|Occurred : 1/2/2014 23:00 (Entered as : 01/02/14 23:00)
Reported: 2/8/2014 3:43:41 AM 03:43
Location: Berkeley, CA
|THREE BRIGHT ORANGE LIGHTS OVER OAKLAND AND A SHOOTING STAR
Three amber lights, the color of sodium vapor streetlights, were visible in the sky south by southeast Berkeley around 22:50. They could have been between Oakland and Hayward, perhaps just east of Oakland Airport.
My sister and I observed these lights from a porch in the North Berkeley hills from which we have a good view of the San Francisco Bay due west and to the south though trees block some of the vista.
The bottom light was a few degrees above the landscape. Above it was a larger and brighter light. Then a third light west of that one forming a right sided triangle formation.
We watched the lights pulsate for a few minutes and grow in intensity till they were perhaps twice as bright as the Oakland dockyard lights. We then descended to the street as my sister was leaving. From the sidewalk, I observed a white shooting star directly overhead moving northwest towards the North Bay.
I returned back up to the porch and saw the light formation, which had dimmed. The third, westernmost light moved off. With binoculars, I was able to make out additional details of the bigger of the two remaining lights. The main amber light was central, below it was a small red light and on the upper right was a small green light. All lights were constant with no pulsing. There was no visible structure behind the lights viewed through the binoculars I set up a Canon 5d2 on a tripod. I shot RAW stills and video for 2 hrs. with an 85mm and a 200mm lens. The first pictures were taken around 23:10 pm and the last images around 00:45 am. My mother observed the lights as well. The lights were never as luminous during this period as when first spotted.
There were a number of helicopters and airplanes moving about. The lights generally hovered over the Oakland area but several times moved west over the San Francisco Bay, just south of the Oakland Bay Bridge. It seemed as if the lights would move out over the bay when helicopter activity stepped up. After perhaps a quarter of an hour they moved back. At this point, there was usually just one light. The second would occasionally reappear, then either move off or fade away.
One of the lights, when moving back towards Oakland continued east over the Oakland hills and disappeared from view. The lights usually moved at a leisurely pace, but occasionally very quickly, relative to the planes and helicopters.
At times, the lights would fade out and then fade up while over Oakland. They would also periodically move vertically down, then back up again. They always returned to the same approximate area around Oakland, at slightly different altitudes.
Upon inspection of the RAW images, I have one object over the Bay with more discernible structure but I’m not sure if it is one of the lights or an airplane. You can make out a solid red light on the lower left end, perhaps a thin structure in the middle and a smaller green light at the upper right end. In the video, this light seems to flicker, appears as a tandem light and isn’t as bright as the Oakland lights so it might be a plane. It seemed to me that the airplanes had a red light on one wing and a green light on the other.
The problem was, the ‘UFO’ lights would occasionally move behind a tree in the foreground. Planes from SFO would also come from behind the trees, though on different trajectories and I would occasionally end up tracking those. However, these made jet engine noise, had visible structures, etc. as they got closer.
The vehicle in the RAW stills is moving northeast, then on the next clip, a video, it reverses and heads southwest. Then a faster moving solid bright light from the north swoops past it and heads back to the Oakland area. The vehicle in the RAW still continues south with blinking lights.
The Oakland light moved off west again around 00:45am and disappeared behind a tree. It did not seem to drift over the Bay again south of the Bay Bridge. I packed up the gear and went inside.
I observed the Oakland lights again the following day, Friday, 01/03/14 at approximately 18:30 along with a friend of mine as we were leaving. I saw it again at 22:00. I did not videotape this time. They may have appeared on one more night.
While driving south on the I5 freeway on Friday, 01/10/14, around 18:30, between Patterson and Newman, I observed another white shooting star moving southwest. A piece of debris separated from the main body and trailed off before it dissipated.
I have always had an interest in UFOs but have never observed anything unusual in the sky before.