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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 2/27/2009 05:05 (Entered as : 02/27/2009 5:05)
Reported: 3/1/2009 1:05:10 PM 13:05
Posted: 3/19/2009
Location: Bowie, MD
Shape: Unknown
Duration:1 hr. 10 mins.
Three anomalous stationary lights over Bowie for over an hour.

At 0505 EST I went out on my balcony for my morning cigarette before getting ready for work. My balcony is on the second floor with a southwest-facing view. This was early morning so the sky was very dark and the conditions were calm and clear. As I looked to my far right I saw three lights in the sky. One white light was on the left and to the right were two white lights fairly close together. The two lights on the right were both strobing in regular frequency, but never disappearing between strobes. The three lights maintained the same distance between each other giving the impression that they were all connected. There are normally many aircraft in the sky and my location is within the southeast approach to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. I can also see planes on approach to Andrews Air Force Base to my southwest.

My immediate reaction was that this was a C-17 Globemaster (which I have seen on approach to Andrews from my office outside the Beltway) banking very slowly away from me on approach to Andrews. As I continued to watch the lights however, they appeared to be stationary and at a slight angle – the left light maybe 15 degrees lower than the two right lights. I am familiar enough with aircraft to know that this is not a conventional landing light configuration for fixed-wing aircraft and deduced that a fixed-wing aircraft would also not bank indefinitely. There were no red or green navigation lights also making me suspicious that this was not a fixed-wing aircraft. With the distance between the left and right-side lights at approx. 150-200 feet, I deduced that this was also too large to be a helicopter. I estimate the horizontal distance of the lights from my position at about 2-3 miles at an altitude of about 1,000 feet. The configuration and position of the lights never changed; the two lights on the right continued to strobe in regular frequency. I continued to watch the lights for 20 minutes – never changing formation. I hopped in the shower and got ready for work. I was looking forward to daylight so that I might get a better view of any mass associated with the lights.

After getting ready for work approximately 40 minutes later (60 minutes total), I returned to the balcony to find the lights exactly as they had been – same three lights, same angle, same formation, and same strobing. At this point it was now 0605. I left the house and drove across Route 301 to the gas station to fill up. The lights were still in the sky and daybreak was setting in. I proceeded in my car heading westbound on Route 50. As I looked out the driver’s-side window, I noticed that the lights were in front of me on my left-hand side (southwest). At this point daylight was setting in and I could make out grey mass associated with the lights, however, driving in 80 mph rush hour traffic meant that I had to pay attention to the road and I lost visual. While I thought this might have been a large blimp such as the Skyship 600, this was inconsistent with the grey mass which appeared more cigar-shaped from my cursory observation. When I arrived at work, close to Route 50 and the Beltway, I looked in the general direction from my office and was unable to see the lights.

After discussing the incident with a couple of co-workers I conducted an online search for “lights over Washington DC” thinking perhaps others might have reported witnessing the same event. I came across the incident report on ufocasebook.com from October 26, 2005. This report shared similarities with my experience in terms of number of lights and formation. They were able to get close enough to see a Blackhawk helo along with two lights and witnessed vertical and horizontal movement. I did not witness any movement at all and while I did see grey mass associated with the lights, I was unable to make any concise determination as to shape while driving down the highway.

When I arrived home that evening, I plotted the trajectory from my balcony in the direction of the lights (which obviously were no longer there) based on the corner of a Kohl’s department store across the street. The trajectory caught me off guard seeing as it crossed from the southeast side to the northeast side of Route 50 – I thought it would have been southwest. While driving down Route 50 on my way to work I witnessed the lights on my left (southwest of my position). I also did a little local research to see if any strange events were reported in the media. Well, something did happen the previous night (Feb 26) at 2200 hrs. An 81 car train carrying coal had derailed in a residential area of Bowie. In the derailment, 13 cars had skipped the tracks and tipped over including the locomotive. The incident is almost consistent with my trajectory of where the lights had been. However, the derailment occurred on the NORTH side of Highway 50, while I witnessed the lights on the south side of Highway 50. If this was a series of helicopters, how were they able to stay stationary in perfect formation for over an hour? Why would they be so high in the sky if they were monitoring an accident? And why would they hover over a residential area for that long that early in the morning? It just doesn’t add up for me.

I have no idea what the anomalous lights were. If there is some type of aircraft that does have this lighting configuration I would really like to know. So far, I have no answers.

Thank you for your time and consideration.