UFO Sighting Report - USA
February 16th 2008 : Saint Petersburg, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida A Very Large Craft With Red Flashing Lights
Date: February 16, 2008
Time: Approx: 11:00 p.m.
Location of Sighting: Saint Petersburg, Florida
Number of witnesses: 6
Number of objects: 1
Shape of objects: Very large craft with red flashing lights at "Wingtips".
Full Description of event/sighting: I had to share this because it was extremely unusual and I'm looking for someone who might have some answers. I have been into aviation and astronomy for my whole life but I've never looked up at the sky and seen anything like this.
I was at a birthday party with my wife in Saint Petersburg, Florida. About six or seven people were gathered around a bonfire in the backyard of the house we were at including my wife and me. The night was beautiful and clear. I had seen a brilliant meteor earlier on and was also impressed by a high altitude jetliner passing near the moon and having its contrails lit by it.
The moon was a little beyond half full and was about 15 degrees West of Zenith when my wife said to me, "hey look at that." I looked up and it took me a second to realize what I was seeing. There were two flashing red lights almost directly above me that appeared to be at the "wingtips" of an aircraft. However, the lights were so large and so far apart that the "craft" would have to be very low and immense in size. I would estimate at least three times the wingspan of a 747.
The lights were flashing on and off (not strobing - more like the lights on a radio tower) and had a period of about 1 second each. They were alternating on and off at each "wingtip." They were not bright like you expect from aircraft navigation lights but were actually a little bit on the dim side.
The "craft" was moving at approximately jet aircraft speeds South-Southeast and it was completely silent. I listened intently for any sound and there was none. At the low altitude I perceived it was at, I would have definitely heard engine sounds from ANY known aircraft.
At this point I brought everyone's attention to the "UFO" and everyone that saw it was also freaking out about "what the heck is that?!"
Some of the people wanted to take a picture of it, but I knew it really wouldn't show up in a picture and even if it did, all you would probably see is the red lights anyway.
I was busy concentrating on trying to see what was between the lights and whether or not the stars were being obscured by it. Unfortunately, the light pollution is bad in the city and since some outside lights were also on nearby, only the brightest stars were visible and I did not notice it crossing the paths of them. Also, unfortunate is that the craft passed to the East of the moon by a pretty significant margin so I was unable to use the moon as an aide either.
So we watched the craft fly in a straight line for a short period (maybe 30 seconds) until it was about 45 degrees above the horizon (South of us now) when both lights went out and it was gone.
So here's what makes this object a UFO.
- With the lights as far apart as they were, as a single craft, it was definitely magnitudes larger than anything I know of.
- If it was as low as it looked, it had no engine sounds.
- I know of no precedent for an aircraft having red flashing lights on each wingtip. Normally you have red on one side and green on the other.
- I don't know why a pilot would decide to turn his only lights off over a busy air traffic area.
The only non-UFO explanation I have come up with is that the two lights were two separate aircraft but here are the problems with that explanation...
- I know of no precedent for a known aircraft to display only a single flashing red light of this type at night. (Isn't that normally reserved for obstructions like radio towers?)
- Why would both aircraft turn off their light at exactly the same time?
- The lights appeared close (not at high altitude) so where was the engine noise?
- The planes would have had to be flying perfectly parallel to each other and perfectly straight across from each other but at a very great distance to put the lights as far apart as they were. (Neither the formation nor the distance that military aircraft would normally fly.)
I offer this possibility so that maybe someone can tell me if I'm right about the flashing red lights and military formations but I must say that being there in that moment it 100% had the appearance and feel of a huge, silent, low flying craft.
I also got the impression that the lights were "turned on" to prevent collisions with other nearby aircraft and then turned off again when the craft felt it was safe to go back into a full "stealth" mode. I also thought that the red flashing lights were a great choice if you wanted other aircraft to avoid you but not draw attention to yourself because at first glance you would just appear as an unknown radio tower instead of an unknown aircraft that some other aircraft might "call in" to the tower.
I look forward to comments about my thoughts or anyone else that has witnessed a similar object and has any explanations.
Thank you to the witness for the wonderful report.
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[UFOINFO thanks Brian Vike for passing this report on.]