|Occurred : 10/5/2013 21:15 (Entered as : 10/05/13 21:15)
Reported: 10/5/2013 11:05:13 PM 23:05
Location: Rexburg, ID
|My daughter and I saw 5-7 white lights in a shifting formation travel quickly across the Idaho night sky in a southwesterly direction.
My 9-year-old daughter and I went for a quick evening stroll, leaving the home we own a little after 9:00 pm Mountain Time. It was dark, except for artificial lights and stars—we never noticed the moon. We walked due south, up a street that climbs a hill, and discussed balance in life. We looked at the stars as we walked, pointing out the big and little dippers and the North Star. We soon headed back down the hill.
About one third of the way home, I noticed that the stars of the big dipper were brighter—there was not as much light pollution. So, we stopped at around 9:15. I pointed out the dippers again. The handle of the big dipper was visible through some power lines. The stars of the little dipper were all visible now. The north star was directly in front of us over the sidewalk we were on, since Harvard runs north to south. We estimate that we were about 100 feet northeast from an 18-plex apartment complex.
As we gazed into the sky towards the big dipper, my daughter suddenly asked, “What is that?” I didn’t even have to look down at her to see where she was pointing, because something moving in the sky caught my eye. It was higher in the sky than the dippers. It was about 75 degrees above the horizon in a west-north-west direction from us. I almost said, “It’s a satellite,” but before I could say that, I noticed there were many (5 to 7) of these objects clustered in what appeared to be a tight v-shaped formation that probably could have barely fit behind a quarter held at arm’s length, and they were moving much faster than a satellite. Within, I think, about two to three seconds, maybe even less than two, they had moved quickly across the sky to a point about 40 degrees above the horizon and approximately west-south-west from where we were standing. If I extend one arm completely and point to the approximate starting place, and extend my other arm and point to the approximate vanishing place, the tips of my pointing fingers are approximately 22-23 inches apart, and they are approximately 30 inches from my eyes. I stand 5’8”. The objects traveled much faster than an airplane in a southwest direction, parallel to the Milky Way, which we could dimly make out directly overhead, running from the southwest to the northwest. The objects felt close and far away at the same time, but they made no noise, despite their incredible speed.
The lights were all white, and they changed position relative to each other, but I could not describe exactly how. They started in a v shape, but one light from the back of the formation flew towards the front of it, and they may have even straightened out into a straight line by the time they disappeared from view. I cannot honestly remember what formation they had when I last saw them, but I know they started v-shaped, and they changed formation. There was no other color but white. There was no flashing; the six round objects were each a solid, if fuzzy, white light. They were dim, not as brilliant as the stars in the sky, but they were much larger—probably ten times the size of the brightest star we could see (at about 80 degrees in the western sky). I am not sure how they vanished, but as quickly as I realized I was seeing them, they were gone again. They may have disappeared into the light pollution coming from the apartment complex, because they were not very bright, they may have vanished behind the complex, they may have gone beyond the horizon, or they may have simply vanished. We later identified several jet airplanes flying high in the sky, and these unidentified objects were much larger, much less brilliant, much whiter—with a very uniform whiteness—much faster, and, we felt, much closer than the jets.
At about the same moment the objects were vanishing from view, I finally answered my daughter’s question. “I think that’s a UFO!” I said. Just two nights earlier, I had been reading to my children about UFOs. We read the “Mysteries of the Sky” chapter from Mysteries and Fantasies, a children’s encyclopedia volume by World Book, published in 1986. The balanced discussion of UFOs that we read convinced me that unidentified objects exist, but that most things people see are probably explainable—like meteors, ball lightning, weather balloons, airplanes, spotlights, etc. I was amazed at the sheer number of people claiming to see unidentified things, and I marveled that these were intelligent, educated people. Although I do not personally believe in monstrous aliens traveling between worlds to destroy us (if they are out there and intelligent enough to travel undetected, they are probably less violent than we are), I do believe in the spiritual and supernatural, and I wondered if ! I would ever get to see anything like the UFOs we read about. However, as we stargazed tonight, I was not thinking about UFOs until after we saw what we saw.
I called the National UFO Reporting Center about 2 minutes after returning home, at about 9:24 PM.
I teach accounting at a university. I am an entrepreneur and a CPA with a Masters degree in taxation. My 9-year-old daughter (in 4th grade) reads about two novels a week and loves to write. She dictated her own version of the story to me (only because I can type faster). I did not have her read my version first. Her version is completely independent of my version.
My Daughter’s Version: We were taking a late-night stroll. We looked up into the sky and looked at all the constellations. We saw the W-shape of Cassiopeia and the little dipper and the big dipper. We were heading back home, and we were getting close when Dad said, “Oh, we have a more clear view of the big dipper right here; the lights aren’t as bright.” We were looking out at it, and then we started looking for the other constellations to see if they were brighter. We saw the little dipper, and as we were looking at it, these big circle lights came on right in the middle of the Milky Way. They were kind of in a v-formation, like wild geese fly in migration. They were flying along in that v-shape, and then they shifted. They kind of went into a circle, and then the circle straightened out into a two-inch long line. They started flying out of our sight behind the corner of the 18-plex. When I first saw them, I thought they were just a really low plane. It wasn’t really a sharp V. The corner was sha! rp, but it was kind of close to a straight line; it wasn’t really acute, it was kind of oblique. I thought it was just a wide-winged plane. But then I remembered what planes look like in the sky; they just look light little flashing lights that are tiny, with green and red and white, like Christmas colors. And, it’s like, what the heck? That’s a weird plane. And it went flying over and started shifting, and that was weird. Like I said, it shifted into an O and then a straight line. And they were kind of bright, but they weren’t as shining as the stars. They were big, and the stars are small. The stars have kind of a sharp circle in the middle and the rest of it is just a shine. Well, these things were a lot bigger than the stars, and they kind of didn’t just break out into shine like stars do, they were kind of just made out of one shine; kind of they were more shiny in the middle than on the sides. They kind of just appeared right out of the little dipper, and then they st! arted soaring across the sky southwest, and they just disappea! red near the corner of the 18-plex. They looked near at first, like a really close plane. But they also looked far; they weren’t as far away as a jet plane, and they weren’t as close as a streetlamp, and they weren’t that big, either. They were kind of the size of the head of an average nail. They didn’t make any noise at all. They just soared across the sky and shifted shapes. And they never twinkled or blinked like stars do. They were big and constant, except that they were moving around, and they had just appeared in the sky, and they disappeared in the sky. I couldn’t tell if they were near, or if they were far. All I was hearing was the rustling of the leaves and some people talking in the distance.