|Occurred : 7/5/2014 22:05 (Entered as : 07/05/2014 22:05)
Reported: 7/6/2014 4:46:55 PM 16:46
Location: Harrington, WA
|Peculiar single light seen coursing to the northeast through broken clouds, for approximately 10 seconds.
On Saturday evening, July 5th, 2014, at 22:05 hrs. (measured; + or – 60 seconds) (Pacific Daylight Time), I was seated in a lawn chair on a neighbor’s front yard patio in Harrington, Washington, (Lincoln County), facing generally to the southeast. Also present on the patio, at the time, were three other adults.
As I gazed at the mostly cloud-covered sky (estimated 70-90 percent coverage), I suddenly became aware of a single white light, approximately the size and luminosity of Jupiter or Venus, moving across the sky from my right to left, i.e. to the northeast. No red navigation light was evident, which would have been the case, had the object been a conventional aircraft flying legally at night.
Within a few seconds of first sighting the object, I opened my cell phone, and noted the time to be 22:05 hrs. (Pacific Daylight Time). I called out the time to the other three witnesses present.
The light immediately caught my attention because of its quite noticeable luminosity, and because of its relatively high (angular) velocity, an estimated 2-4 degrees per second. I am quite familiar with the appearance of the International Space Station, as it orbits overhead, having witnessed it hundreds of times. The angular velocity of the light I witnessed was noticeably greater than that of the ISS.
The light was moving from my right to left, moving generally to the north and east. Because of parallax, I am unable to estimate the object’s ground-track more accurately than to say it appeared to be coursing generally northeast. It was at approximately 20-30 degrees above the horizontal plane, and it appeared to be moving across the sky approximately parallel to an imaginary horizontal line.
The light passed in and out of the clouds two or three times during the sighting. My distinct impression was that the light was “embedded” in the clouds, rather than beyond them (from my view), and that was the same impression that the three other witnesses had. However, my recollection is that the object did not seem to illuminate to a noticeable degree the clouds when it flew either near, or in, them, although my recollection on this point may be flawed.
All four of the witnesses watched the object for approximately 8-10 seconds, commenting the whole while on how unusual and incongruous the light appeared to be.
The light entered a cloud, and the four witnesses continued watching that area of the sky, expecting to see it again. However, it did not re-appear.
At the time of the sighting, the witnesses were located approximately 30-40 miles to the west of both Spokane International Airport and Fairchild AFB, so they all frequently witness both commercial and military aircraft of many types, in the course of a typical day. The witnesses agreed that the object they had just witnessed was inconsistent with any type of aircraft that they are familiar with.
I plan to contact the local National Weather Service office, or FAA Flight Service Station, hoping to be able to obtain the altitude of bases and tops of clouds in the area, for the time and date of the sighting. That information may allow triangulation, to establish maximum altitude, distance, and velocity of the object, as well as an estimate of its size. I will append those data to this report, as soon as they are obtained.
I have held a commercial pilot’s license for almost forty years, and have held an instructor’s rating for ten of those years. I was raised in an airline family, and I lived with a U. S. Air Force family for one year. Consequently, I am quite skilled, I believe, in being able to identify most private, commercial, and military types of aircraft.
My vision, recently tested by an optometrist, is correctable to 20/20, or better, and I have no color perception deficit.
I had a somewhat similar sighting from approximately the same location on October 17, 2011.
((ADDENDUM FROM WITNESS, PETER DAVENPORT, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL UFO REPORTING CENTER))
Data for the altitude of the bases of the clouds was obtained, courtesy of the National Weather Service in Airway Heights, Washington. They reported that the bases were at between 14,000 and 16,000 feet (above ground level). Using trigonomentry, assuming the object was at approximately 30 degrees angle of elevation above the horizontal plane, it was approximately 5.7 statute miles in distance from the witnesses. If it traversed an estimated 30 degrees, then it covered approximately 2.8 statute miles in 8-10 seconds… These are very approximate numbers, which depend on the accuracy of the measurements taken by the witnesses.