We are in remote location on a hillside at 5,000 altitude. We routinely sky-watch from our hot tub and watch planes, satellites, the ISS, shooting starts, etc.
Tonight my wife was looking out window at neighbors��� house (checking security as they were away). Called me to the window as she noticed a bright object toward (but above) the horizon that ���looked weird���.
I saw the object and it was the only light object in the sky. Bright. No stars or clouds visible (dusk). Very apparent twinkling effect that did not match anything we have ever observed.
Got a pair of binoculars. We turned out the house lights and stood in an open doorway for an unobstructed view. The object was obviously hovering. To us it was positioned adjacent to the edge of a branch on a pine tree and NEVER moved from that position.
It had varying light colors showing. The effect to both of us was that lights were rotating around the object yet appeared somewhat random in the color effect. It displayed a Strobe-like flash but of a much longer flash duration than strobes seen on an aircraft. This is what gave it the twinkling effect (at a distance). It was not similar to a strobe light bar because the flash duration was too long.
The lights tended to prevent us seeing any other portion of the craft but there appeared to be a shape above the lights, but not much larger than the circumference of the lights.
The impression I got was that it could have been a helicopter hovering and someone trying to make it look like a UFO by using some VERY bright and UNIQUE lighting technology.
Duration was about 15 minutes. As time went on it did get dimmer to the point that it was not longer visible. As the object itself started to fade out the stars were beginning to be seen.
Important to note that it never moved. Even if it was going straight away from us we would have been able to tell over that 20 minute period. It just stayed in the same spot almost touching that same tree branch. If you have one more person who could position it just as exactly you could probably triangulate the approximate position and altitude.
From our position we often see the medical helicopter from the nearby hospital as it takes off and flies towards the valley (Phoenix metro area). We usually lose sight of it as it drops towards the horizon and below the mountains, thus blocking our view.
Distance. If it were to be the same size as the medical helicopters we watch than I would estimate the distance as 3 miles. I had the impression that the distance was much further and that the craft was much larger than a medical helicopter. Distance as much as 20-45 miles. If it were 45 miles it would be visible to residents of Fountain Hills and people at Saguaro Lake. If so, then you will have other reporting the vent.
I started writing this at about 2010 while my wife gave me updated reports. I listed to the radio scanner and it was quiet with no activity.
I would like to note that I have flown as a passenger in small fixed and rotary wing aircraft at night so I am also somewhat familiar with time/distance traveled as well as how aircraft appear at night, and at what distance they can be seen from.
Good luck, hope this helps.
If you want to contact please make the initial one by email. Tnx!
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