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What Was the Weird Light Seen Over Colorado Last Weekend?

It might be a stretch to say that a spate of UFO sightings has been occurring over the western United States. However, though fewer in number, there have been a few reports of night time aerial illuminations forthcoming over the last week that have managed to present data that is somewhat better than the “typical” UFO report.

One such report, though it shall not be the focus of this article, involved a slow-moving triangular formation that was seen passing over San Diego, as reported recently in The Mirror. The article, and the video of the purported aircraft, can be seen here.

Another report of a nocturnal illumination, for which no video exists, but instead a particular depth of information given in its description, came to me via two campers in Colorado over the weekend. The married couple, Jim and Jana, gave me permission to share their report, with hopes that the aircraft they observed might be capable of being identified.

On the evening of Friday, September 18th, Jim and Jana were observing the stars together from their campsite near Buena Vista, Colorado. It was well after dark, and it was cool outside at their altitude in the mountains.

Taylor Park Reservoir near Buena Vista, Colorado. Photo by Steve Garufi.

Taylor Park Reservoir near Buena Vista, Colorado. Photo by Steve Garufi.

“We were sober and the night was cold and crystal clear,” Jana said in her message to me. “We were in the Taylor Reservoir area not far from Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado, and approximately 2-2 ½ hours south-west from Colorado Springs.” She continues: 

“We were watching the Milky Way while trying to warm up by a fire when we saw what we thought were extremely bright jet headlights sitting in the eastern sky.  Jim commented that the lights were unusually bright and there was a redness to the beam as well.  I poo-poo’d the comment but watched the lights with him.  We don’t remember seeing the lights grow – as they do when jets climb into the sky – and they did not move, period.  After a few minutes, the lights “bobbed” up and down.  I swear we were sober.  And then they moved to our left and then back again and “bobbed” up and down, and then flitted to the right and back again.  We watched the lights for about 10 minutes and then the “vehicle” moved off to the north like a regular jet with extremely bright lights.  In the interim, we watched the regular jets fly in from the west going east and then north toward DIA so we had a very good reference between regular jets and the lights we saw.

“Given the fact that Colorado Springs is a short distance as the crow flies, do you know of a type of Chinook or military helicopter that can fly the described patterns?  Also, are they able to fly at incredibly high altitudes?  And, there wasn’t any sound which struck us as strange since we heard the other jets as they flew overhead.  Jim is former army but he had never seen a helicopter maneuver that way so he was as speechless as I was. “

Jana and I have communicated before several times in the past, and in addition to her husband’s military background, our previous correspondences have revealed that Jana’s background and training is in the sciences, primarily that of paleontology. Earth sciences and, namely, climate change are also among her scientific interests. “I want a logical explanation for what we witnessed, as my brain is unable to accept that it could be unexplainable,” she told me.

As we exchanged emails, Jana also noted that the experience “was the very first time I have ever heard my husband ask me ‘What would you do if you saw a UFO?’ He’s so left brained that the comment floored me but he was very, very serious.”

Asking for further details, I questioned the “bobbing” motion that Jana described, and asked to see if she might give further details about what this looked like. Her response was as follows:

“I had to blink again and again because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  It was a slight ‘bobbing’ like a jet dipping when hitting slight turbulence but the movement was deliberate.  Whatever it was, it didn’t sit still and it was so bright.  We tried to rationalize a possible search and rescue but there weren’t any reports of lost people in the area and then we thought that it could have been a military training but Jade Helm is now in Texas and it was just one vehicle in the air.  The AFB in Colorado Springs and Buckley in Aurora normally deploy two to four or more jets when training.  And, they are really loud.”

Shortly after my correspondence with Jana about the object, I then had an opportunity to speak with Jim, her husband, about his own observations, which I have included below:

“After I first noticed it, it did “climb” about maybe 5 degrees but then held stationary, and then dropped straight down quickly and again held its position. That caused me to shout to Jana, ‘it just dropped straight down’.

“When I first saw the object, I was looking due east and it was almost completely dark.  I commented to Jana, “is that a planet” because it was so bright and stationary. To the east of us was a mountain range (The Collegiate Peaks)with 13,000 to 13,500 peaks. The town of Buena Vista Colorado is on the other side (east side) of the mountain range. The object was at about 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon, or just above the mountain peaks.  The mountain peaks were about 30-40 miles east of where we were, and we were camping at about 9,000 ft.

“The bobbing Jana describes was it holding its position but moving slightly side to side enough that we could discern the movement.

“The light then started moving from our right to our left, or south to north and it did have an apparent altitude gain, or that could be because it was moving a bit in a northwest direction and “climbing” in relation to the horizon.  It would have been either directly above the Collegiate Peaks mountain range or to the west side of the peaks.  I would estimate its altitude, based on the mountain peaks to the east at flying at roughly 14,000 to 15,000 ft.

“In all my years of camping in the mountains, I have never, never seen anything remotely like that.”

One item that I noticed had been omitted from Jim’s description had been the color; I asked for further detail about the color and general consistency of the illumination, and Jim told me, “It was pretty much solid red as I recall. The duration was about 5 to 10 minutes.”

“We were west of the Collegiate Peaks,” he told me. “To be more exact, If you google map Taylor Park Reservoir, we were camped about 15 miles north of the Reservoir on Italian Creek.” 

The Collegiate Peaks are a part of the Sawatch Mountain Range in central Colorado.

The Collegiate Peaks are a part of the Sawatch Mountain Range in central Colorado.

I decided to check with the National UFO Reporting Center to see if any similar observations around the date of September 18th had been reported, but currently the database has only been updated through September 16th, with no descriptions of illuminations that resembled what Jim and Jana described. One possibility might entail a variety of military flare, suspended by a balloon, although the description given by Jim and Jana does bear more similarity to that of an aircraft of some kind, albeit without the usual sounds associated with a commercial jet engine.

As always, I put this out to the readership: if you live near the locations of Buena Vista or Salina, Colorado, and have observed anything similar, we’d love to hear from you. I can be emailed directly here, or you may use the comments section below to share your observations as well. It would be interesting to hear from those of you who may have observed similar nocturnal aerial illuminations over extended periods in this way.

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Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

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