|Occurred : 8/15/2015 23:30 (Entered as : 08/15/15 23:30)
Reported: 12/31/2015 10:56:11 AM 10:56
Location: Faribault, MN
|Moving bright light, no sound, changing to rusty red dot and then dissapearing.
While out in the backyard stargazing with a friend a very bright single light was seen approaching from the east at low altitude (approximately 2,000 feet ). At first was thought to be an aircraft with its landing lights on. This would be normal as it was passing over the local airport to the NE and operating under, well under, the flight path of air traffic departing or approaching MSP International Airport. Proper procedure would be to have the landing lights on in this scenario.
We had a pair of 125x astronomy binoculars and a pair of 12x24 zoom binoculars with us at the time this event was unfolding. I trained the 12x24 power binoculars on the object and began to relay what I was observing to my partner. I was expecting to hear and see an aircraft come into view with a jet or prop sound, navigation lights and have the landing light dim as the object passed just a mile or less to the north of our location. None of this occurred. I must emphasize that this light was very bright, and I feel safe in saying if it were any brighter it could have been very difficult to look at through the optics I was using.
As the bright light passed over us at about 60 degrees azimuth North it made not a sound. It never dimmed or changed in appearance. There were no strobing lights or red and green navigation lights. No structure was visible associated with the light but clearly and logically it must have been attached to something. It briefly passed through the branches of a tree and continued on a steady constant speed and course to the East. This is when things became even more baffling. As it reached a point a mile or so East of us it stopped, grew in intensity, changed to a small dim rusty red colored dot, lost altitude in a straight downward decent, stopped, turned white again grew again in intensity turned again to a small rusty red dot and simply disappeared. I was relaying all of this description to my partner as it was happening. It left us baffled looking for an explanation as to what we had seen.
As it turned out the event was not over. We spotted another bright light coming from the same direction as the first light/object. This light appeared different from the first and as I focused my binoculars on it I could clearly see three sets of lights. Two bright outboard lights and one dimmer middle light. It was clearly an aircraft and the sound of twin turbo props were audible. This aircraft behaived exactly as expected: sound, strobes, red and green navigation lights. Even the structure of the aircraft was visible. The lights changed as expected when it passed. Its flight path was the direction and altitude of the previous object. It even passed through the tree branches very close to the same spot. As this aircraft reached the approximate location where the first object had disappeared it made one and a quarter tight orbits and took on a Northern heading.
I checked the landing light pattern of the second aircraft and found only one possible match. A Canadian built Dehaviland Dash 8. These are operated in this area by Air Canada, the US Air Force and the Office of Homeland Security. The latter two using them as survalence aircraft. I can in no way confirm who was operating either craft but can state with a high degree of certainty the second aircraft type. Clearly the second craft was in trail of the first object either through purpose or as a coincidence.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))