NUFORC Home Page
Web Report Indexes : by Event Date | by Location | by Shape | by Posting Date

National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 1/25/2011 17:00 (Entered as : 01/25/11 17:00)
Reported: 6/12/2011 1:51:10 PM 13:51
Posted: 6/12/2011
Location: San Ramon, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:15 min
Three bright objects seen over the San Ramon/Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore, CA sky.

I was walking Southbound on the Iron Horse Trail in San Ramon, CA around 5pm on January 25, 2011, when I noticed three low-flying bright white objects traveling from East to West across the sky.

It appeared as if they were traveling West from the general direction of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The objects moved at a slow-to-fast pace, often at a drift much slower than airplane/helicopter traffic that is regularly seen in this area. The shape of the light was elliptical in nature, but it was so bright that it was difficult to see the object edges. For that reason, it is difficult to make a solid judgement regarding the final shape of the object. I will say that they appeared to be more oblong/disc-shaped, but at some points they appeared more circular and symmetrical as they moved across the sky.

The sun had already dropped from view, so the objects really stood out across the colored sky. I stood and watched for 15 minutes as they headed across a flight path that appeared to parallel the path of the 580 freeway going from East to West towards the Oakland/San Francisco area.

There were three objects total. Regarding the flight path and group formation of the objects, I am going to describe this in terms of a grid, from my standpoint on the trail at the time of the sighting. I work in the technology field, so I'm going to describe it as if I was looking at grid on a horizontal/vertical x/y axis.

Think of this as if you were looking at the latitude and longitude lines on a map. That should help with envisioning the explanation, as this is a difficult thing for me to describe otherwise.

With that in mind, it appeared that each of the objects was flying on a fixed path, parallel with the ground. Each of the three objects was at a different elevation, but it appeared that each of them stayed on a solid path that appeared to run parallel with the natural curve of the Earth's surface. To the naked eye, and given the short distance in which the objects traveled and eventually disappeared in, it appeared as if the objects didn't adjust vertical elevation at all at any point during the sighting.

While they each stayed on a consistent and steady horizontal flight path, the group formation and speed of the objects appeared more inconsistent. At first, all three objects flew in a tight equilateral triangular formation. As the objects moved across the sky, they would independently change speed, eventually flying in a formation that more represented an isosceles triangle, then a scalene triangle, and then eventually back to an isosceles triangle formation. Each object appeared to be at a different elevation, with the elevation differences between each object appearing to be equal to the naked eye. The speed varied during the sighting, with each accelerating and decelerating independently at speeds slower than typical air traffic.

There are 3 major airports (SFO, OAK and San Jose Airport) and many smaller airports (Livermore, Buchanan, Napa) and Travis AFB within a 65 mile radius of the sighting, so we regularly see all forms of air traffic. These objects flew at varying rates of slow speed that aren't typical of any of the regular air traffic. In addition, these objects had no FAA colored lights that are typically seen on regular air traffic.

The reason I decided to post this nearly six months after the original date of the sighting was that I had stumbled across similar sightings online, and I decided that it would be helpful to document the sighting since it was so similar to others I had seen in California. I also was able to capture an image on my cell phone of 2 of the 3 objects. Unfortunately, the 3rd object was hidden behind a large power line pole, so it's not visible in the photograph.

My background is in technology and design, and in my career I've also done a lot of work in photography and video. What stood out to me here was the brightness of the objects, and how I was unable to distinguish the hard lines that would typically be seen around an object. At sunset/dusk, any object in the sky is going to be backlit by the sun descending down the horizon line. This means that the edges of that backlit object should be clearly visible. The brightness of the objects, combined with the fact that there weren't visible edges, leads me to believe that these objects were radiating a large amount of light on their own.

At the end of my roughly 15 minute observation, the objects disappeared from the sky. It was as sudden as someone flipping a light switch. There was no fading, or change in color or brightness of the objects.

These could be government aircraft from a project at the Lawrence Livermore Labs, but they might not be either. I guess that's why I posted the sighting here, because over the last six months there hasn't been a day that has gone by where I haven't looked up at the sky on a clear day in hope of seeing this again.

I am a skeptic at heart, but I know what I saw that day was unlike anything I'd seen before.