|Occurred : 1/18/2009 00:00 (Entered as : 01/18/09 0:00)
Reported: 2/19/2009 3:45:08 PM 15:45
Location: Atlantic Ocean,
|3 unusual, brightly lit craft seen to be using cloud as cover in mid-Atlantic.
Date & time: 18 January 2009 at 00.00 hours GMT-2 Vessel: Yacht - Kiwi Time, a 37 foot steel sloop with 3 aboard.
Position: 17°16´N, 44°W (mid-Atlantic) Heading: 278° Weather: Partly cloudy (+/- 25%), before moonrise (in the SE).
Notes: Navigation lights were off because there was no other shipping.
Report: I had just been relieved on watch and saw what I initially thought to be lightning contained within a small orb shaped cumulus cloud, approximately 5 nautical miles to the NNW. After 5-10 seconds I realized that it was not lightning because 1. it did not appear to be a rain cloud, 2. there was no arcing, 3. the light reverberated, unlike lightning which flashes intermittently, and 4. the sky around the cloud and adjacent clouds were not lit or affected in any way.
As the reverberating light in the cloud began to fade, a brightly lit craft emerged out of the eastern side of the cloud, accelerating slowly. The craft was undoubtedly the source of the light in the cloud, although now the craft emitted a constant, very bright, slightly bluish light. The craft was cigar shape from my perspective, therefore possibly circular. It was estimated to be 2-3 times longer than a 747 but, due to the distance and intensity of the light, I could see no markings.
After 5-10 seconds I saw a 2nd, identical craft approximately half a nautical mile to the east of the 1st craft. The 2nd craft was traveling slowly westward, i.e. towards the 1st craft. The 2nd craft seemed to appear suddenly, as if it had “switched on”, or it is possible that the 2nd craft had emerged from an adjacent cumulus cloud, but no light was seen within the cloud beforehand.
At about the same time, or a few seconds later, I saw a 3rd similar craft slightly further north than the 1st and 2nd. This craft was much dimmer than the 2 others. It was not a reflection on a cloud, as it was in open night sky.
The three craft accelerated together towards the northeast, slightly gaining altitude before disappearing behind a large bank of cloud. After several minutes observation they did not reappear from behind the bank of cloud.
These craft were definitely not aircraft, balloons or ordnance. At one stage it was thought possible that the 1st craft may have been a rocket from Cape Canaveral on a low trajectory from earth. But the appearance of a 2nd and 3rd craft, and the direction and distance of Florida, discount this suggestion.
The person relieving me from watch admitted to seeing the reverberating light in the cloud, but not the craft (he was not wearing his spectacles).