|Occurred : 3/17/2015 22:28 (Entered as : 3/17/2015 22.28)
Reported: 3/18/2015 12:30:54 PM 12:30
Location: State College, PA
|Unidentified object and 2 jets
I observed something unusual at 10.28 p.m. on March 17, 2015.
I used to live in the UK near USAF Upper Heyford in the early ’80’s and am quite familiar with different types of aircraft in the night sky. I also spend time star-gazing so can tell a satellite from a meteor or meteoroid, the space station from a jet, have seen comets, planets, as well as other man-made objects such as Chinese lanterns, Iridium flares, etc.
The sky was very clear but no moon and there was supposedly a chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis, which is always a treat in central Pennsylvania, although I am also familiar with this phenomenon having lived for several years in Canada.
I saw no sign of the aurora but while facing west with my house behind me I noticed an object come over the house, heading east to west. I could not discern its altitude or size but it was high, certainly not a low-flying object. It appeared in the sky to be the size of a dime (I know that’s of no help in ascertaining actual size but that’s how much of the sky it seemed to cover).
It was the shape of a squat comet, perfectly round at the front with a stubby tail. It was an electric green and emitted light as if it were phosphorescing. It was not very bright but clearly visible. I got the impression that I wasn’t actually seeing the object but rather the result of an object interacting with the atmosphere. If a disc shaped object were to go through the charged particles that cause the northern lights, this is how I would imagine it would look; I speculate, but I had the distinct impression of there being a disc. There were no navigation lights evident, and no noise.
I watched the ‘thing’ for a couple of seconds (long enough for me to lean forward, peer, and ask myself ‘what the hell is that?’). It did not shoot across the sky like a meteor. The speed was more studied, more restrained, I dare say more mechanical. I was able to view about 60% of the sky before the roof blocked out the rest, and I estimate 10 seconds passed between its appearance and my losing site of it. Altitude seemed constant and it did not alter its path; I observed no maneuvering.
What happened next is why I’m reporting this. A jet came in from the south moving north at high speed, navigation lights were observed, no engine sound yet discerned. It was south of the object and altered its course to come in behind it and generally follow it. I could hear the jet engine now. I say generally because it was heading slightly more to the north and I remember thinking that the pilot must have lost contact. By that time the object was barely visible heading away from me. Then a light came from where the jet and the object were and arced towards the ground. It was a bright small white light, with a hint of yellow, and to guess, I would say a flare, no way of telling whether it came from the object or the jet. I lost sight of both.
Right then a second jet came towards me from the west, it had to have been a different jet as in my estimation there wasn’t time for a 180-degree maneuver. It went overhead and passed over my house and on to the east at high speed. I’m quite sure this was a military craft. It seemed that the two jets had come at the object from opposite angles of attack; I'm not sure how apt a euphemism that is ...
The whole thing left me a bit shaken and I had the urge to get back inside, which is what I did. I made immediate note of the time on my cell phone that I had left in the kitchen (it read 10.30 p.m. so my best guess at time of observation was as I stated initially, 10:28 p.m.).
I told my story to my wife and drew a sketch of what had occurred.
There is no doubt in my mind that the aircraft were interacting with whatever it was that I saw.