|Occurred : 4/1/2013 00:30 (Entered as : 04/01/13 0:30)
Reported: 3/7/2016 9:54:04 PM 21:54
Location: New Paltz, NY
|Three incredibly white, bright lights in a row that did not change their angle as I passed them, despite being incredibly close.
I was a student attending SUNY New Paltz and was driving home at the time. It was late at night - I remember it being after midnight, and before 2 am. More close to 1am.
Some time into my trip - perhaps 20 minutes or so - I saw a great blob of lights in the sky that I know to be the lights of aircraft converging into one when viewing at that perfect angle from a distance. Being that this area is around many populated airports, I thought nothing of it - though I was looking forward to taking a good look at it. I consider myself to be a skywatcher, so I tend to inadvertently "memorize" flight paths, repeating light patterns, types of aircraft, etc....though I can't say I have a "formal" knowledge on the subject. I am just attentive to the sky.
I'm watching this series of lights for quite some time waiting for the lights to become detached from their "blob" like position (in other words, I was waiting for my angle to change enough so I can glimpse the airplane perhaps coming in to land). However, it became apparent that these lights were significantly closer than anticipated; what turned out to be a large craft far away but coming in for landing turned out to be quite obviously just over the highway and not much higher than the tree lines.
The light was a bright white - typical of aircraft. However, it was a solid "chain" of lights in a straight, horizontal line: 1 bulging white light on the left side, a small one in the center, and a bulging white light on the right side. On top of that, it was incredibly bright - I remember the light, when hitting my windshield, refracted outwards somewhat in a way where the light was "diffused" through the glass. It is difficult to explain, perhaps it isn't even worth mentioning, but it just seemed TOO bright.
I'm still thinking that this is definitely a landing aircraft. But why over the highway? Surely these lights are so bright because they are landing lights. But why is the craft not moving? Is my speeding too rapid for me to accurately discern the movement of this craft? I figured in the affirmative, but my startling and persistent thought was that regardless of how fast I was going (60mph or more) it should not have mattered when dealing with large aircraft coming in for landing. A Helicopter, maybe.
Now, I'm very close. I begin to feel fear, actually. I was surprised at this.
The reason I felt fear was that I realized that the 3 lights did not change angle despite the fact I was rapidly approaching it.
If one were to approach 3 lights in a horizontal row from a distance and proceed to walk passed it, one would logically expect that due to the limitations of our line of sight, at one point while passing the horizontal chain of lights, they would converge into a single point due to the fact that I am currently passing it. Just the same as looking down a paper towel roll is a simple circle, but turn it sideways and it is a cylinder.
What scared me is that I realized that the lights were not changing in relation to my angular change. As I passed it, it was the same exact 3 lights in a row with no variation. It almost gave the impression that there must have been lights fixed around the basin of the craft equidistance, but even then I did not see any indication of more than 3 lights even while close. If I could spot the cabin lights on the occasional low flying aircraft, I would have thought that I would spot incredibly bright lights fixated on the bottom of a craft not far above the treeline. However, it was just the 3 bright lights.
At this point, I took a glimpse at the craft while it was directly at my 9 O'clock. Again, 3 straight lights, and perhaps a slight indication of other lighting - but no indication of anything similar to the initial 3 lights.
I had rolled my window down quite some time before this part of the scenario. Despite being on a highway, my mind told me that a hovering helicopter or a landing aircraft would yield enough noise for me to hear over the highway. At the very least, I felt that I would be able to differentiate between the typical sound of the highway when travelling, and perhaps a sound that is out of the ordinary in addition to that sound. I live in a populated area and often hear helicopters landing for car accidents, and like I said, I'm not knowledgeable with aircraft, but have certainly been exposed to airports, driving near low flying craft, etc.
I did not hear a sound. Not a thing over the highway. The "whoosh" of the driving was loud, sure - but if you were to see the lights, one would think that it would indicate a large energy/audio output. This was not the case, even after I slowed down to 50 mph.
I would also like to add that there were people driving me behind me at this point in time that would have very obviously seen this craft. It was not able to be missed or overlooked. However, it could be said that the fact that no cars passed me while I was going at a (comparative) snail's pace at 45-50mph on the highway looking at this thing and not a single vehicle passed me could maybe indicate that these individuals, too, saw this craft and were indeed were slowing down to take a look at it. Of course, this is speculation.
I want to be very clear here - the odds of this being a truly anomalous sighting are nil. The frequency of aircraft in the area, active airports and things in that nature lead most (and myself) to lean toward the terrestrial aircraft explanation. However, I bring this to you due to my recent study into your work, and I felt inspired.
I would like now to include the hyperlink to the video I took of this object. I do believe that it is a good insight into my mind set at the time - I saw the object from a far enough distance away to prepare my phone that I was going to record with. Because I became increasingly bamboozled and fearful as I approached this object, my voice in the video becomes obviously elevated and uneasy. In addition to that, you can hear my roll down the window to listen to the object as I stated above. In other words, I essentially speak aloud my exact developing mindset as I become increasingly confused. I really, really felt silly taking my phone out to film this at first. I hit the record button, kept driving, and realized I had something interesting.
Please make note: If you examine the comments on this Youtube video, I am going to attach, a gentlemen recently left a comment explaining that he saw the craft up close and it flew over him emitting no sound whatsoever. He also indicated that he felt a brush of air wash over him as the craft passed overhead. This was a development I did not know about until just 3 days ago when he left the comment, which was the last comment this video has received in quite some time.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))