|Occurred : 7/15/2004 01:30 (Entered as : 07?/??/04 1:30)
Reported: 7/24/2007 10:31:31 PM 22:31
Location: Goose Creek, SC
|Triangular, quiet, extremely slow-moving craft sighted around Charleston, SC.
Today, July 24, 2007, I was reading through articles posted on www.fark.com. One of the links was to a UK Daily Mail article titled “UFO sighting bring town to a standstill”
about a UFO sighting over Stratford-Upon-Avon. What immediately struck me in the article was the picture at the top, which made me think "I've seen this before." A friend and I once witnessed a very similar triangular aircraft flying around the area of Charleston, SC, in summer 2004. This drove me to look into how many others have seen what I saw. I figured I’d find one or two stories, not the hundreds that can be found that describe the same thing that I remember.
I don't believe in encounters with aliens or anything like that; I think it's obvious the distances across space are far too great for such a thing to happen. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, this event had struck me as being very strange, and has left a strong memory of what I would usually dismiss as someone “seeing things”.
I'm not sure the exact month when it happened. It was during the summer of '04. A friend and I who were going to school at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, SC, decided to go out and get some late night Waffle House. My friend was doing the driving, as I don't have a license. Perhaps if I drove more I'd remember the exact locations better, but I don't. You don’t remember driving directions well when you don’t drive. Looking at the area's Waffle House locations on Google Earth, I figure it was most likely the one on Goose Creek Blvd, or perhaps the one on Aviation Rd near the Charleston Airport, which is also very close to the Charleston Air Force Base.
Well, we ate our Waffle House. Afterwards, we figured we had time to waste. It was probably a Friday or Saturday night or something. We didn’t know the area well as we were only there a short time for the school, and our spare time was usually spent within the city of Charleston. So, we went exploring.
We weren't more than 5 miles away from one of those two Waffle Houses. We took a turn onto a long, straight, wide, smooth road. It seemed to be a strange road. I know I'd never seen it during the day. There was a little traffic on the road we came off of, but none on this one. It was wide, 6 lanes if I remember right. It looked like it was freshly paved. The street we came off of was in the open, but this one had the forest close in on both sides, I'd estimate within 10ft of the road. The trees were tall on both sides, probably 20-30ft, or a little higher. It would give me the impression of a planted forest since they were all about the same height, but you can't really tell at night. We couldn't see the end of the road in sight, the road in front of us was the only break in the trees, for the whole length of the road. No other roads turned off that we ever saw. The street was completely unlit, except for our truck's headlights. I don’t remember if there were any markings or signs at the intersection that stated the purpose of the road. There were no signs whatsoever during the length (a couple miles) of the road. The road turned out to end in a military base, which makes the lack of identification of the road confusing, though it explains it’s otherwise spartan appearance.
We were driving down the road no more than a minute, when my friend pointed out some lights above the trees to the left. I can't remember if there were 3 or 4 lights when we first saw it. There were definitely 3 white lights (not 'glows' as I've read some people as seeing) at the 3 points of the triangle. We slowed down the truck to about 5-10mph so we could get a better look at it. It quickly became clear that what we were looking at was no commonplace aircraft.
I remember trying to determine if I could see a shape of the aircraft, and vaguely thinking I saw a darker (black against the midnight blue sky) shape against the sky. It had reminded me of a nacho chip, with a light at each of it’s points.
Next I noticed how slow it seemed to be moving. It gave me the impression of being low-flying and extremely slow. (I can’t understand how people are claiming that these flying triangles they see are at 1000ft and going 30 knots, etc. How can you tell from the ground at what height it is, and how large it is? You can’t really tell if it’s 170ft wide and 100ft off the ground, or a mile wide and 50 miles off the ground. At least I couldn’t tell in the dark of that night…) It made me think of something like a B-2, but if it was only 170ft wide, or however wide they are, then it must have been almost unmoving. I know few aircraft we have can hover, and a B-2 sure ain’t one of them.
Then my friend pointed out something that should have been far more obvious – it was very quiet, perhaps silent. We couldn’t hear any discernible sound over his little Toyota truck. This later made us think that it could have been a much larger craft higher up, but that seems less likely. While an extremely large craft could appear to be moving slowly and be silent if it were orbiting the Earth in our upper atmosphere at high speeds, the idea of some Independence Day-sized aircraft remaining undetected by everyone on the planet seems unlikely, not to mention the absurdity of such a design.
The next part is still what strikes me as the strangest. It reminded me of the old stories and movies of a beam of light coming out of a flying saucer to abduct people. In the center of the craft there was what appeared to be a searchlight, one of those directional beams of light used to illuminate specific parts of a landscape. I don’t remember the light first turning on specifically, and I don’t remember it being there when we first saw the craft. The reason I stated that there were 3 or 4 lights at the start is I figure if it had the searchlight on from the start I would have noticed it a lot quicker, but the clear image planted in my brain is that of the flying triangle with the 3 lights, and the one searchlight in the center. It was being directed around apparently randomly, like you’d see one being used in a prison escape movie to search for an escapee. The beam could be seen moving quickly and erratically, but smoothly, over the forest, and it occasionally passed over the road we were on, as well, but it never really got close to the truck. We were still moving slowly down the road with our truck, and the craft was still passing slowly above us. I couldn’t help thinking at that time that whatever piece of magnificent technology that had to be, that they must have known we were there. But if it did know we were there, it didn’t give any indication of it.
We kept looking at it in awe as we crept down the road, it eventually being above us and to the left, so that my friend was sticking his head out the driver’s side window, and I was looking straight up at the dashboard. It slowly passed us, or we passed it; whatever happened, it was behind us. Not much farther down the road we spotted the trees straight ahead that marked the end of the road. The road split off to the right side, and I think to the left as well. I remember the right side more clearly for some reason. There was an empty guardhouse to the right of a small 2-lane road, which had 2 or 3 large yellow-painted pylons staggered along the lanes to keep anyone from flying through. I’d swear I remember a sign to the right side of that road, on the side of the guardhouse, which declared it as an Army something-or-another. It didn’t seem strange to me at the time, but my searching indicates no army bases in the area. Not even abandoned ones, which would explain the empty guardhouse.
Well, we turned the truck around and started heading back, about 30-40 seconds after passing the aircraft. The aircraft was gone. Just like that. We heard no sound that indicated any type of engine speeding up, or any aerodynamic noise, or anything. It was just gone.
We talked about it as we drove back to our Navy base. We figured it was some sort of experimental military craft. All the branches of the military were represented in Charleston, except for the Army, as far as we could tell… except for that sign that I still remember seeing. We joked that we’d probably be assassinated in our sleep by the CIA for seeing something we weren’t supposed to. It still doesn’t make sense to me why they would fly such a craft over a populated area we were in. Admitted the exact place was a thick forest, civilization wasn’t very far away.
That had remained sitting in the back of my mind – the time I saw that crazy experimental military aircraft – until I read that article today. It didn’t make sense to me. The picture I see there looks just like what I saw, through from a lot farther away, but it’s in the UK. Why would experimental US military aircraft be flown in across the ocean? They could be participating in it, but that doesn’t make sense. It’s the American policy to share our old technologies, not our new ones. Not to mention, the searchlight? What was that? With such advanced technology, it seems like a pretty archaic means of trying to find things at night, and not a very stealthy one. I don’t think we even use beams of light any more for weapons targeting, and we’ve got much better ways of communications than using lights. Makes no sense to me, but it was there. Oh, and unlike those stories, it was definitely a clear, white light, like the 3 at the corners, except that it was a directed beam as opposed to a simple light. It definitely wasn’t red.
I place this event as taking less than four minutes, though I can't really tell for sure. It's not like I was counting the time on my watch. My best guess was it was 1:30am.
Well, that’s all the story I have. I’m no UFO expert, or even a military aircraft expert, but I know what I saw wasn’t anything the government will admit to having at their disposal.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))