|Occurred : 2/15/2012 19:43 (Entered as : 02/15/12 19:43)
Reported: 3/26/2012 8:14:22 PM 20:14
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Duration:minutes at least
|Large triangle red and green lights over Gaithersburg MD, Wed Feb 15, 2012 (~19:43)
Location: Spanning Goshen Road, between Lochaven Drive and Goshen Mill Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20882 (see E-MAILED map UFO_sighting_location_Feb_15_2012_1.PNG).
Date/Time: My best time estimate is around 7:43pm on Wednesday February 15, 2012. Although I didn’t note the time in my car, I called my wife on her cell phone when I was stopped at Bourdeaux Pl about a couple of minutes after the initial sighting. Her call log indicates 7:45pm for this call. The sighting was on the route of my daily commute since August 2002.
Duration: At least a few minutes.
I was driving at the time. There was one car very close behind – probably because I had slowed down considerably. I was frustrated by the proximity of this car which forced me to continue out of the line of sight of the object (now behind me), down a hill and up the other side of the valley. It was probably close to a mile later when I was able to safely pull over into a right turn lane for Bourdeaux Place (probably about 2 minutes later) – see map (UFO_sighting_location_Feb_15_2012_1.PNG). At this location I could look across. I could still see the object.
Description: Appearance: Apparently triangular with closely-spaced twin red and green lights (one set at each apex). The lights spanned Goshen Rd. The central light appeared somewhat higher than the ones to the right (East) and the left (West). The lights were not strobed and appeared similar in separation from my viewpoint. When I first saw the object I was at the STOP at Warfield Rd, traveling North on Goshen Road. The object was to the North of me. For a brief moment I thought it was a commercial airliner at a frighteningly low altitude, but immediately afterward it appeared like the triangular object was floating and seemed to be canting slowly. I could not make out for sure if there was matter between the three twinned light sources because it was very dark. I got a good idea of the distance between the three light sources because within a few hundred feet, just after passing Lochaven drive, I had passed underneath the object and all three points were behind me. The central apex lig! hts passed right overhead. The lights on the other apeces were perhaps over the houses on each side of the road.
Reconstruction (from memory): Unfortunately I do not have a photo or video. However, I have used an image of the approximate initial viewpoint of the object in front of me from Google Maps. The daytime view of the location would be approximately like this: SEE E-MAILED IMAGE scene_Goshen_and_Lochaven-day.PNG I have tried to sketch what I saw (and the scale) by using the above daytime Google Maps image and inking out the sky. It was a very clear (cloudless) night, but dark – no moonlight I think. The object then looked something like that shown below: (I cannot be sure if the green was on the left or the right of the red and the lights may have been slightly closer together and more aligned in a fixed direction than I have indicated. Also this reconstruction shows definite sky between the points, whereas in reality I could not make out any sky between the points - only blackness – but the illustration gives an idea of what I saw).
SEE E-MAILED IMAGE: approx_reconstruction_UFO.PNG Scale: From the fact that I had passed underneath all three points of light within a few hundred feet at low speed, I could tell that these lights were at low altitude, perhaps 100 to 150 ft up and that the object spanned perhaps 150 to 200 feet on one edge.
Sound: I did not have any windows open but detected no sound at all.
Action taken immediately afterwards: The first place I was able to safely pull over with a line of sight to the original location of the sighting was in a right turn-only lane dedicated to a residential street (Bourdeaux Place, just West of Route 124). At this location, I got out and walked a little East to gain a sight around some trees. I could see the tree line on the other side of the valley and the three points of light just above the tree line, but now planar (horizontal). It seemed like the object had moved somewhat East and was no longer tilted up. Looking at the Google map later, and the orientation of Bourdeaux Drive relative to the initial location, I would say that this assumption was accurate. I got on my cell phone and called my wife to tell her that something weird was going on and asked her to put on the local news to see if anything had been reported. I then got back into my car and continued home. At little later (on Howard Chapel Rd - the Montgomery County part) I again pulled over to look ba! ck across towards Gaitherburg but didn’t see anything unusual.
Action taken on Thursday February 16, 2012 I decided that I would take no further action until I returned on my morning commute the next day in daylight. This would take me on the exact reverse route through the location of the sighting. There was nothing visible that could possibly explain what I saw the previous night and everything appeared normal. Once at the office I decided to call the Airport Manager at: Montgomery County Airpark 7940 Airpark Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20879 Phone: (301) 963-7100 An answering machine kicked in so I had to leave a message for the manager. I tried to describe what I saw in a way that wouldn’t be instantly dismissed as a “crackpot call”. I left my name and my NIST office number and requested that they call be if they could explain what I might have seen. As of today I have not been contacted. I also told a colleague, who happens to live on Lochaven Drive, about my experience. She and her family were at home but had not seen or heard anything. She said she would ask neighbors who walk their dogs at about that time. I am guessing that perhaps dozens of others may have seen what I saw on that stretch of road at that time, so I have checked the internet periodically to see if there are any similar reports. So far I have not seen any but I want to log my experience. Who knows? Maybe someone else saw this and either dismissed it or failed to report it.