|Occurred : 11/8/2015 21:37 (Entered as : 11/08/2015 21:37)
Reported: 11/8/2015 8:07:24 PM 20:07
Location: Minot, ND
|Classified aircrafts with bright orange lights.
These seem to be some type of military craft of unknown type.
At 7:37 PM central time, my brother and I were walking on the north side of Edison elementary school when we noticed 3 very bright (as bright as Venus or ISS going overhead) red/orange lights to the south. They were low in the southern sky and maybe 20 degrees above the horizon and heading due north when we spotted them. The craft were widely spaced and were not in any type of obvious formation. They were spaced miles apart and the middle one was in front of the others from our vantage point. The evening sky was clear with very good visibility. Temp was 44F wind was SW at 9mph. Stars were clearly visible. The atmosphere was stable.
As they move closer it became clear. The lights were extremely bright. Much, much brighter then B-52s at night. Minot Air Force Base is 13 miles due north and home to 28 B-52Hs. I've watched the bombers fly at night with all their lights on while doing pattern work. These aircraft were not BUFFs.
To us, they were at an unknown altitude, But, if I were to guess base on how soon the sound reached us as they passed overhead I would say about 10,000 feet. There was a soft turbofan engine noise (almost like it was muffled). The engine noise was distinctly different from a B-52. They moved much slower than passenger jets overflying Minot at cruising altitude. I'm guessing these vehicles were doing 200 knots. The orange lights numbered a dozen or more on the bottom of the craft. The pattern of the lights were spread out across the width of the wing or body and made it appear to have a very wide wing.
It also had one extremely bright search light that was also orange. It was rather washed out or dull and was beaming its light ahead of the vehicle. The individual lights on the bottom appeared to be rectangular. They all were steady in brightness and did not dim or strobe. We were able to watch 2 of the craft as they headed north. They went directly to the M.A.F.B. and then turned east without losing altitude. One of them headed back towards Minot and I was able to look at it thru binoculars. I still could not make out a planform.
I did recognize a red rotating beacon towards the aft end and more orange lights possible on top. It was still brightly lit with the search light on. Then, the craft turned to the east again and dimmed all of its lights including the red beacon and disappeared.
It was now 8:03 pm.
M.A.F.B may be hosting a classified aircraft program.