|Occurred : 5/24/2008 11:20 (Entered as : 05/24/08 11:20)
Reported: 5/27/2008 8:16:17 AM 08:16
Location: Longmont, CO
|Daylight sighting of two small objects at altitude moving against the wind.
On Saturday morning, May 24th, 2008 I was attending the Silver Creek High School graduation ceremony in Longmont, Colorado. It was being held outdoors on the football field with the audience facing west, toward the Front Range of the Rockies. The morning was sunny with a very clear blue sky and a few scattered clouds, surprising since just two days earlier an unusual mile-wide tornado hit in nearby Windsor, CO and Friday had heavy thunderstorms throughout the area.
During the speeches portion of the ceremony I watched a Twin Otter skydiver jump plane climb out of Longmont Airport about a mile and a half north of the graduation location. Within less than 10 minutes the aircraft climbed to over 12,000 ft. and I observed seven jumpers as tiny dots freefall from the aircraft and open their chutes about 2,000 feet above the airfield. I watched as they manuvered their very colorful chutes as they descended until they drifted out of sight below buildings in the distance.
The recitation of the name of graduates and the handing out of diplomas took quite some time as there were over 200 graduates. During the hour long process the Twin Otter returned to Longmont Muni and picked up another load and climbed out again for another jump run. At about 11:20 am as it made its high altitude pass over the airport I watched for the jumpers. I saw one small dot exit the airplane and looked for more jumpers since they are hard to see initially at such altitude. As I scanned the sky I spotted two more dots lower than the first one I saw. I assumed they were also jumpers and I watched them for the deployment of the their chutes.
As I watched the two dots, which looked identical to each other with white and dark markings, I realized they were not dropping but moving sideways at 3 to 4 thousand feet above the ground. My thought was they were gliding in freefall, but as I continued to watch them they were moving further west, away from the airport drop zone. Maybe they were birds I thought as they moved in relationship to one another, but no wings or flapping were evident. I pointed them out to my 21 year old son seated next to me and asked what he thought they were. As we continued to watch, it was clear they were not descending but moving further and further to the west, directly into the very brisk wind that morning. At one point they maneuvered very close to each other, then apart again. These two dots continue west toward the mountains and twice near the end, before they were lost to our vision due to distance, they turned and we each saw a glint of sunlight off of them.
At this point we don't know what they were. Obviously not jumpers, unless they had some special flying suit, but they moved several miles west and we never saw any chutes, plus they were in the air too long to be in any kind of free fall. They could not have been birds due to the speed they were moving which appeared to be greater than 60 mph horizontally, and the metallic glint of sunlight from both of them in the distance does not occur with birds.
As a pilot of both fixed wing and helicopters with 40 years of experience, I did not recognize them as any conventional aircraft. There was no real discernible shape other than just a dot, as a jumper would appear in free fall, yet they moved independent of one another but continuously in the same direction, never more than about 500 feet apart, but sometimes closer. We watched for about 20 or 30 seconds until they disappeared in the distance. I know these were not birds or waterfowl, due to the speed and lack of any wings. Additionally ducks or geese will fly in tight formation to conserve energy and these were moving all about.
Without any logical explanation of what these two items were, I can only call them a pair of true un-indentified flying objects.