|Occurred : 8/1/1987 00:00 (Entered as : 08/01/87 0:00)
Reported: 6/3/2010 7:05:50 PM 19:05
Location: Indianapolis (150 miles SW of), IN
|I saw a reddish colored orb that was "observing lighting show thunderstorms" & it displayed 2 amazing climbs and a huge burst of speed.
I was the captain, flying a four engine turbine powered aircraft (L-188) at flight level 230 (23,000 feet) inbound toward Indianapolis, Indiana, thence cleared to Ft. Wayne for the Detroit Star Ft. Wayne transition into YIP (Yipsilanti, Willow Run Airport, Mich.) That’s a 'standard terminal arrival route.' I was on a heading of about 030 degrees. Both my first officer & flight engineer were doing other duties when I first spotted traffic at my 1100 position, 10 miles & slightly below me. As captain, I always kept the red instrument panel lighting at a absolute minimum setting so as to have the best visibility outside.
I first spotted a cranberry red light. It appeared as if it were just another aircraft in the clear night sky, no shape or size, just a red light in level steady flight about 4000 feet below me & 10 miles to my left moving left to right at a steady speed of about 400 knots, about the same speed I was doing. The size of the light was just like any other aircraft’s rotating beacon or light, but this was a constant steady light, not like a normal pulsating rotating beacon that aircraft are required to have.
I noticed in was headed straight towards a large thunderstorm cloud that was at my 1 o'clock position and 10 miles. This thunderstorm had constant & consistent in-cloud to in-cloud lighting strikes that really was lighting up the large cloud like a Chinese lantern. The red light kept a steady 400 knot speed aiming right at the storm cloud.
Then when it got to within 200 yards of the thundercloud itself, the red light changed course from 110 degree direction to a 250 degree direction, instantly, still maintaining the constant 400 knot speed. It didn't turn, like an aircraft makes a turn, it just changed course, instantly, like a curser on a computer is capable of doing when you jerk your mouse control quickly left to right.
Now it was heading straight towards a long line of constant lighting thunder storms, or squall line, that was at my 9 o'clock position and about 20 miles off my left wing tip. As I watched the light move at a constant speed from my right to my left directly in front of me, it suddenly climbed at a perfect 45 degree up angle, leveled off for a about 2 miles and then climbed again at a perfect 45 degree up angle without any change in speed either time, to an altitude about 3000 feet above me. It then turned slightly right to a heading of about 250 degrees straight toward a point just in front of the first of a long line of constant lighting thunderstorms.
As soon as the red orb got established on the new heading towards the all lit up lightning squall line to my left, this red light went from its 400 knot speed to, I'm going to guess between 2ooo to 3000 miles per hour for about one long second then it again immediately went back to its slower 400 knot constant speed again. It covered that 20 mile distance in just over a second, someone should be able to turn that into a speed in miles per hour. It didn't accelerate up to that speed and it didn't decelerate back to the slower speed again, it just made an instant jump from a slow 400 knots to a really fast 3000 knot speed, for just over a second, covering the 20 mile distance and then immediately back to the same slower speed of about 400 knots. It was amazing to watch. After being a airline captain for over ten years I have never ever, before or since seen an object under such obvious control that maneuvered & changed speed instantly, at will, so they could maneuver to and observe the constant & consistent thunderstorm light show display.
I watched it make one more turn to its left, a heading of about 190 degrees so as to parallel this long line of constant light shows off to its right side. It was then behind me to my 8 o'clock position. I brought the attention of my other two crewmembers just before the red light made its two 45 degree climbs, they saw that but couldn't see to jump in speed an jump back in speed because it was off to the left side of our aircraft.
It was under something’s control, sightseeing at thunderstorm light shows in the night, making 45 degree climbs and capable of unknown speeds that amazed me to the point that I only thought was to turn off my rotating beacon/navigation wing-tip lights to hide my aircraft in the dark from its view. But I didn't even think to call Indy ARTCC and ask if they had it on their radar.
My two other crewmembers really didn't grasp what I quickly brought to their attention, it all was over in 2 minutes. I saw something amazing, I don't know what it was, I just hope it was from Earth.
I was an ATP, flying four engine aircraft all over North, South America and Europe, for about 30 of my 40 years aviation life, and I never even came close to having an accident. I was lucky to always fly well maintained aircraft.
That’s my story.