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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 7/5/2003 18:00 (Entered as : 07/05/03 18:00)
Reported: 9/1/2003 9:49:10 PM 21:49
Posted: 9/4/2003
Location: Rend Lake, IL
Shape: Oval
Duration:2-3 minutes
2 bright white objects seen over Rend Lake, IL during airshow

This UFO sighting occurred between 6pm and 7pm CST on July 5th, 2003. The sighting occurred at Rend Lake State Park located south of Mt. Vernon, IL. The sighting involved 3 adult witnesses and one child. The principal adult witness offered testimony to MUFON investigators regarding the incident.

According to the witness, he and his wife and daughter along with their friend were attending July 4th festivities at Rend Lake State Park. They were located at the southern end of the North Marcum Recreation Area when they had their sighting.

All of the witnesses were looking up into the sky in the direction of the lake dam to the South. The witnesses along with an estimated 200+ other people were anticipating the final skydive jump for the day, which was to soon take place. As their attention was focused on the approaching plane used by the skydivers, the witnesses noticed two luminous white objects in the same general portion of the sky. The two objects seemed to be traveling together. They were described as being round to elliptical in shape. The apparent size was estimated to be similar to a golf ball at arm’s length. Actual size was estimated to be 11-30 feet. The objects reportedly moved in a straight line from the South/Southwest to the North/Northwest (and directly overhead) at a constant rate of speed that was estimated to be 500mph. The altitude of the objects was estimated to be 10,000 feet. However, the witnesses were not sure of this fact. No sound was heard and the objects left no trails. The witnesses all agreed that the objects were radiating a bright white light rather than simply reflecting sunlight. The color was described as "intense white." They watched the objects until they disappeared behind the trees on the Northern horizon. The witnesses thought they seemed to be flying in the direction of Mt. Vernon, IL where the witnesses reside. Sighting duration was estimated to be 2-3 minutes.

Despite all the other people that were present, the witnesses stated that no one else seemed to notice these objects. The witnesses even asked others if they had seen them after they flew out of sight. No one seemed to have seen the objects, since the witnesses said they received strange looks from those immediately around them when they asked.

Weather conditions included clear sunny skies and wind speed averaging 9.5 mph out of the Southwest. This roughly corresponds with the direction of the mystery objects.

Upon completing an interview with the principal witness, investigators drove to the Jefferson County and Franklin County Sheriffs’ offices, since Rend Lake is in both of these counties. Inquiries were made to see if any calls were received by their offices concerning UFO sightings at that designated time and location. Both offices stated that no such calls were received. A trip was then made to Rend Lake to see if some of the Park Rangers had known of any other UFO sightings on that day. After circling the entire lake including every campsite for more than two hours, a single Park Ranger was never found. This search was abandoned and an attempt was later made to email the Rend Lake Recreational Office to see if it would be possible to contact the skydiving group that made the jump that day. No reference was made to UFOs in the email. It was hoped that perhaps the skydivers or the pilot might have witnessed the event as well. Unfortunately, the email never received a reply. Therefore, the report must stand on the sole testimony of the witness and his family. (Case report investigated and submitted by Illinois MUFON Field Investigators David Marler and JoAnne Scarpellini)

((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Dave Marler, State Director for MUFON/Illinois, and JoAnne Scarpellini, for submitting this report. Website address for MUFON/Illinois is the following:

http://www.illinoismufon.com/index.html

Any witnesses to the same event are encouraged to contact that organization. PD))