that San Jose State University also launches them at night. The prevaling winds are such that when they are launched, they do pass over the area were I live. I've seen these ballons before during the day and they are usually visable only when winds are fast enough to carry them over before they are too high to see. Those types of winds were not present tonight. I would readily dismiss any observation day or night as one of these balloons. If for some reason it was a weather ballon, it was huge and it was moving a lot faster than I have observed before.
((NUFORC Note: Witness elects to remain totally anonymous. PD))