On Sunday (8/11/13) morning around 4:30, I was out with my girlfriend between Pahrump and Las Vegas watching the meteor shower. She had fallen asleep and I observed what appeared at first to be a dim star near the seven sisters star cluster. From my position, I was looking back to the east/southeast. I noticed that the light was moving and it appeared to be higher than planes fly, although being dark, it's hard to know for sure. The light appeared to fly in a roughly southerly direction until I could no longer see it due to the mountains. The light began quite dim, then disappeared. When it reappeared, it was substantially brighter than it's original luminosity. Then, it went dark again. The cycle of dark, dim, dark, bright was visible to me for roughly 1.5 to 2 minutes; each phase of the cycle took approximately 2-3 seconds. The light appeared white in color.
chances are, especially in NV, what I saw was a plane, but it appeared much higher than any I've seen before. I have no formal aviation training but have lived in the flight path of McCarran airport 8 years and am fairly familiar with their various entry and exit routes, given the wind, weather etc. This object appeared not only higher than expected but also appeared to be headed in a direction that I don't think I've seen before, however it is possible that being roughly 30 miles west of my house skewed my perspective. I also notice that there never seem to be flights originating from McCarran that early. Perhaps it was just an international flight or some other one going somewhere quite far away. One thing I've noticed about planes even flying very high is that one can usually see one or both flashing lights on the wings which have a fairly frequent flash time/cycle. This object definitely had a much slower flash cycle, and I've never seen a plane that flashes with different luminosity each time, nor have I ever seen a plane go dark for several seconds as part of the light flash cycle.