|Occurred : 9/6/2006 20:04 (Entered as : 09/0606 20:04)
Reported: 9/8/2006 4:12:59 PM 16:12
Location: Salem, IL
Duration:approx. 5 mins
|Black triangular shaped aircraft sweeping the ground with a spot light over I-57 near Salem, Illinois.
I was on my way home from my fiance’s house on the night of 09/06/06. As I merged into the southbound lane of Interstate 57 from the Salem, IL. on ramp, I noticed that the traffic flow was unusually heavy. This caused me to note the time, which was 20:04 central time. As I checked my speed to set the cruise control I scanned the traffic in the roadway ahead of me. I noticed that both passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers were all moving at the posted limit or in many cases well below it. This in itself is unusual for this stretch of I-57. My first thought was that a State Trooper must have been laying in wait up ahead but as I maneuvered into the left lane to overtake a line of tractor-trailers, I saw 2 green lights probably a couple of hundred feet above the northbound lane and I guess about one quarter mile away. The lights were very bright, they sat side by side and as I watched I noticed that they appeared to be moving in a southerly direction. As I watched I noted that the lights were indeed moving to the south at a slow speed and I was rapidly gaining on them. My next thought was, that it was a police agency employing an aircraft with speed detection equipment. I could by this time see that the lights were part of the same object with one being on each side. This object appeared to me to be moving too slowly to be regular fixed wing and appeared too large to be an ultralite type aircraft so I assumed it to be a helicopter. At that point I decided that I had better be watching the road or “that chopper” would be life-flighting me to a hospital in St Louis. Just before I came along side the object I got a very intense feeling of dread. It was an almost sick feeling like when you unexpectedly get incredibly terrible news. As I approached, the object was still over the northbound lane, it was slowly moving south, as I could now definitely see it moving past the trees. The traffic in both lanes was still moving but at what appeared to be below the posted limit. I could now see the lig! hts clea rly and they appeared to be running lights on some type of aircraft but I could not determine just what type of aircraft it was. The sky had been darkening for a while but there was still some natural lighting available as was illumination coming from a rest area that we were approaching. I could make out a dark shape but it was hazy. By this time my view was of course still from behind and the object was at about my 10 o’clock position and I’m guessing about 200 feet above ground. As it came into about my 9 o’clock position, a bright red light appeared to form an equilateral triangle pointing south. At nearly that same instant two other things happened. The sick dreadful feeling in my gut worsened and the aircraft/object stopped in mid air. Immediately the 2 green “running lights” as I call them, both turned bright red and the object rotated one half turn to the left. It spun itself about, completely 180 degrees in place. It reversed its direction of travel and began moving north very slowly. I slowed my vehicle to a near crawl in the passing lane and watched as the red light that formed the lead corner of the triangle turned a brilliant white. A beam of blindingly white light was projected toward the ground and swept about like a searchlight as the triangle moved northward at a crawl. The beam of light swept back and forth behind a thick copse of trees that line the interstate. I could not see the beam sweeping the ground as whatever it was apparently “searching” for was on the opposite side of the tree line.The entire time I watched the object I looked very closely between the lights to determine just what I was looking at. I could see a triangular outline with length, width and height but could not make out any structural details. It appeared as if it was not completely solid. It was a misty blackish, dark color, darker than the night sky. I could not see through it although again I say it did not look entirely solid. I put my driver’s side window down and stuck my head out as I passed the aircraft,! thinkin g maybe the light factory applied tinting on my vehicle’s glass was interfering with my seeing properly. I heard no sound nor could I see any means of propulsion like props or what might be intake or exhaust ports for a jet. When the object was about 100 feet away to my left and about 200 feet above me I quickly held up my hand to gauge size. The distance between the lights along all 3 sides was a little longer than the length of my left hand. I realized that I was still in the passing lane and I was either going to run over someone or get ran over myself. I felt that I should not stop, the thought of stopping made me nauseous so I changed to the right lane and I watched in my mirrors as the object continued northward, shining its spotlight into the woods with cars passing below it like nothing was wrong. I took my eyes off the mirror and glanced at the road ahead and when I looked back the object was gone. I did not see the object change direction left or right; I did not see it go up or down. I just looked back and it was gone. I turned around in my seat and looked rearward but still did not see anything. By the time I reached Dix, IL. my usual exit, I did not feel like driving the country roads home. I continued on to Mt Vernon at exit 95 and went home on more traveled roadways. I did not sleep well that night thinking about seeing whatever this was. I can’t help but wonder who else saw this. Of all the vehicles on the interstate that night surely I am not the only one that was intrigued enough to look.