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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 5/21/2004 22:42 (Entered as : 05/21/1904 22:42)
Reported: 5/24/2004 5:49:26 AM 05:49
Posted: 6/4/2004
Location: Washington, D.C., DC
Shape: Light
Duration:five minutes
Lights moving in a counterclockwise oval pattern

Witness One: On Friday evening, May 21, 2004, I was watching television in bed. At approximately 10:30 pm, an electrical storm began to develop.

I was beginning to get sleepy and was considering turning the television off and going to sleep. When there were two very rare bursts of static on the television about a minute apart (both at 10:42, according to my TiVo clock), my decision to go to sleep was made since I also feared that it might not be safe to leave the television on any longer. I pressed the "record" button on my TiVo so that I could finish watching the program at another time, very likely made a quick trip to the bathroom (though I'm not sure), took off my glasses (I'm very near sighted), and got back into bed.

I lay down on my left side facing the large panoramic windows in my bedroom. Even with my very impaired vision, I immediately became aware of some lights moving in the sky in a way I'd never seen before. I immediately sat up, retrieved my glasses from the night table, and put them on. Outside my window and over Rock Creek Park and a large residential building across the street, balls of light were moving rapidly and a bit jerkily in an oval-shaped counterclockwise pattern.

It's difficult to say exactly how many there were, but I believe that four individual lights would be a good estimate. After watching them for a stunned minute or two, I got out of bed, and went next door to get my sister. Together we stood at the window and watched this light show for approximately five minutes. Towards the end, the lights seemed to simply fade away through the heavy cloud cover until there was only one left. That light eventually faded as well. I did not look at the clock again until after my sister left. The time was 10:58.

Though I've called them "balls" of light, they weren't perfectly spherical. There was no hard edge to them, though I do believe there was a brighter intensity at the center of each. During the entire event, they kept moving in the same circular pattern – very, very rapidly and very, very erratically, Though pinpointing precisely where they were is tough, I recall that my sister and I both stooped a bit to get a full view of the "show". (I usually have the blinds in my bedroom about 1/3 of the way down.) I forgot until Saturday evening when I turned on my television and my TiVo that I had recorded during the exact time of the event. Because I'm very sure that it was the second burst of static that caused me to turn off the television, I can time the start of the event (using the TiVo clock) at precisely 10:42.

In retrospect, the static on the television is very interesting. Our cable service is very reliable here and is not affected by the weather at all. Neither my sister nor I can ever recall seeing bursts of static since we've had this service (more than four years) and they are dramatic. Both are preserved on my TiVo.

I'll add one other observation. Living in Washington, DC, during the months after September 11 we became very used to hearing the jets patrolling our skies. They were always audible, sometimes even loud enough to awaken you. Though we no longer (or only rarely) hear those jets anymore, contrails are always visible. I have watched contrails being formed (almost daily, in fact) and, while you can spot the object making them with the naked eye, it is completely silent.

On the morning of January 8th of this year, I was so startled by a pattern of contrails in the sky outside the same bedroom window that I took digital photos of them. There were at least 20 (and maybe even more) in a very narrow area and I had a hard time imagining how that many planes could fly so closely together without anyone hearing a thing.

Witness Two: On the evening of Friday, 5/21/04 I was in my bedroom reading. A very powerful thunderstorm had been right over our building for approximately ten minutes when my sister came into my room and asked me to come look at something. I glanced at the clock and noted that it was 10:46PM. She asked me to look out the window in her bedroom at the sky over Rock Creek Park. I saw at different times 1, 2, 3, or 4 blurry, yet distinct white lights moving counterclockwise in an apparent oval shaped orbit. The cloud cover was heavy, but my perception was that the lights were within or circling one particular cloud. The lightning was intense and lit up the entire sky several times as we watched the lights. The lights moved constantly in an erratic, jerky fashion, seemingly unaffected by the lightning. Their movement appeared ghostly to me and I thought of Casper cartoons. Their shape is harder to describe. Narrow at the bottom and wider at the top is close – almost torch-like with indistinct edges. It was my impression that their blurry, undefined appearance was due to the cloud cover and extremely hazy skies. After about ten minutes the intensity of brightness dimmed and I realized that only one light was still visible as it gradually disappeared. The storm raged on for another few minutes. My sister and I talked for a minute or two and I went back to my room at approximately 11:00PM.