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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 10/24/2008 19:29 (Entered as : 10/24/08 19:29)
Reported: 10/24/2008 9:27:26 PM 21:27
Posted: 10/31/2008
Location: Pismo Beach, CA
Shape: Changing
Duration:about 4 minutes
Orange ascending light on California Coast, stopping, moving, disappearing 10-24-08

I am a 20-year-old undergraduate student of a California state University studying physics. On the 24th of October, 2008 I and two friends were driving back to our hotel in Pismo Beach, California on California highway 101 southbound about 6 miles north of the town of Pismo Beach. At 7:29 PM, a bright orange light arose from behind a hill ahead SSE of our position. It initially put me in mind of a helicopter pointing a searchlight directly at us because of the intensity of the light. After about 20 seconds of watching and guessing as to the nature of said light, I pulled out my cell phone (while driving, so the video is not only poor, but shaky) and filmed a short video. The light dimmed as it rose making me initially think it was a flare, so I watched for telltale signs. It did not seem to accelerate (as a non-propelled projectile at -9.8 m/s^2), it seemed to be rising at a constant velocity. I was unable to watch it with the attention it deserved until I was able to pull off the highway at the next exit. So the next paragraph will be the event as described by the passenger sitting in the rear right seat between its initial rise into the air to the time we were able to get out of the car.

My friend driving the car pointed out a flying object ahead of us. It seemed to be to close to be an airplane and didn’t look like one either. We traced it as it seemed to get farther away from us until it was just visibly the size of a bight star. We kept our eyes on it as we pulled off the highway, there we watched it for another minute or so before it abruptly disappeared.

I was taking quick glances up at the light as it rose higher and became dimmer and more angled. The light seemed to be becoming more triangular (isosceles with the most acute angle seemingly pointing northwest). It seemed to be traveling more westward over the ocean. Eventually the light became a single point and was only distinguishable from the stars around it because it still had the characteristic orange color that it had when it first came into view over the nearby hill. We pulled the car off the freeway at around 7:32 PM, immediately parked and got out of the car to pay full attention (we think it was Spyglass Drive, but we weren’t focused on the name of the exit at the time). The light was suspended in the same position from our perspective and compared to its original size was at least a factor of 4 or 5 times its initial distance from us (just a size ratio and some simple trigonometry). And that being the case, I’m able to determine that it was not descending (unless moving towards me simultaneously, which is easily verified by intuition or vector analysis). That being the case, the light remained at the same intensity as we discussed what it could possibly be. I was looking very closely and it seemed that it was getting slightly brighter. But just about as soon as I made that realization, the light “turned off”. It looked like it either burned out or went very quickly away from us. I started writing this record of the event at about 7:50 PM and have now finished it at 8:58 PM, making sure to be as clear and accurate as I possibly can.

As a side note, I just had a friend read this just a few minutes after I finished writing it. He was driving another vehicle with another of our friends with him. The report from them is they saw it as well and one reports seeing another similar “object” in the northwest direction during the event described above.