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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 7/15/1976 21:30 (Entered as : 07/15/76 21:30)
Reported: 6/9/2006 11:34:54 PM 23:34
Posted: 7/16/2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Shape: Light
Duration:5-7 minutes
Bright white light in rural area of Memphis in 1976 responds to kid's and their sealed beam flashlight.

Myself, two friends and the mother of one of those friends witnessed in the summer of 1976 an unusually bright, white light moving extremely slow from south to north just above the trees and it seemed to be moving parallel to a fairly new street that ran through our neighborhood.

It had just become dark (around 9 pm, the time we had to be back in our parent's sight)and my friends and I had begun settling down for the night on the front porch and were repairing our bicycles after a long hard day of BMXing and Evel Keneveling.

We had our bicycles under extreme maintenance and one of us lost a small part in the shrubbery around the porch. One friend went down two doors to his home and returned with a 12 volt sealed beam lantern. We were looking for the part for several minutes and then found it.

As I got up and walked out on the sidewalk in front of the house, I looked to the east and noticed this bright light hanging in the sky just behind the very top of a tree. I said nothing and went back to my mechanic duties when my friend noticed it a few seconds later. She asked if that was the police helicopter that had frequented our neighborhood on regular patrol during the summers. (We would run out in the street and wave at the pilots and they would blink the carbon-arc spot at us to say hello. Those were the days...). Curiously I looked again to see if that was the same light I had noticed a few seconds earlier and it was. I said that if that were the helicopter, we would here it as close as it was like we always did.

My other friend, with sealed beam flashlight still in hand, turned it on and shined it on the "object" through the tree top. I told him I didn't think that was a good idea, but he being a year older (15), over rode that idea and did it anyway. At this point the "object" slowly moved out from behind the tree top as if to get a better look at us or our light source and just hung there quietly.

He turned off his light, and about 2 seconds later the "object" began to move and he shined his light on it again and it stopped. I excitedly told my other friend to get our parents and she ran in and only returned with her mother.

She saw the "object" and assured us it was an airplane or our helicopter friends until we questioned her as to where the moving BEAM of blue-white light was and pointed out that the white light was WAY too bright for normal running lights on an airplane, it was WAY too low to be an aircraft of any kind without making noise or kicking up dust.

It was not until my older friend said, "...and watch this." as he shined his light on it again and it began to slowly move (east) our way that she was convinced and noticeably shaken when he turned off the light and the "object" stopped! Here she nervously ordered us all in the house (mine being the closest)and to my parents surprise who thought were playing jokes. She also told them something strange was low in the sky and relatively close but they, still showing no interest chose not to investigate. We all four returned to the porch expecting it to be gone saw it still quietly hanging in the sky right where we left it.

We studied it for about 30 seconds when it began to move north. My older friend again shined his bright flashlight toward the "object" and it stopped once again.

We were all beginning to become concerned at this time when it began to resume it's northward course along a north-south street but slowly gaining altitude until it got to which is now by my estimation, 50-60 feet above the rooftops.

My older friend tried to chase it on his bicycle for a closer look and my other friend and I scaled a brick swimming pool fence and stood atop it to get a better look as it flew off over the neighborhood and sped out of sight within 1 or 2 seconds and disappearing after making an extremely sharp turn to the west.

My friend's mother then used our phone to call Memphis International tower to see if anything was flying around our area. After what seemed to me to be about 15 minutes on the phone with them they said they could find nothing unusual. She retold these events to my parents as we kids returned to the front porch hoping it would come back but as far as I know, none of us ever spoke of this event again among ourselves or to anyone else. I'm just wondering if I am the only one that remembers this now....


((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))