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Sighting Reports 2010

Several See Erratic Moving Aerial Object With 4 Red Lights

Sketch of Lights on Photo of Area Where Lights Were Seen.
Sketch of Lights on Photo of Area Where Lights Were Seen.

Location of Object Based on Triangulation Computations.
Location of Object Based on Triangulation Computations.

Sarasota is on the West Coast of Florida.
Sarasota is on the West Coast of Florida.

Date of Sighting: May 19, 2010
Time of Sighting: 10:07 PM EDT
Location of Sighting: Sarasota, Florida (See Map)

Description: Listen to Report by One of Witnesses (MP3)
One of the witnesses called and left a voice-mail with his report about two hours after the sighting. He said that he and his friends saw an object with white lights moving unlike a helicopter or airplane. The object had four lights and the lights changed to red. The witness said that four helicopters were in the air near the object at the time. He did not indicate that the helicopters were pursuing the object. He thought that helicopters could be monitoring the beach due to the oil spill in the Gulf. No indication was given of the shape or configuration of the lights. The lights were observed for about 3 minutes. Photos and videos were attempted, but did not turn out.

Witness Computations of the Altitude and Size of the Object Based on Observations From Two Vantage Points:
Here is an email I sent to the other eye witnesses after we met up, compared stories and collected data from our 2 vantage points.  Using our 2 lines of sight we calculated it’s approximate distance.  Using our best guess we calculated it’s elevation in degrees from both observation points.  That gave us a true distance from the object as well.  Using that and several landmarks as size comparatives we were able to calculate it’s size.  Here’s the email I sent:

I used this to calculate the approximate altitude at it’s peak.

From my point of view (POV) = approximately 740 ft altitude (standing approximately 2,024 ft away and looking up at 20 degrees, approximately 2,200 feet focal distance)

From T/G (two witness names abbreviated) POV = approximately 940 feet altitude (standing approximately 3,490 ft away and looking up at 15 degrees, approximately 3,600 feet focal distance).

I am going to try to calculate the size of the object as well, relative to our focal distance and reference points with known distances and sizes to compare it to should make it a math problem I can solve.

Ok, from my POV the math says it’s about 380 feet wide, from T/G POV the math says 175 feet wide.  This is a big discrepancy, but we were viewing the object at a 90 degree angle from each other basically.  By the way a 747 wingspan is 195-224 feet and has a length of 231-250 feet depending on which model.  A range of 175-380 realistically would put this in the larger than 747 category and flying 740-940 feet up at it’s peak means it was WAY low.

Another Report by Witnesses: I got a call from a friend (at about 10:10 PM on 5/19/2010) to look at some weird lights in the sky. He described them as red and blue lights moving back and forth. I looked out the West facing window of my house and saw 4 red lights, hovering stationary. I immediately went outside and brought 2 of my friends. When I got out there I saw nothing at first. I did immediately notice multiple helicopters in the sky, at least 3, circling this area. As I rounded the corner of my house I saw 4 red lights in a horizontal row, quickly rising over the building to my west then abruptly the 4 red lights became one bright blue light. Simultaneously the object made a 180 degree change of direction with no deceleration or acceleration of any kind that I could see. We immediately went to our friends' vantage point to see if anyone had captured this event on film. We found eye witnesses, but no one who had recorded the event. We went to the beach to see if we could see it further out in the sky or over the water, no such luck. After about an hour we decided to call every news organization in our area and find out what was going on and why the helicopters were in the sky. Every news channel that covers Sarasota confirmed that they DID NOT have any helicopters in the air. That leaves the police and the military as possible owners of the helicopters circling the event. I called the Sheriff's Department and they said that they had no knowledge of their choppers being in use tonight. We had 2 vantage points between my friends who had initially noticed it and myself. It was directly West of me and directly North of them. From this we were able to figure out approximately where the object was. I was near Clark Rd. and Lockwood Ridge Road looking directly West, the others were near Gulf Gate Drive and Superior Avenue looking almost directly North. From this we could tell how far we were from it. Based on our best guess we assume that this object was at least as large a 747 and it moved like a kite. I have never seen anything like this before and have no rational explanation for what we saw.

Note: The witnesses have attempted to compute the altitude and size of the object based on observations from two locations. This technique is referred to as triangulation. The outcome of their computations are shown in the top map above. The baseline distance should be the distance between each witness location. Knowing this and the angles of observation would allow one to estimate altitude. The angular width of the object would then permit one to compute the approximate size. Of course the big assumption is that the witnesses would have had to been observing the object at the same time. There are a few discrepancies between the two reports regarding the color and behavior of the lights, but this fact shouldn't "nullify" this report.

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