|Occurred : 10/1/2008 22:45 (Entered as : 10/01/08 22:45)
Reported: 10/1/2008 11:39:19 PM 23:39
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
|flashing object with erratic motion
Tonight I observed an irregular object on a bearing 135 degrees, passing directly overhead at constant rate of speed under the cloud base of roughly 6000 feet. As there are several airports nearby, I usually ignore aircraft passing overhead. However, this object was unusual in that it displayed a very erratic sequence of strobe lights, which appeared to flash in quick sequence as a cluster with an irregular outline, go dark for about 5 seconds, then start up again. I saw a irregular outline of this object as the cloud level reflected city lights around the object, subtending about 1 degree in diameter. At this altitude and lighting conditions, I can normally see wings and tail on aircraft. That said, I would completely dismiss this "sighting," except for one odd detail. As I tracked the movement of this object, the cluster of strobes would sometimes appear clearly outside the previous location of this object, giving the impression the object was quickly darting from one position to another. I thought this was a perceptual illusion until this odd behavior repeated 6 times, but I'm still baffled. The nature of these strobes appeared as a very quick, erratic sequence, no geometric arrangement appearing to change color almost too quickly to register. These may have been orange, blue, yellow—and quite different from the static red/green position lights seen on wing tips, and I normally don't see strobes darting around on aircraft.