UFO SIGHTING REPORT
July 25th 2004
Salem, Illinois Cylindrical Craft
Date: July 25, 2004
Time: 2:18 p.m. CDT
Number of witnesses: 2
Number of objects: 1
Shape of objects: Cylindrical
Full Description of event/sighting: I wish to state that before I give the details of the sighting that I been an avid aircraft watcher and enthusiast for over 40 years, an amateur astronomer for 40 years and a licensed Amateur Radio operator for over 25 years. My Sister is a capable aircraft spotter as well and acquainted with the night sky too. I have waited this long to report the sighting,because I have been trying to exhaust all avenues available to identify the object before I classify it as an unknown. I also wish to preface this report by stating a similar object was sighted twice by a young man (who is also an avid amateur astronomer) I worked with at a local college, his first sighting was on July 22, 2003 , just north of the college and then about a week later north of U.S. Hwy 50 near the Shattuc Road turn-off for the college. In both instances he was visibly upset by the experience,because he could not identify the object. I would also like to add that no mention of the objects was recorded in any of the local or nearby newspapers or spoken about on any of the local radio stations. I guess we where the only ones to see it. Centralia has a FAA VORTAC south of town and we are at a convergence of aerial highways, so there are a number of civil and military aircraft that over-fly our area on a regular basis. Scott Air Force Base is 40 miles to our west. Salem is to the northeast of Centralia on U.S. Hwy 50 and next to Interstate 57.
UFO Sighting-Salem,Illinois 25 July 2004 @ 2:18pm CDT
Sky condx- Sunny, no clouds, unlimited visibility.
Temp- 80-85 degrees F.
Sun Position- to the west passed zenith.
Wind - light to moderate
Object Angular Altitude during sighting- varied from 50 degrees to 90 degrees above the horizon.
Direction of travel when object was sighted- northbound on College street near the intersection of College street and U.S. Hwy 50.
No other aircraft noted in the vicinity. Salem-Leckrome Municipal Airport is approximately 1 to 2 miles to the northwest. There was no aircraft visible from our location to be in the landing pattern.
My Sister and I were on our way to the Salem Super Walmart when we turned north on College Street in Salem from Whittaker St. and proceed toward the Hwy 50 intersection. We had been engaged in general conversation when my Sister exclaimed she saw something up in the sky. I was in moderate traffic and driving so I tried to see the object and drive at the same time which was proving difficult.As I neared the intersection she began to scream at me that the object had stopped in midair! Now my Sister is the pragmatic sort and a UFO skeptic and to have her screaming at me as she was hanging out of the passenger window that an flying object had become stationary in midair was extraordinary. I cleared the intersection and as I did I got a brief 2 to 5 second glimpse of the object hanging serenely there above us. It was a milky white cylindrical object with rounded ends. There was no appendages of any kind.The surface outline was generally distinct and smooth without any bulges,but there were no visible ports or doors nor was there any sound from the object or visible exhaust from a propulsion system.
The milky whiteness of the object gave it a slight fuzzy look and its altitude I would have to guess,possibly 7,000 to 10,000 feet. It could have been lower. After my brief glimpse I had to return watching the road and my Sister exploded with a second howl that the object was backing up. It was backing up! The object had originally been traveling slowly on a westbound lateral track, then stopped and remained motionless for several minutes( where I saw it) and then reversed itself backward along its flight path and began traveling eastbound! It did not at any time bank and make a 180 degree left or right turn or pitch up or down and complete a reversed loop. It just stopped in midair, backed up or reversed itself along its line of travel and went to the east at the same slow speed. It didn't turn around, it just backed up. My Sister continued to relay reports to me as I drove northbound on College Street.
The object began to slowly shrink until it was a tiny white dot and then she lost it completely-it had disappeared! A few moments later it reappeared as a full white cylinder now angling toward the northeast. Again the object exhibited the shrinking act again and finally disappeared for good.
Approximate duration of combined sighting- 5 to 8 minutes.
Additional Note: The following Sunday my Sister and I returned to Salem out of curiosity. We were traveling northbound on U.S. Hwy 37 (Salem is intersected by U.S. Hwys 50 and 37.) when just south of Salem I saw the object this time. My Sister didn't see it. It first appeared as a polished metallic cylinder reflecting the sunlight, then transisitioned to the milky white color, then began to shrink to a white dot and then disappeared. This time it didn't reappear, though the sky condx were similar to 25 July in all respects. I shouldn't have lost it at all. I saw Cessna 172 at a later day while observing from the same position south of Salem and easily tracked it as it flying across the city on its way to Salem-Leckrome Airport. After a year of investigation I have no explanation as to the identity of the object. I have tried over the last year to view high and low altitude aircraft in all conceivable weather and lighting conditions to see if perhaps if we misidentified a known aircraft,but the object still defies explanation.
I have seen the B-2 Stealth Bomber in flight over Centralia in daylight and though it is hard to see against the blue sky, it can still be identified as a B-2. I have seen the B-2 refueling over Centralia, also in daylight, and then again was easily identifiable. My Sister is still skeptical about UFOs and thinks the object was a Black Ops aircraft of some sort. I was on the fence regarding UFOs, but my views now have tilted toward the existence of such craft. I recently saw on the Coast to Coast AM website several photos taken by someone who saw the same object we did. If I can locate the photos I will send them to you. Finally, I probably would have dismissed the sighting as a mis-identified aircraft if the object had not exhibited anomalous motion. Too anomalous. After all the years reading about people seeing such objects we are now apart of that group.
If you have any questions regarding this sighting or require additional information, please email me at the above email address and I will be happy to assist you.
Thank you to the witness for the excellent report.
Brian Vike, Director
HBCC UFO Research
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