Author Topic: UFO over El Cajon 09/16/10?  (Read 2495 times)

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Offline PPI Karl

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Hey, through my upstairs front window today, between 12:10 and 12:15 p.m., I tracked what I think was a UFO, for about five minutes:  a spherical and bright object traveling from west-northwest to west of downtown El Cajon, fairly close to my place.  The object moved with constant and measurable speed for about sixty seconds, and then it stopped in place, where it resembled a bright star (not unlike Venus).  It remained there for over three minutes before seemingly lifting and fading from view in the same place it stopped.  The entire sighting lasting for about four minutes.

Of course, when I reached for a camera I keep nearby, it was well out of the room.  I thought it might have been a white balloon at first that got caught in a thermal convection, but to have been able to see it from such a distance in the first place makes me think it must have been a pretty big balloon (which, of course, is possible, since weather balloons are frequently that large).

Just wanted to know if anybody else saw it or heard about it.   
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 03:29:14 PM by PPI Karl »
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Offline PPI Debra

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Hey, through my upstairs front window today, between 12:10 and 12:15 p.m., I tracked what I think was a UFO, for about five minutes:  a spherical and bright object traveling from west-northwest to west of downtown El Cajon, fairly close to my place.  The object moved with constant and measurable speed for about sixty seconds, and then it stopped in place, where it resembled a bright star (not unlike Venus).  It remained there for over three minutes before seemingly lifting and fading from view in the same place it stopped.  The entire sighting lasting for about four minutes.

Of course, when I reached for a camera I keep nearby, it was well out of the room.  I thought it might have been a white balloon at first that got caught in a thermal convection, but to have been able to see it from such a distance in the first place makes me think it must have been a pretty big balloon (which, of course, is possible, since weather balloons are frequently that large).

Just wanted to know if anybody else saw it or heard about it.   

I missed my ride.   :)

This is interesting, especially because of the witness. (Larry wants to know if it was over Unarius?!)
I haven't heard anything, but if I hear or see something, I will let you know.
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Offline Gary

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Hi Karl, which direction were you looking when you saw this object?  I know it's only an idea, but it's the Miramar Air Show time of year again, which means a lot of extra military air traffic , which usually can be seen East, or more Northeast from your home.  Yeah, so just a thought.  Possible?

I wish you would have been able to grab your camera.   :-\
Gary \m/
An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself!

Offline PPI Debra

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There is a local MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) group. http://n6rpf.net/mufon.html

MUFON is non-profit and have been established since 1969. They are scientifically based.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_UFO_Network


You can file an online report @: http://www.mufon.com/reportufo.html
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

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Hi Karl, which direction were you looking when you saw this object?  I know it's only an idea, but it's the Miramar Air Show time of year again, which means a lot of extra military air traffic , which usually can be seen East, or more Northeast from your home.  Yeah, so just a thought.  Possible?

I wish you would have been able to grab your camera.   :-\

Interesting!  And Gary might be right!    P^/

It is possible that a jet was initially flying level and then shot straight up.  As a jet changes direction in this fashion and is viewed from a distance, it gives the illusion that it is gaining neither distance nor elevation.  The pilot would also have been full throttle for the climb.  This causes the afterburners to release more fuel directly into the exhaust to mix with the oxygen there and produce more thrust.  The result....rapid acceleration in any direction the pilot wants to go (in this case...up) with a larger flame emitting from the exhaust (hence, the bright light).  Once the pilot lays off the throttle or changes direction, the bright light dissipates or disappears suddenly all together. 




Offline PPI Karl

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Yeah, you know, I don't usually put much stock in a lot of UFO reports, especially when they're tantalizingly close to the Unarian Academy.  (Yes, Larry.  In fact, Max's first response to me when I told him was, "Did you see Princess Ariel on board?" :D)  And, I watch a lot of aircraft come and go from my upstairs windows, since Gillespie Field is so close.  This one seemed different from anything I'd seen. 

I first noticed it steadily moving from the northwest (in the general direction of Miramar) toward my house, but at a fairly high altitude.  At first, it looked like every other shiny flying object catching the light, but usually when aircraft get closer to my place, I can make out their familiar shapes.  I completely expected this one to be a helicopter that I just didn't recognize at first.  However, after it glided eastward like a balloon, it slowed to a seeming stop almost directly overhead.  (I had to crane my neck and smush myself close to the window to look up and see it.)  I used the seams of the window panels like cross-hairs to see if it were wavering or if it were actually moving slowly away, but it wasn't. It just looked like it stopped.  There, it remained in the same spot for almost three minutes--stationary!  Its general brightness and size were almost exactly like Venus, except it looked like this against the bright blue of noonday.  In the last thirty seconds or so, it faded from view but without moving in any direction--except for up.  (At least that's the only thing I can think of.)

I like your idea, Gary, that it was from the Miramar Air Show.  Are they exhibiting any experimental aircraft this year, I wonder?  It did seem to come from that direction.  I also like your idea, Lillie, that I was looking at its afterburners as it was accelerating upward.  The only thing that confuses me, though, is that it didn't look any more like aircraft the closer it got, and when it faded from view, it didn't leave on a trajectory upward.  Maybe I just happened to be at an angle coincidentally that made it look like it was sucked into a diminishing point, but it still looked like a spherical object with the luminosity of a large star or planet.

Debra, thanks for the links.  I think I might actually report this one to MUFON tomorrow.  At the very least, it might corroborate or provoke someone else's report.  I'm still mystified, though.  Disquieted and mystified. ???
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Offline PPI Debra

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Yeah, you know, I don't usually put much stock in a lot of UFO reports, especially when they're tantalizingly close to the Unarian Academy.  (Yes, Larry.  In fact, Max's first response to me when I told him was, "Did you see Princess Ariel on board?" :D)  And, I watch a lot of aircraft come and go from my upstairs windows, since Gillespie Field is so close.  This one seemed different from anything I'd seen. 

I first noticed it steadily moving from the northwest (in the general direction of Miramar) toward my house, but at a fairly high altitude.  At first, it looked like every other shiny flying object catching the light, but usually when aircraft get closer to my place, I can make out their familiar shapes.  I completely expected this one to be a helicopter that I just didn't recognize at first.  However, after it glided eastward like a balloon, it slowed to a seeming stop almost directly overhead.  (I had to crane my neck and smush myself close to the window to look up and see it.)  I used the seams of the window panels like cross-hairs to see if it were wavering or if it were actually moving slowly away, but it wasn't. It just looked like it stopped.  There, it remained in the same spot for almost three minutes--stationary!  Its general brightness and size were almost exactly like Venus, except it looked like this against the bright blue of noonday.  In the last thirty seconds or so, it faded from view but without moving in any direction--except for up.  (At least that's the only thing I can think of.)

I like your idea, Gary, that it was from the Miramar Air Show.  Are they exhibiting any experimental aircraft this year, I wonder?  It did seem to come from that direction.  I also like your idea, Lillie, that I was looking at its afterburners as it was accelerating upward.  The only thing that confuses me, though, is that it didn't look any more like aircraft the closer it got, and when it faded from view, it didn't leave on a trajectory upward.  Maybe I just happened to be at an angle coincidentally that made it look like it was sucked into a diminishing point, but it still looked like a spherical object with the luminosity of a large star or planet.

Debra, thanks for the links.  I think I might actually report this one to MUFON tomorrow.  At the very least, it might corroborate or provoke someone else's report.  I'm still mystified, though.  Disquieted and mystified. ???

Larry loves Max's response. Much laughter.

As a prior investigator, it's the "3 minutes stationary" that makes this a case. (And the witness.)
I haven't had that type of encounter personally, but I have witnessed 3 "somethings" over Napa Valley. I understand why you feel the way you do.
MUFON may also have other reports of this in their data base. I don't know if they still share the info.
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ljiljanac

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Oooooooo, a mystery!!!!   Such intrigue!!!!    :o    I wish I could see a UFO.

Offline PPI Tim

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Cue Brian's New Year Eve UFO music. (you know how it sounds) If anything, I'm betting on a weather balloon from Gillespie Field. You check to see if it is weather balloon by finding out when they launch weather balloons from Gillespie Field. If it around the time you saw it, then you have your answer.
But if it wasn't....then I think they were hovering around downtown El Cajon trying to figure out when the El Cajon Brewery was going to open. Princess Ariel is getting thirsty and they are taking forever to open that damn place. ;D
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline Gary

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I worked at Gillespie Field for nearly 10 years and never once have I ever seen or heard of weather balloons being launched from there.  I'm not saying they didn't for sure, but I honestly think that is unlikely.  Perhaps some people in the vicinity launched their own perhaps?  I've never even seen a weather balloon up close before, but I think they're quite large and noticeable!?  Maybe requires a small team, esp. if it's official business.
Gary \m/
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Offline Gary

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Curious... are weather balloons typically launched during daylight or at night?
Gary \m/
An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself!

Offline PPI Karl

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I'm not really sure if there's a daylight protocol for launching weather balloons.  If it was a balloon, it would need to have been set aloft quite a ways west of Gillespie Field, as I watched this thing travel probably ten or fifteen miles from where I first noticed it to where it stopped and rose out of view.  For that reason, I have to agree with Gary:  probably didn't originate from Gillespie Field.  I've been searching for information about whether any balloons were launched yesterday; so far, nada.

Also, I took Debra's advice and reported it to MUFON last night.  First time for me, even though I've seen thangs before.  Guess it's now in the hands of the unidentified.

BTW, Tim, your brewery comment is a little spooky:  from my vantage point, the object could have been directly over the future site of the brewery.  Perhaps you're right:  beer really is a universal language.
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Offline PPI Tim

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 ;D I just can't think of anything in El Cajon that would interest a UFO's.
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Karl

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;D I just can't think of anything in El Cajon that would interest a UFO's.

What about me? ;D

Actually, I had another thought about the timing of this event:  it seems more than coincidental that I would witness this shortly after noon, doesn't it?  If someone were going to stage an event that required a launch point, wouldn't an exact hour like 12:00 make sense?  If an aerial experiment were in play from the moment of 12:00 noon, it makes sense that I might have first noticed it after having traveled ten minutes.  These were the weather conditions at the time of the event:

Time          Temp.     Dew Pt  Pressure  Wind  Wind Speed  Wind Gust
12:10        76.3 ?F    56.9 ?F    29.96in    SW   3.0mph        5.0mph

If I'm looking at this data correctly, the notion of this object drifting with the wind doesn't quite jibe.  I'm still stuck, too, on what would make it come to a complete stop, too.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 03:14:35 PM by PPI Karl »
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Offline PPI Brian

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Hey, through my upstairs front window today, between 12:10 and 12:15 p.m., I tracked what I think was a UFO, for about five minutes:  a spherical and bright object traveling from west-northwest to west of downtown El Cajon, fairly close to my place.  The object moved with constant and measurable speed for about sixty seconds, and then it stopped in place, where it resembled a bright star (not unlike Venus).  It remained there for over three minutes before seemingly lifting and fading from view in the same place it stopped.  The entire sighting lasting for about four minutes.

Of course, when I reached for a camera I keep nearby, it was well out of the room.  I thought it might have been a white balloon at first that got caught in a thermal convection, but to have been able to see it from such a distance in the first place makes me think it must have been a pretty big balloon (which, of course, is possible, since weather balloons are frequently that large).

Just wanted to know if anybody else saw it or heard about it.   

I missed my ride.   :)

This is interesting, especially because of the witness. (Larry wants to know if it was over Unarius?!)
I haven't heard anything, but if I hear or see something, I will let you know.

LOL! I was going to ask the same thing. Perhaps it was looking for the Unarias building?

;D I just can't think of anything in El Cajon that would interest a UFO's.

Beside the Unarius Academy of Science headquarters, the El Cajon Brewing Company on Main & Magnolia comes to mind...  ;D

On a serious note, I have observed aircraft landing lights in the evening become distorted over the mountains, as if they are passing through a thermal inversion layer (picture a mirage on a flat stretch of highway on a warm summer day, only larger and higher up in the sky). I wonder if it could have been some sort of refracted image, kind of like thermal lensing, of an actual aircraft that could have been turning at a greater distance. Did you manage to see any commercial aircraft in the sky minutes after the "ufo" vanished?

Just my two cents...
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 06:11:50 PM by PPI Brian M »
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Offline PPI Tim

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Here is a outlandish thought.
If it was a UFO, could they have been tracking someone? Someone they have picked up before?
Someone who has been tracked to El Cajon?
"Time for your yearly checkup Mr. Jones!"

Does Gillespie Field have a curfew like Lindbergh Field has for flights?
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Brian

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Here's a link to a Wiki article about inversion layers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(meteorology)

And an excerpt that articulates the point much better than I can manage:

The index of refraction of air decreases as the air temperature increases, a side effect of hotter air being less dense. Normally this results in distant objects being shortened vertically, an effect that is easy to see at sunset (where the sun is "squished" into an oval). In an inversion the normal pattern is reversed, and distant objects are instead stretched out or appear to be above the horizon. This leads to the interesting optical effects of Fata Morgana or mirage.

So I would suggest what you saw was indeed an aircraft, but it was a distorted superior mirage or an atmospheric duct.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:34:33 AM by PPI Brian M »
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Offline Gary

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Tim.... Gillespie does not close per say. but they do have a noise abatement policy that goes into affect at 9PM when the tower closes, or 10PM.  That basically means, larger business jets should not be flying into the airport so late because of the homes all around.  That doesn't always stop them though.  However, any normal civilian aircraft can land/takeoff from Gillespie at anytime.
Gary \m/
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Offline PPI Jason

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Gary,

I wonder how accurate that is today though. I have a view of the airfield from my backyard and, at least every night that I observed, after 10:30 PM, all the landing lights are turned off at the field. I wonder if they shut down or if they just didn't happen to have scheduled flights the nights I was looking.

However the sheriff helicopters, ASTREA, fly out of Gillespie at all hours.

I also regularly hear the large Miramar helicopters, especially the past few nights, fly from Miramar, just south of my home, and then continue east (in the area that Karl described).

But I'm stumped, I watch the sky quite a bit and I can't say I've ever seen anything move in the way that Karl described.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 11:26:02 AM by PPI Jason »
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Offline PPI Karl

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Brian, I know the effect you're describing (thanks for the link and the comments), but I'm having trouble applying it to what I saw.  It didn't seem distorted or "glimmery" the way that mirages are; in fact, it seemed very discreet and clear, even though it was small and shiny.  The view of the land under and behind it, in the sky, didn't seem any different either.

In fact, I get the impression some of you may think I witnessed this object at night because of my "star-like" description.  It was actually a noon-time event (12:10 p.m.), so I watched it in full daylight with the rest of the landscape as a context and certain landmarks as reference points (namely that white dirigible that's always hanging over that car lot on Main Street, like a sad pud). 

Maybe what I'll do later today--12:10, in fact--is, take a couple of images of the sky from where I watched it and illustrate for you what I saw.  A little dramatization might go a long way to clearing it up. 

I do appreciate everyone's comments on this.  I'm sure there's a rational explanation behind this somewhere.
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Offline Gary

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Hey Jason, after the Control Tower shuts down at night, Pilot Controlled Lighting comes into play.  All the airport runway and taxiway lights are on a 15-20 minute timer.  Pilots can activate the lights using their Comm Radio.  ASTREA, and Mercy Air usually both do that.  And like I said, the airport doesn't close.  Anyone can fly in their anytime whether the control tower is operational or not.  The larger jets are suppose to obey the noise restrictions after hours, but they don't, and Jason, I know you have front row seat for that.   There are some Aeromedivac flights that go in and out at all hours as well.  It's like speeding.  Don't do it.  Yeah right!!!   ::|
Gary \m/
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Offline PPI Brian

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Oh, I almost forgot that MCAS Miramar recently added a squadron of new aircraft: The V22 Osprey





This aircraft is seen more frequently in the airspace of MCAS Miramar, and they fly in a strange manner. They can fly like a normal aircraft, then slow down and hover, then zip away, giving them the appearance of a UFO. The light could have been a reflection of the sun on either the fuselage or the windows. :)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:35:36 PM by PPI Brian M »
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Offline PPI Karl

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Now that is cool.  It's ability to fly at high altitudes and to fly twice as fast as a helicopter would also explain the distance it seemed to have covered,  since it would have needed to be at a high altitude for me to have perceived it as a star-like point of light. This one's a contender.  Thank you, Brian!
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Offline PPI Brian

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Now that is cool.  It's ability to fly at high altitudes and to fly twice as fast as a helicopter would also explain the distance it seemed to have covered,  since it would have needed to be at a high altitude for me to have perceived it as a star-like point of light. This one's a contender.  Thank you, Brian!

My pleasure. I have been closely monitoring the establishment of these new air wings, because that means contractor jobs, which translates into organizing opportunities. While on base this week I had an opportunity to watch a V22 doing "touch and go". Very impressive. They fly like nothing I have ever seen before.  :)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZx-KyUACkQ?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zZx-KyUACkQ?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:40:19 PM by PPI Brian M »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

ljiljanac

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Taking into account my former USMC occupation, I have NOTHING good to say about that thing.  However, I do respect my fellow PPI-er's wonder and amazement at this ..... thing ...... and will keep my personal rant about it to myself, unless asked.  In other words, don't get me started.  lol   ;D 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 04:41:55 PM by PPI Lillie »

Offline PPI Brian

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Taking into account my former USMC occupation, I have NOTHING good to say about that thing.  However, I do respect my fellow PPI-er's wonder and amazement at this ..... thing ...... and will keep my personal rant about it to myself, unless asked.  In other words, don't get me started.  lol   ;D 

It's okay, Lillie. As a former aircraft mechanic I have serious doubts about the long term safety and air worthiness of this design. Too many moving parts, too many things that can (and do) go wrong. But I can't help but be amazed by them. 
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

ljiljanac

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Taking into account my former USMC occupation, I have NOTHING good to say about that thing.  However, I do respect my fellow PPI-er's wonder and amazement at this ..... thing ...... and will keep my personal rant about it to myself, unless asked.  In other words, don't get me started.  lol   ;D 

It's okay, Lillie. As a former aircraft mechanic I have serious doubts about the long term safety and air worthiness of this design. Too many moving parts, too many things that can (and do) go wrong. But I can't help but be amazed by them. 

;)

Offline PPI Karl

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I got a call from MUFON tonight to double-check my report.  I let MUFON some of your ideas about the possible causes, and I might be getting a call from someone who is checking out the air traffic on that day to see if any aircraft were in that area on Thursday afternoon.  I'll keep you all posted of the outcome.
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Offline PPI Jason

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Now that is cool.  It's ability to fly at high altitudes and to fly twice as fast as a helicopter would also explain the distance it seemed to have covered,  since it would have needed to be at a high altitude for me to have perceived it as a star-like point of light. This one's a contender.  Thank you, Brian!

My pleasure. I have been closely monitoring the establishment of these new air wings, because that means contractor jobs, which translates into organizing opportunities. While on base this week I had an opportunity to watch a V22 doing "touch and go". Very impressive. They fly like nothing I have ever seen before.  :)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zZx-KyUACkQ?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zZx-KyUACkQ?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

I saw one of these flying the other day and they are fun to watch.

I have a special connection to these because my brother works for Boeing and is one of the electrical engineers that works specifically on this plane. I appreciate avoiding any rants as I think my brother is very smart and he has worked very hard on this project for years.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 12:33:01 AM by PPI Jason »
Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
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Offline PPI Brian

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In 1986 I was laid off at Convair and landed a job at Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical -- the same company that built the Sprit of Saint Louis. This is the bird I worked on:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/rq2EIfy3R3M?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/rq2EIfy3R3M?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 01:18:15 AM by PPI Brian M »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan