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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/21/2001 20:35
Reported: 8/23/2001 18:35
Posted: 12/22/2022
Location: Spokane (near), WA
((NUFORC Note: Copied report submitted via e-message. PD))

Date Aug. 21, Time 9:40 P.M.

I am writing in regards to what my husband and I saw tonight. At approximately 8:35 this evening we heard and saw a turboprop aircraft, coming over the horizon from the west.There were no lights on the plane at all. The plane was coming over the top of our place at around 3000 ft. To the left of the plane fairly close, were two small objects with lights red and light yellow or white. Compared to the plane they were quit a bit smaller. I left the back of the house to go to the front to get a better look, when I got to the front yard I saw 5 strobing lights about 500 ft. apart following behind the turboprop. going north east.This time I could not see the objects only the lights, very bright and blinking or strobing red and white or yellow. Then the turbo made a left turn lights following him going west again, all disappeared in the clouds. It was very unusual, and unlike anything I have seen before. We heard the plane several times earlier in the evening but did not go out to look at it so I don't know if the lights were there at that time. There was only the sound from the turboprop aircraft, no other aircraft sounds. We thought it might be connected with the fires here in eastern Washington. Since you investigate sightings, I thought you might be able to tell us what you thought the lights were that accompanied that plane.

Thank you,
((name deleted))


Hi Peter,

I've spent the morning on the phone. I was able to speak to the supervisor of Spokane tower and approach control. He said that they do not cover our area which is north of Evans, WA on Hwy 25 and next to the Columbia River. However, he was very interested in the details of this phenomena and asked to be kept informed if we were able to establish any further information. He suggested that contacting Whidbey Island Naval Air Station would probably not produce any results. I also assume that Seattle Center would not be willing to disclose any information.

A quick bio, I'm ((age deleted)), ((number of thousands of hours deleted)) hours of flying air charter and flight instruction in the Seattle area, but that was over 20 years ago. And another point I feel should be mentioned is we have had a lot of aircraft activity in this area because of the forest fire on Mount Leona in Ferry County and military aircraft operating in Roosevelt MOA, therefore this started out as not to unusual.

I saw what looked like a Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II or similar, but the color was dark olive gray or charcoal brown. It was flying from west to east about 3000' to 4000' above ground level. It's location when we first saw it was about 48 degrees and 45 minutes north and 118 degrees and 10 minutes west. I was moving at normal cruise speed. It's navigation lights and strobe were off. It was an unusual aircraft for this area.

My first thought was they were doing a infrared scan of the fire area. I did think it strange not to have the nav lights on, especially when we were in the evening transition period with a lot of air traffic in the area. That's when my wife said there were two other lights beside it. I moved to a better location to see it. That's when I saw two very intense strobe lights flashing red and white. One of them moved into close-formation on its starboard quarter, less than a 100'. Then I noticed another strobe light appear next to the outboard one. I did not see the third light approach, it just appeared. I could not hear any noise other than the sound of the turbine engines on the large aircraft. I couldn't see any physical aircraft near or around the strobe lights.

At this point I had to move to another location to continue to watch. When I regained a view of them there were four strobe lights flying in an echelon formation from the aircrafts starboard quarter with equal spacing of about 500'. Then again another strobe light just appeared outside the fourth one. Then the strangest part started, they began to disappear and reappear over and over again, but in different positions. Or, there were more than five of them, but only five showing at any given time. Finally, the large aircraft started a gradual left turn, back to the west and shortly disappeared behind the clouds north of us. We stood there thunderstruck.

Peter, I've had two physical sightings in my life time. The first was in the service and it was a subsurface craft that went directly under our ship and visible. The second was also on the ocean during a return trip on a 44' racing sailboat 1000' miles north of Hawaii with 8 witnesses, it was larger than an aircraft carrier and about a 1000' from us. So I'm not new to this game, but this one is a mystery for me. I don't know what to think. I'm just reaching out for help in understanding what my wife and I have witnessed. I had no problem accepting the physical sightings, but this one left me with to many possibilities to consider. Now I understand why there are so many that start doubting what they really saw because there isn't any hard evidence. We wish to remain anonymous, however we don't mind you using this information for your research or sharing it with others.

We're watching the sky more closely,

((names deleted))