|Occurred : 1/13/2008 21:00 (Entered as : 01/13/08 21:00)
Reported: 10/27/2008 9:14:39 AM 09:14
Location: Conway, AR
|I-40 westbound between Minefee and Conway, AR. Followed tree top blinking lights for 5 to 10 minutes.
Use the Google Map at this URL for reference... http://tinyurl.com/conwayarufo You can use the Google Map "Street View" feature to see the terrain and understand my view that night.
I was heading east bound on I-40 at about 9PM CST on a clear night with star filled sky. East of Menifee and west of Conway, AR, (Point A on Google Map) I noticed blinking green and red lights 2 or 3 miles ahead and on the right, just above tree tops. My first reaction was a new tower had been installed (on a clear night you can see blinking red lights for miles from radio and cellular towers), but within 30 seconds, it was apparent that it wasn't a tower because it was moving, slowly, but it was moving. As I got closer, (Point B on Google Map) I slowed down to 20 or 30 mph and rolled my passenger window down. There was no traffic behind me, but there were a few cars passing on the other side of the interstate going west bound. As I slowed, the object passed just above tree top some 50 yards south of my position right out my passenger window, approximately between hwy 64 and I-40 just west of what is exit 124 now. Exit 124 was not open at the time, still under construction. As low, slow and close as the object was, I could not make out any shape at all. The only visible parts were 3 lights, alternating between red-green-blue. The object was moving west, north west at about 20 mph no more than 5 feet above the tree tops. I could not hear any sound from the object at all.
I accelerated, took exit 125 off of I-40, 1 mile down the interstate, onto hwy 64 heading west (point C and D on Google Map). I again saw the object north west of my position about 2 miles away still traveling west by north west. By the time I got back to my position parallel to I40 where I had slowed down (point E on map), a 2 mile round trip, the object had crossed over the interstate and was continuing it's path right at tree top, slightly faster now. I would guess the object was traveling at 50mph now on a slightly more north bound path than before.
As I traveled west on hwy 64 for another 3 or 4 miles. The object was still in sight, but was steadily getting further away, mostly increasing distance west but also north. I was traveling at 65 or 70 on hwy 64 West bound, so the object had to have increased it's speed to something above that.
When I turned off of hwy 64 at Hogan Ln, (point F on map) the object was 3 or 4 miles north west of my position and was still visible, though the line of sight was intermittent. The object at this point was roughly a mile north of the interstate and 3 or 4 miles west.
Upon reflection, I have to rule out an ultralight craft for 3 reasons. First, it was an absolutely pitch black night, with no moon at all. Flying an ultralight at treetop height would have been suicide. Second, as I passed within 50 yards of the object, with my window directly facing it open, it made no sound. I've been around ultralights enough to know what they sound like and at that distance, I would have clearly heard the motor. Third, the variety of speed the object was flying at was outside the parameters of an ultralight. The object was at times traveling at no more than 20mph and at other times well above 70. When I see ultralights flying around C. Arkansas, they're typically flying at about 30-40 mph.