|Occurred : 4/23/2011 20:59 (Entered as : 4/23/2011 20:59)
Reported: 4/24/2012 12:23:28 AM 00:23
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
|Dim rectangular object seen over Spokane Valley.
At 8:59 PM, Monday April 23rd I was working on my computer when my roommate called me outside to look at something. We live in the Spokane Valley and our back porch faces west towards the city of Spokane. My roommate who had been observing Venus and the crescent moon observed an object moving exactly from south to north at the speed of a light aircraft travelling at about 8-10,000 feet altitude. This was over 1 hour after local sunset so the skies were not quite black but nearly so. It took me twenty seconds to acquire the object. It was only visible from the reflected light of the city of Spokane. The object had no lights, was completely silent, and appeared to be tan or light brown in color. I noticed that it was heading directly towards Venus and amazingly in a few seconds it passed directly in front of Venus. It completely blocked out Venus for 1 second and I was able to get an impression of an elongated (in the direction of travel)irregularly shaped cr! aft (something similar to a box-like “pixilated”appearance). The fact that this object was silent struck me as very weird. I ran to get my binocs and when I returned the object was quickly receding from view in part because of the severe light pollution in this location.
From our location the object was 30 degrees above the western horizon when it passed in front of Venus. I estimate it had an angular diameter between 1/8 and ¼ degree. I only saw the object for a total of 10-15 seconds but my roommate estimates it took 70-80 seconds from the time it appeared near the southern horizon to when it occulted Venus. I wish I could describe the craft in more detail but it was only visible from reflected light and my night vision was shot from looking at a computer screen. From my perspective it appeared to be larger than a Cessna would be at that altitude (5-10,000 feet).
If the object was in fact an aircraft it was clearly in violation of FAA rules as it had no navigation lights or strobe 1 hour after local sunset. I attempted to contact Spokane International Flight Tower but there were no personnel to answer my inquiry.