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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/18/2013 21:45 (Entered as : 12/18/2013 21:45)
Reported: 12/18/2013 9:39:32 PM 21:39
Posted: 12/23/2013
Location: Ames, IA
Shape: Changing
Duration:3 minutes
3 lighted, circular objects flying over city on a clear night, 1 appears to expand and descends to outskirts of town.

I was riding my bike home from work on a very clear night. Being the first night in quite a while without any wind blowing, I took my time riding home and was enjoying the nearly full moon and the surrounding stars, although there were many city lights and most stars were not visible. So it caught me off guard when I saw what appeared to be three very bright, orange stars at a very close distance. When I first saw them, they appeared to be in a straight line, quite similar to Orion's Belt. I remember thinking "hmm that's weird, Orion's Belt is over there...". I slowed my bike to a stop for a better look and quickly realized that they were not stars at all, but something flying within Earth's atmosphere.

Once off my bike, it was clear that they were moving. Within 20 seconds, the center one had moved away from the others so that they were flying in what seemed to be an isosceles-triangle formation. Each of the UFOs were circular in shape. They had alternating red and yellow lights around the outside of the bottom, and the tops looked white or metallic and extended maybe 5-10 feet beyond the bottom part with the lights. They did not appear to be spinning, but gliding effortlessly North.

They were flying at a pretty slow pace so I decided to get my phone out to try to get some video of the event. Unfortunately, my phone didn't have enough battery life to capture anything. While I was getting my phone out, one of the crafts started to drift away from the others, heading East. I watched it for a few seconds before looking back for the others. They sat still. I returned my gaze on the UFO heading East. The top part started to expand, almost like a hot air balloon, and then the whole craft started to descend, heading East the whole time. I looked back for the othes to see if they had done the same. I could only find one, which was heading South and its lights appeared to be getting dimmer.

Looking back at the remaining UFO quickly, I watched as it got lower and lower, and it actually seemed to pick up speed as it fell. I didn't blink. This thing just kept falling. I'd say it only took about 30 seconds once it was "inflated", but it felt like minutes. I watched until it fell over the horizon, behind some buildings way across town. I was in the center of Ames, and I'd guess it fell East of the city, maybe 20 miles from where I was. That is, IF it actually fell and landed somewhere. If it were a plane, helicopter, or any other man-made flying vehicle, it defintely would been a crash landing, but I don't think it was.

As soon as it was out of my view I searched the sky for any sign of the other two, but there was nothing. I hopped back on my bike and headed home again, keeping my head up, enjoying the moon again.