|Occurred : 3/5/2004 20:45 (Entered as : 03/05/2004 20:45)
Reported: 6/27/2004 12:19:22 AM 00:19
Location: Ceres, CA
Duration:1 + minutes
|I saw a Huey heliocopter trailing a very large non light emiiting object at night at low elevation and low speed.
A Huey heliocopter was making passes from SW to NE and NE to SW back and forth and trending in a southerly direction as a farmer would spray or plough a field. the direction between the parrallel rows I estimated to be about one and one quarter mile.
The heliocopter caught my attention when he made an easterly pass to the north of my position, because he was flying way too low to be in compliance with FAA rules and he was moving very slowly. About 15 minutes later the helicopter returned on its return pass with a southwesterly heading. It was hard to make a visual sighting of the heliocopter at first because of his extremely low flight elevation. I could hear the helicopter for a couple of minutes before I could see him. Now keep in mind that at the time I was busy unloading my van at my business partners/friends house and I wasn't really focusing all of my attention on the heliocopter. I have seen many helicopters many times and they are no big deal to me. The reason I was paying attention to this one was because I was curious about the incredibly low elevation it was flying at and I wanted to see if it was private or military. When it finally came into view at a distance of about 950-1100 yards, something caught my eye in front of it. I blinked because I didn't really see anything other than the heliocopter at first glance but as it got closer, maybe 800 yards away, I suddenly realized what had caught my attention. The sky was very bright that night and as I looked to the north towards the town of Ceres at low angles you could easily see the outlines of utility poles because they were very dark against a light sky that was glowing orange. What had caught my attention was the light of stars being blocked out by an object that was proceeding immediately in front of the Heliocopter. I was awestruck as the object and the helicopter passed overhead about 200 yards to my north and at an elevation of no more than 100 yards, probably lower. At the closeest approach I could easily see that outline of this craft or object as it was completely and totally black. It was immense in size it must have been 8 to ten times as long as the Huey helicopter that was following it. I would estimate that the speed was no more than 35 miles per hours. The shape of the craft was clean and aerodynamic at the leading edge, perhaps like the front of a jet but fatter or I should say it widened at a greater angle than any aircraft I had ever seen. About 100 feet or more back from the leading edge the objects shape got very complicated. There was a tremnedous appendage that was somewhat akin to a giant irregular keel that hung down towards the ground and was probably no more than 150 feet above the ground. The sides and top of the rear half of the object had a large number of what appeard to be angular protuberances of many different shapes sticking out from the craft. I must reiterate that the craft emitted absolutely no light whatsoever and I could only see it by its outline against a lighter sky. Needless to say I was rather excited and I yelled loudly several times for my friend Tom Copeland to come out of his house quickly. By the time he did it was too late for him see much of anything except for the departing helicopter. The object seemed to either adsorb light or it had an albedo of zero. This was brought home by the fact that the Huey was shining a tremendously bright light at the object. Either the heliocopter was making small side to side movements or they were moving the light from side to side. When the light didn't intercept the object, you could see its beam for over a half mile in the air. When the light did intercept the object it was extinguished at the point of contact. You could see nothing on the surface of the object nor was any light reflected. There was a sound I heard that I don't know the source of that can be described as something like the ping sound that a sonar unit makes on a submarine. I don't know if it emanated from the object or the Huey. I have thought about the way the heliocopter was acting and I have come up with a couple of ideas. Maybe the flight crew was moving the spotlight back and forth because they couldn't really see the object either and this helped them to "see" it by watching the beam of light extinguis! h just as I was watching it. I don't know if they were picking it up on their onboard radar or not and perhaps they were afraid of running into it. This constitutes the bulk of my sighting information.