|Occurred : 4/29/2012 20:15 (Entered as : 04/29/12 20:15)
Reported: 4/29/2012 7:25:18 PM 19:25
Location: Cary, NC
|round suv-sized object seen traveling, hovering, traveling, just after sunset; no lights, no sounds
I'm a grown man who still feels a little bit like a little kid every time I see a plane. If I'm outside and an aircraft goes by, I've never been able to keep from observing it. my Grandfather was in the Air Force in his day, and instilled in me a deep appreciation for aviation at an early age. what I'm saying is, although I'm no expert by any stretch, I pay an above average amount of attention to passing aircraft.
While driving through a neighborhood just after sunset, I noticed an object in the sky, to the west of my location, headed east. at first I thought it was a helicopter, because through the trees, it's perceived size, altitude, and speed, matched that of the common medical/news/misc chopper you see frequently in the area. we also have frequent, often daily fly overs of apache helicopters as well, but this object seemed to move, at first sighting, a bit faster than the typically observed apache cruising speed.
intrigued, I exited the neighborhood and got a better look, with no obstruction from trees. although with RDU very close by, and the area not far from a large commercial flight path, I ruled out fixed wing aircraft immediately because I noticed the object was clearly round, or egg-shaped. within a couple of seconds, a light coming from roughly the center of the object became very bright. I originally mistook this light for a typical forward facing nose or wing-mounted 'headlight'. but, as the craft got closer, and also slowed down very rapidly, and began to hover, the light began to burn bright like fire.
at this point, I turned in to another neighborhood street and immediately parked with the object in clear view. it had slowed to almost a complete stop, but with some slight drifting. it's shape was somewhat oval, like an up-side down egg, and had a bright light burning in the center. on a quiet evening with almost no noise pollution, I could hear no sound from coming from the object. all of these characteristics combined to remind me of the many hot air balloons I'd seen growing up in the midwest. however, when it slowed down, it's size and structural shape where much smaller, darker, and solid in appearance. based on it's distance from me, I assessed it to be roughly the size of the average mid-sized suv.
the light quickly grew so bright and firey that I realized it was not being put out by the object, but was actually a reflection of the sun, that had just dipped below the horizon. over about 10 seconds, it slowly drifted out of the waning sunbeam, and went completely dark. it had no lights of it's own, but was still very visible in the still back-lit light blue sky.
after pursuing it's original course when I first sighted it, which I perceived to be eastward, and then pausing to drift for 10-15 seconds, it begin to move and pick up speed in a north-west direction. I pursued it through the neighborhood, but came to a dead end, and the object quickly disappeared behind a treeline. when I was able to get out to the main road, and searched in the area I thought it to be headed, it was nowhere to be seen.
so, overall, I observed an object that appeared to be several hundred feet up, and several hundred feet away. round or oval shape, dark, with no lights. no sound that I could hear. this was right around the intersection of High House and 55 in Cary.