|Occurred : 3/8/2003 20:15 (Entered as : 20:15 +)
Reported: 4/4/2003 10:12:18 AM 10:12
Location: Greenbelt area, MD
|Totally Silent 'Flying Wing' Seen Twice Within D.C. Beltway, March 8, 2003
Strange Sightings Within The Washington, D.C. Beltway, March 8, 2003 I would have reported this earlier, but when, on the night of the observations reported below, I phoned _______ of the Fund For UFO Research, he told me that I should not report it on UFO UpDates, when I mentioned the possibility. I didn't ask ((name deleted)) why he said that, but since it has been so long and I've seen no reports of this, I can't imagine how this late-reporting could create a serious 'reporting noise' problem (if that's what ((name deleted)) was concerned about), so here goes. My apology for reporting late.....
At 8:15 (20:15 hours) on Saturday evening, March 8, my wife and I were preparing to leave our home near Greenbelt, Maryland, when a strange wing-like (No aircraft body visible and we had ground light off overcast clouds that should have clearly revealed any body.) Thing - herein-after 'AAO', meaning anomalous aerial object - was seen to emerge into view travelling on a twenty-degrees-east of a true north course passing almost overhead, from having been eclipsed by our front porch roof. The 'Wing' spanned a _full_ two degrees (120 ARC minutes) as contrasted with the half-degree (about 30 arc minute) crescent moon, off to my left during the observation for immediate and good comparison of angular size.
The 'AAO' was perceived by binocular disparity (visual parallax due to eye separation) as being 600 to a maximum of 1,200 feet overhead, and at the time its actual maximum possible distance was constrained by a thin layer of clouds overhead. Officially, that cloud layer had been broken at 24,000 feet at 19:51, was OVERCAST at 23,000 feet at 20:51, scattered by 21:51 same altitude, and clear by 22:51. (Thanks to __________ for the cloud data.) Most disturbing was the _total_ silence of the nearby object.
A bright, continuously white 'sphere'-looking thing was visible on the tip of each 'wing' (Color illustration available to anyone who requests it.). Each white 'sphere' had a very sharp edge quite different from the lights on ordinary aircraft, and of a much purer white color. A much smaller (than the white 'spheres') pure red light looked possibly more 'point-source' and was located in the 'middle' (vertex of the 'wing'). It was brightening and dimming, but at times it seemed more of a flicker, and at other times more of a pulse, if memory serves me.
The 'wing', per se, was quite strange. Although it was visible by the cloud back-lighting, it was rather vague because subtle light around it seemed to vibrate or flicker at maybe ten hertz! - all along and across the 'wing'.
There was _no_ sign of any aircraft type body! Since the sight was quite 'spooky', maybe one could call them 'disembodied wings'. :) We live a few blocks north of the little College Park Airport which is presently closed down to non-government air traffic due to security concerns, but this 'AAO' seemed so very low that my 'gut' reaction was that it had taken off from there, despite the fact that the thing seemed to be on a very flat course (neither climbing nor descending). Subsequent inquiry to the airport revealed that there had been no take-off around the 20:15 time of the first observation, and the airport had closed at 22:30, fifteen minutes before the second identical observation to be described below.
Roughly fifty (50) minutes after the first observation, an airliner type aircraft came over, possibly having taken off from Andrews AFB just east of D.C. It was on a slightly more westward bearing and considerably higher up. We could see the aircraft's body, wings, and tail structure very clearly and hear it very distinctly. By contrast, the 'AAO' had NO BODY VISIBLE, but only that weird wing-like structure that remained vague, SEEMING TO SHIMMER or something - It's really hard to describe. That's why I have illustrated it in the way that I did in the image anyone may ask me to send.
Yet, the most striking thing of all was the absolute silence! There was a bizarre silence, 'stillness',and 'smoothness' that is hard to explain or even put into adequately descriptive words.
After the object had disappeared beyond our north-northeastern horizon (taking roughly 30 seconds time to go from near zenith across the northern horizon), I ran up to the third floor where my Extreme Low-Frequency (ELF) magnetometer is located and noted a low-level, continuous magnetic pulse in roughly the 2-hertz range, accompanied by a few very strong 'spike' type pulses, one of which may have 'pegged' the needle. These were not normal background magnetics.
Coming upon 22:45 hours (10:46 PM), I was again upstairs with the magnetometer checking for any anomalous activity, when similar magnetic phenomena began to again be seen by the action of the needle display and heard on the analog, frequency modulated audio output (just as before). Watching and listening to that, I SUDDENLY heard a roar (seemingly directly overhead) that vaguely resembled a loud jet but was distinctly different, somehow. Then after a maybe 4 to 5 second duration, that roar SUDDENLY subsided - taking about 0.5 second to go from loud to nothing.
Because of the odd magnetic activity and the surprising sound, at cessation of the sound I rushed downstairs and onto the front porch, from which I was surprised to see an exactly identical 'AAO' (as compared to the 20:15 observation) on _exactly_ the _same_ course! As with the earlier 'AAO', I watched the object from almost directly overhead as it moved in spookily total silence to across the exact spot on the north-northeastern horizon into which the first object had headed and disappeared.
During the first observation, the sky above the thing was overcast, but in the second sighting it was totally clear, with all stars and planets visible. Still, I could see no 'body' on the object, but only the 'wing'. This time, too, the 'wing' seemed to shimmer in a light-distorting way that made it much less clear than had the very clear wings, body, and tail section of the jet aircraft when it was watched at about 22:05 for comparison to the 20:15 'AAO'.
In both observations of the identical 'AAO', when overhead the angular distance from white globe of light to white globe of light ('wingtip'-to-'wingtip') was about 120 minutes or arc (2 degrees), and I had a ready comparison because the crescent moon (about 28 to 30 arc minutes) was still in the north-west (although nearer its horizon) during that second and identical observation.
Clouds above an aircraft seem to amplify aircraft sounds to a ground observer, but although it was overcast during the 20:15 observation, even then not a sound of any kind could be heard! I found that really a bit spooky because both things (or two events with the same single thing) were clearly under power, moving steadily and unwaveringly along precisely the same course in both observations. It was as if both had traveled upon the very same invisible track in the sky! Let me be clear in saying that I suspect this twice-seen object of being some type of stealthy black-project aircraft (manned or unmanned) that is somehow propelled silently, but wonder at the wisdom of operating such a vehicle over this highly populated area within the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Oddly, _everything_ seemed so still and quiet during the two passages of the object(s) that I am reminded of reports of a similar phenomenon ("the OZ factor") reported by certain observers of 'UFOs' at close range, but would be cautious in saying it was the UFO-related "OZ" phenomenon because I must consider the possibility that I had 'perceptually isolated' myself in listening for a non-existent sound from each 'AAO' to the exclusion of not noticing other ambient sounds.
Angular velocity of both 'AAO?'s is roughly averaged at three degrees per second, if the observation time in each case was 30 seconds. If 45 seconds, then it might have been two degrees per second.
If there are any questions about the observations, do not hesitate to ask.
((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Mr. Ray Stanford, noted UFO investigator and author, for sharing this report with NUFORC. Please see illustration on the NUFORC homepage, also provided by Mr. Stanford. Mr. Stanfor can be reached at [firstname.lastname@example.org]. PD))