|Occurred : 2/18/2018 17:47 (Entered as : 2/18/18 17:47)
Reported: 2/19/2018 2:09:03 PM 14:09
Location: Fort Collins, CO
|50-60 bright white circular lights, with 10-12 evenly spaced vertically on each of 5 evenly spaced "towers" (variable flashing).
Around sunset, I was taking a walk with my dog on the northwest edge of Fort Collins, behind Lincoln Middle School, on the far north edge of the athletic fields. Just beyond here, the terrain drops down abruptly to the north into the Cache la Poudre River valley, thus providing an unobstructed view to the north and northeast. I was preoccupied with some beautiful orange sunlit clouds over the mountains to the west, taking a couple pictures of these clouds on my iphone at 17:46 and 17:47, and thinking about sending one of these pictures and a text to a friend. I could have first noticed the strange lights before I took the first picture, between the two pictures, or perhaps just after the second picture.
The "UFO" I'm reporting didn't look as if it was "flying" at all, but rather appeared as an array of about 50-60 "unidentified" bright white circular lights to my north-northeast. The array consisted of 5 vertical strings of about 10-12 lights evenly spaced on each string. The 5 strings of vertically arranged lights were evenly spaced horizontally and apparently extended to the ground, giving the appearance of 50-60 spotlights mounted on 5 towers. The lights looked uniform in their size, white color, and brightness.
I think all lights were on when I first noticed them. Then over a period of perhaps 1-2 minutes, the lights on a given tower would all turn off and quickly back on, in a repeated pattern where the rightmost tower of lights would flash off-on, followed sequentially by next tower's lights flashing off-on, continuing to the left-most tower, and with that sequence repeating several times (like some kind of stadium lighting light show). With this right-to-left off-on sequencing continuing, the "off" period of each tower's lights began to progressively get a little longer before coming back on, with 2 then 3 towers being off simultaneously, until finally all lights remained off. It had the appearance of a 2-3 minute "shutdown" sequence from all lights being on. It was too dark to see any kind of towers that the lights may have been mounted on.
I noted that it was 17:50 shortly after the lights remained off. I think official sunset was 17:40, several minutes after the sun had set over the mountains.
The reason I didn't immediately pay attention to these lights is I was preoccupied with my cloud pictures and subconsciously assumed the lights were on the NIST WWVB phased array towers north of Fort Collins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVB). These towers were 5-6 miles north-northeast of my location, in the same general direction as I saw the lights. However, as I began noticing the strange sequencing of off-on light patterns, I realized that these didn't look like the NIST towers, which as I remembered and confirmed as they appeared more clearly as it got darker after the unidentified lights remained off, don't look evenly spaced from afar and which have only 1 or 2 red lights on each tower. After the unidentified lights remained off, the impression I had of the 5 "towers of lights" is that they were closer and extended to a higher angular height than the NIST towers, were a little to the right of where the NIST towers were, were evenly spaced as opposed to! the unevenly spaced (when viewed from my vantage) NIST towers, and the unidentified white lights were bigger and much brighter than the red NIST lights. I've lived in Fort Collins for 37 years and have never noticed the NIST towers with bright white lights.