|Occurred : 11/25/2004 23:30 (Entered as : 11/25/1904 23:30)
Reported: 11/26/2004 1:29:29 AM 01:29
Location: San Marcos & Escondido, CA
|SMALL ORANGE LIGHT - flew low over Hwy 78 and then South along I-15 (nearly overhead) with seemingly no visible craft attacted to it.
I was returning home from a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's family house. That friend was driving while I rode in the passenger seat, looking out the window and just checking out the passing landscape while we talked.
We were northbound on Interstate 15 at about 11:30pm. Just before we headed up the hill towards the city of Escondido, California, I spotted an orange light in the sky above the mountains. The reason it caught my eye is becaiuse the night sky was cloudy and the clouds were actually fairly low. So, I knew this light had to be very close to the ground. I looked at the horizon and quickly tried to determine whether or not what I was seeing was actually on a mountain or hillside on the horizon. As cloudy as it was, the light pollution was bright enough to darken the horizon and I could tell that this light was indeed in the sky.
Next, I tried to see if it was moving. At first, I couldn't tell because it was so far away. It could have been stationary, but after a few moments, not only could I tell that it was moving, I could tell that it was flying to the East. It appeared to be over State Highway 78.
The light seemed to slow and get brighter. It seemed to pick up speed, but I knew it may have been flying at the same speed, just now it seemed faster because it was actually coming our way. So, for this report, I wouldn't say it changed speed. I think it stayed pretty constant. As it got closer, I peered out the passenger window, as it was now off to the right side of the highway we were on.
I noted something strange. The light wasn't flying back West. I would have expected that if it were a plane coming in to land at a local airport. I live in this area and I know that there's a flight path leading back towards Palomar Airport. Planes sometimes circle over this area a take a Southwest bound approach towards the airport in Carlsbad, California. If a plane was making it's approach, the light should have cut back to the left and soon I should have spotted other lights. I should have seen a red or a green light, maybe a flashing light. I didn't. All I saw was a single orange light.
The light flew directly South along the I-15 now, just off to the Eastern side of the highway. I watched it first out the right side of the windshield, and then out the passenger window. It wasn't over the highway, but close enough to it that it was about to pass us directly overhead in a few moments.
My next thought was that this must be a police helicopter. I'm used to seeing a single red or a blue light, but not just a single orange one, so I tried to peer up at it as it passed overhead to see if I could make out a dark shadow of the craft's shape.
It was also as it approached that I was able to tell that it was flying really low and at a good rate of speed. I compared it to the traffic coming at us in the opposing lanes, all the traffic traveling southbound along the I-15 on the other side of the center divide. The light seemed to be moving just as fast, if not just a tick faster. So, I'd say somewhere bewteen 60-90mph.
It passed right by us and almost directly overhead. It passed a few blocks East of our position on the highway. With the low clouds and enough light pollution from the city of Escondido to make the clouds almost glow, I should have been able to make out a vague shadow of a craft attached to that light. We were definitely close enough now.
I could not. The light wasn't that bright, but even as low as the light was... that's all that appeared to be there. It was just a single orange ball of light up in the air.
I looked back over my shoulder as we passed the local ice arena. I couldn't believe what I just saw. I should have been able to see the shape of something, but all that I could see was a single orange light. I can't explain how I was able to tell that it was low, other than this. There's just something about the way you look at an object in the sky and if the background behind moves fast, then you know it's close. If it moves as slow or seems to hang with the background, it might be that far away. This light was moving by us, but there was enough of a contrast between it and the low clouds above it that I could tell it was fairly low.
My guess... I would say this was just 3 to 4 times above tree top level.
I don't know where it was going, but we were getting onto the 78 at this point and I no longer saw it behind us as the landscape soon obscured my line of sight with the light. I wonder how many other people may have seen it. I wonder if it had sound. I was traveling in a vehicle on the highway, so I have no way of knowing. The trouble is it really didn't stand out too much. The light wasn't very bright. It was about as bright as you'd expect for a normal navigation light on a plane.
Probably the only reason I saw it was because I try to be more observant of these things now. I've already had a couple of UFO sightings before. This wasn't the most specatular, but the fact that this was just a single light, with no apparent craft attached to it, was strange enough for me to post this here tonight.