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Sighting Reports 2009

Woman Sees Large Low Flying Flashing Red Light

Port Townsend is About 50 Miles Northwest of Seattle.
Port Townsend is About 50 Miles Northwest of Seattle.

Date of Sighting: September 11, 2009
Time of Sighting: 1:30 AM PDT
Location of Sighting: Port Townsend, Washington (See Map)

Description: Listen to Recording of Witness Report (MP3)
The called and left a voice-mail immediately after her sighting. Although details of her report were somewhat "sketchy" she apparently saw a low flying light that flew south to north in the western sky just above the tree line. The light would emit a red flash at times. She observed the light for about 3 minutes. She said that she has had other sightings and has made several reports to the police in the past.

Note: I have no explanation for this sighting. The witness's report was somewhat sketchy. I did conducted an interview with her subsequent to her voice-mail message. I was unable to obtain any more information.

Update - Comments Received From Local Person in Port Townsend, Washington: I was browsing the internet in search of some specific maritime lighting laws when I came across this report (September 11th, 2009 in Port Townsend). I am a professional mariner by trade out of Seattle. To be clear, I stand undecided on the UFO issue. While I don't believe there is enough evidence to say that Earth is visited by UFOs, I don't believe there is enough evidence to say that it is not. With regard to this woman's report. Her report is consistent with the navigational lights of a large ship. At night, large ships run very few lights so as not to interfere with the night vision of the bridge crew. Very often the ship is so dark that it is indistinguishable from the surrounding dark, making the lights look as if they belong to low flying aircraft. The first light she saw, the bright white one is consistent with the forward range light of a large vessel, or perhaps a forward facing spotlight. The second red light is consistent with the port (left) running light which is red, as it is passing intermittently behind trees, OR a local port indicator light which is constantly flashing. She mentions that the light turns white again, which is consistent with the stern light of a large freighter. The last light, which she describes as a gold she had never seen before is consistent with a tug's towing light, or perhaps the deck light of a large vessel. Her report of the lights being in the Western sky moving North is exactly consistent with the order in which she would have seen the lights that I have described. It should also be noted that with the various naval stations, and coast guard facilities in the South sound, her report even more probable as being a large ship. Especially because the Military and local law enforcement vessels use special, and very specific lighting equipment that can sometimes look very different from what you would normally expect to see on the sound at night.

UFOS Northwest Comment: The explanation provided by the mariner above sounds to be quite likely. I believe that most (not all) nocturnal lights sightings could be explained if more data were available.

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