|Occurred : 8/15/2015 23:30 (Entered as : 08/15/15 23:30)
Reported: 1/6/2016 12:54:38 PM 12:54
Location: Faribault, MN
|Bright white light moving, stopping, descending vertically, turning to rusty red dot, disappearing.
On the evening of August 15th, 2015, a partner and I were in my back yard stargazing using a 124x pair of astronomy binoculars and a a pair of 12x24 zoom binoculars. We both noticed a very bright white light to the ENE low to the horizon moving toward us. I was able to focus on the light/object with the 12x24 binoculars expecting to see an approaching aircraft.
The light/object passed just north of us a mile or less away and at approximately 2,000 feet in altitude. These distances are estimates but I believe them to be reasonably accurate. I began relaying my observations, made while viewing through high quality binoculars, verbally to my partner. They were observing with out the aid of any optics and only with their naked eye. As the light/object approached I could see no strobes, red or green position lights, sound (the object/light made not a sound it was dead silent) and the light, assumed to be a landing light on an aircraft, never changed in brightness or appearance as one would expect an aircraft landing light to behave as it passed. No structure was visible just a very bright white light. I can safely say when the light/object was closest to us if it had been any more intense in brightness it would have been difficult to view through the optics I was using. Nothing all that unusual so far as any ac approaching at any altitu! de in this location would, as proper procedure, turned its landing lights on. The flight path took it over the local airport and well below the approach pattern to MSP International airport.
This is when the light/objects behavior became perplexing. It passed in front of our location at about a 50 degree azimuth due North and continued to the East briefly passing through the branches of a nearby tree. As it got to the ENE it stopped, grew in intensity, turned into a rusty red dot, vertically descended, stopped, turned back to a white light, grew again in intensity, turned again into a small rusty red dot, repeated this pattern of behavior one more time and simply disappeared. This left both myself and my partner wondering what we had just witnessed. It is noteworthy that these events occurred in relatively close proximity to our location and not way off in the distance. As it turned out the events of the night were not quite over.
We noticed another bright white light approaching from the same location and direction. It had a different appearance and when viewed with binoculars was clearly an twin turboprop aircraft with a distinctive landing light pattern of two bright double outboard lights and a single less bright center light. The sound of twin turbo props was clearly audible along with red/green position lights, white tail light and a strobe light. The aircraft structure was easily visible and as the ac passed it behaved as expected, sound, lights changing as it flew away from our position. It appeared to be at the same altitude as the light/object and passed through the tree branches extremely close to the same position. The aircraft flew to the location where the first object had stopped, made one and a quarter orbits and flew off to the north.
The landing light pattern only fit one aircraft type and I can state with a high degree or certainty that it was a Dehaviland dash 8. A very distinctive and unique landing light pattern. These are operated near here by Air Canada, Porter Airlines and possibly the USAF and Department of Homeland Security. The latter two entities using them as a surveillance platform. Either by purpose or by coincidence this aircraft was in trail of the first object/light that had passed.
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