|Occurred : 2/17/2008 20:12 (Entered as : 02/17/08 20:12)
Reported: 2/18/2008 12:51:49 PM 12:51
Location: Mercer Island, WA
|White light, split into 3 lights, various conformations as the objects moved westward over Seattle.
On Sunday February 17 at 8:12 pm (pst) I observed something in the sky that exhibited flight properties that were unique. I was walking southbound on 78th Ave Se in the 2200 block of Mercer Island, the sky was exceptionally clear and I paused to observe the night sky.
While looking South-Southeast I saw a point of light that was moving. The object was about the height of the moon at the time, in the area between the moon and my judgment of due south. I my judgment of direction was based off the street (I assume the street is pointing due south, the street grid is pretty uniform) The object’s size, intensity, and color were similar to that of the adjacent stars. Initially I thought it was a shooting star or satellite however the object separated into three distinct points of light. The 3 individual points had equivalent luminosity and size, in addition it should be noted that these “subunits” were equivalent to the single point I saw initially.
These three points seemed to stop in their trajectory, and organized themselves into a trigonal conformation. The three objects then moved briefly south and then in formation westward, the three points changed their conformation as they moved; I noticed a few different distinct patterns in their movement.
1) Initially the three point’s seemed to change their speed relative to each-other so that each point cycled through being the leading vertex of the triangle. I would describe their formation as a triangle rolling across the sky. (This conformation was observed as the object(s) moved south to a lower position relative to the horizon, and again as they went west) 2) The three points then re-arranged themselves into a line; the line was almost perpendicular to their direction of travel [westward].
3) Two times the three points seemed to collapse into 1 point, and then disperse into 3 points.
4) The linear conformation was the largest, I would judge it as being between 1.2 to 1.5 times the size of the moon at the time. The trigonal conformation was slightly smaller than the size of the moon.
The objects velocity and more importantly their acceleration was outside of anything I have seen. The objects moved across the night sky approximately 35-45 degrees westward from the initial point of sighting in about a minute. As the objects moved west I lost sight of them in the glow cast off by Seattle.
My house is on the flight path for a few different airports in the area and object did not seem to be moving in a manner similar to normal air traffic over my home. I have lived here for 20 years and feel that I have a sense of where the normal air traffic going into or leaving Seatac, Boeing field or Renton Municipal airport should be. I completed pilot ground school and have logged a few hours in a Cessna, although I am not an expert I am familiar with aircraft. In addition the US Navy Blue Angles perform over my house ever summer. The objects I saw did not behave in a manner consistent with my experiences of aircraft.
I recently completed a year of college physics and would say that the objects’ acceleration was amazing. They seemed to keep a constant speed relative to the horizon while they made their maneuvers.
I did not notice any sound associated with the objects, the points’ small size and lack of audible sound leads me to believe that this object was far away. This is just an assumption I am making though; in my opinion it is very hard to accurately judge the size or distances of airborne objects with the unaided eye.
I have no opinion as to what it was exactly I saw, but it was defiantly something unique that I will not soon forget.
((NUFORC Note: We spoke via telephone with this witness, and he seemed to be an exceptionally capable observer. We suspect that the witness may have observed something quite unusual. Please see the other report from Albany, OR, for the same date. PD))