|Occurred : 12/12/2014 19:22 (Entered as : 12/12/14 19:22)
Reported: 12/14/2014 1:19:21 AM 01:19
Location: Riverside, CA
|Friend's phone call leads to mutual sighting of object with odd 'plume'.
((NUFORC Note: Atlas V missile launch from Vandenberg AFB at 19:19 hrs. (PST) PD))
At 19:21 - according to my phone's call log - I received a call from my best friend, (who lives just over ten miles away in Norco, CA.), telling me that she was startled and amazed to be looking at 'something really weird' in the night skies over her home.
As I headed out my own door (to see if I could spot anything), I realized that it was unlikely I'd be able to even see the sky at all - due to massive rains all day and low, thick, stormy clouds not to mention our distance from one another. However, as I stepped out from between the houses and into the open, I found it to be largely clearing above and to the west. As I scanned the dark, patchy skies, I immediately spotted several aircraft tracking and blinking as on any normal, Friday evening.
As she continued trying to relate to me in excited bewilderment what she was seeing, I was just beginning to scan the night sky above my own house when she suddenly cursed that it had vanished; it had abruptly just 'winked out'.
As she started-in bitterly about its sudden absence, off to my west (toward Norco) - something odd suddenly DID catch my eye and I had to stop her. It was something odd and it was tracking southward. Whatever it was, it was clearly and definitely NOT an airplane. I was confused by its appearance. I initially considered a meteor, but no ...then a comet... but also no.
It appeared to be a small, solid, red light, shaped rather oblong lengthwise - like a thick grain of rice - with a comparatively huge, translucent 'bloom' behind it; kind of like the ones that envelop the rear halves of fighter jets as they pierce the sound barrier. But that's not what this was. It was utterly soundless and appeared to be moving more at the pace of a Cessna or helicopter, rather than any sort of jet.
Gobsmacked, I focused and strained and squinted to get as good of a look as possible as I mumbled into my cellphone what I was seeing as she excitedly confirmed that it was exactly what she had just been observing. I was able to clearly see it for a good six seconds, as it moseyed slowly along, due south - directly (and maddeningly) toward one of the many low, pink, angry clouds around the area. It then moved behind the cloud from whence I never saw it emerge.
I checked the 'color-change' box because although to me the object shone in an unblinking, unchanging 'stoplight red', my friend swears that it appeared as a bright white, to her. But what we both DID clearly see was the huge 'plume' at the trailing end. It was in fact this odd feature that first drew the eye. It looked like the top of an open, translucent 'umbrella' curved back and emanating directly from the rear of the object.
Again, there were typical, nighttime aviation activities ongoing in the skies above me - flickering jetliners and local flights headed this way and that at their various flight levels. I spotted about five or six flashing lights immediately and easily identifiable as normal, evening air traffic - but they all seemed oblivious to the object, which - in fairness - was more or less in a patch of sky sort of off to itself - and fairly equidistant from any other traffic.
Sadly, I've been unable to find any local (nor anywhere) mention of this phenomenon on the internet. SURELY she and I COULDN'T have been the only ones in Southern California to have seen this amazing object.