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Nevada City, California (United States)

Sighted on Tuesday 17. March 2009
Reported on
Shape: Triangle | Duration: Undisclosed
Source:

Last night was crystal clear, no wind and about 45 degrees. As always I went for a walk (left house at 9:45PM)through my neighborhood,which normally takes me twenty minutes. At 10:00PM I started hearing a noise that reminded me of a large diesel generator. Now my neighborhood does not have any streetlights and there was only the occasional driveway light on. I stopped to get better idea as to what the sound came from as it started to get louder. As on cue all the dogs in the neighborhood went nuts. Then I saw the blinking lights through the trees. First I thought it was a commercial airliner because its underside was illuminated and it had three blinking white strobe lights and one red one in the center. But the closer the plane got the more unusual things started to look. First of there was a chase plane and I assume based on wing profile that it was an F-18 following at an extremely close distance. (My elevation is 3200ft. and I would guess the objects to be at about 6-7000ft). The plane followed at between 100 to 300 yards mostly directly behind and sometimes slightly to the right as they were passing me from left to right pretty much right above me. The F-18 had two white strobes, one on each wingtip, otherwise no illumination. The "thing" it was following was some thing different all together. It was triangular in shape yet somewhat blurry. I could not see clean edges. It was about twice the size of the chase plane. The whole underside was illuminated by a cream colored warm light. There was one bright light at each corner that also acted as a strobe light but only visible from below. There was one red strobe in the center of the craft. Airspeed was that of a single engine prop plane which is the only type to fly this low around here. Any type of jet traffic is usually in the 30 000ft range except for the occasional fighter from Beale AFB and they only fly during the day. As they flew right above me the diesel sound(a pulsed rumble) was the loudest, the dogs still barking like mad. I could clearly see the outline of the chase plane against the starlit sky but the outline of the triangle remained blurred. As they past I could finally hear the sound of the jet engines from the F-18 even though at very low throttle. I wondered what the stall speed of an F-18 is because they were flying so slow, but I never heard the engine pitch change as long as I could see them. The sound from the lead object also never changed but was still audible long after they were out of sight. The dogs went quiet as soon as I could no longer hear them, which surprised me a bit since dogs generally hear much better then us. But from start to the end they seemed to hear what and when I heard it. The only other time that I have unusual things in the night sky is with my Gen.II night vision goggles but that is a different story all together. One last thing. With out checking by compass, I estimate that they were flying South maybe South/West.

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