|Occurred : 5/15/2002 14:00 (Entered as : 05/15/2002 14:00)
Reported: 12/3/2004 10:30:02 PM 22:30
Location: Capitola, CA
|Small triangle with two props 3 feet from each wing tip and perfectly quiet at a low altitude.
I was out surfing and it was a weekend day. Often airplanes will fly fairly low over the surfers just to check us out on the weekends. I was at a surf spot called "sharks" which is near the "Hook" a surf spot that is directly at the end of 41st avenue which runs from Highway 1 to the cliffs at the Pacific. We were sitting there and we looked up because there was a twin engine conventional aircraft approaching at about 1,000 feet and below it and moving much slower was a triangular craft small at about 500 feet and approximately the size of a hang-glider except that it had firm trailing edges and there was no bow in the wing as there is in hang-gliders. Additionally this craft was completely silent and about 2-3 feet thick. It looked too thin to have held a human and there was no landing gear. This craft had 2 props located approximately 3 feet from the left and right tips of the triangle. It was white with no other markings. It flew directly overhead and the continued to go at the same altitude directly over the land. At this point the twin engine conventional craft banked off to its left to avoid going over the land at a low altitude. Before and after the conventional craft came and went the triangle traveled at about 30 miles per hour and was completely quiet. One surfer said to me "what the hell was that?" I replied that it looked like and unmanned aerial vehicle. The other two surfers said nothing. Most of the time us surfers prefer not to talk to each other at all. It is not like a friendly atmosphere with other surfers as we are basically competing for the best waves and there is more hostility out there than friendliness if any conversation at all. A few days later I called the nearest airport which I believe was in Monterey and I spoke with an air traffic controller. I questioned him about the legal altitudes for aircraft over water and I believe he said that it is 100 ft. over the water and 300 ft. over the land but I am not sure of those numbers. The reason I asked this question is because of the fact that the twin engine banked off when the craft went inland. It looked to me that the twin engine had seen the craft and was buzzing it from above to see what it was. The air traffic controller said that he had not recieved any other reports but asked me to report to him if I saw it again. As an important side note; my brother-in-laws father worked at Lockheed Missiles and space in Silicon Valley and also in L.a. In L.A. he worked at the skunkworks as a purchasing agent and he was buying wooden hand made props for unmanned aerial vehicles that he said were powered by chainsaw engines that had exhaust systems installed to make them perfectly quiet. He said they used wood props because they were only 2 feet long and made by some obscure small time person who could shape them the way they needed to be effective and also quiet. The craft I saw looked too thin to hold a human although if the human was lying down in the prone position perhaps he could fit inside. What amazes me is that the military would fly such a craft over heavily populated areas on a weekend in Monterey Bay and over land too. It was interesting but looked very much man-made.-((name deleted))