It's a bird. No, it's a plane. Wait, it's actually a UFO sighting. Apparently, way more than one in the D.C. area. This interactive map from New Yorker Max Galka uses data from the National UFO Reporting Center and Mutual UFO Network to compile more than 90,000 reports of UFO sightings since 1905. Each circle represents a reported UFO with the size of each circle representing the number of witness reports in that particular spot. By clicking on a circle, one can see additional information on that UFO sighting, including the date of the sighting, the UFO shape, and the witness report. Below, you'll find three UFO sightings in the D.C. area along with witness reports. If interested in taking a closer look at the map, check it out here.
Witness report 2 of 3 wrote:
Since I'm a hunter (waterfowl) when I was what looked like snow geese circling I started to watch close. The sighting was about 1/2 mile east of my home and looked to be approx 500 ft above the ground. After about 10 seconds I realized [that] I was not looking at birds. The objects appeared to be relatively small (5-10 feet) white in color with a V-ish shape. The objects seemed to be playfully flying about with one another.
After about 25 seconds 7 of the objects formed a neat triangular formation and flew due east and almost instantly and disappeared.
One object hovered to the left of the triangular formation and with a few seconds one of the objects in the formation flew directly across the sky towards the hovering object in a straight line and both vanished.
Witness report 2 of 2 wrote:
Orange glowing orb, bright white light emitting from it, levitating 100ft off ground and moved out of sight About 200ft from our house there was an orange glowing orb levitating over the hill in front of our house, a good 100ft from the ground. Once I saw it it began to move towards the right into a group of trees and disappeared. It made no sound what so ever, but the light was so bright and strong it illuminated my room. Although the orb was orange itself, it emitted a white light.
Witness report 2 of 3:
A flashing white light that darted about the sky with incredible agility. I was stargazing very high in the sky to the North, towards the big dipper, when I realized I had been seeing various flashes in my peripheral vision and I decided to focus my attention on them. I saw a fast moving object flashing, with a fairly regular pattern of two flashes in less than a quarter second, then a gap of about three quarters of a second.
After observing a first pair of flashes, I concluded that the object was a fast moving airplane. However, when the next pair of flashes began less than a second later, the object was moving in a completely different direction, perhaps about 135 degrees off from its original heading. It didn't seem possible for an airplane to turn so quickly and completely.
The flashing light continued this rapid darting behavior, changing its heading seemingly almost at random with each pair of flashes. After seeing each pair of flashes, I could roughly guess where the next would appear, but the position and particularly the heading would always surprise me somewhat when the next pair of flashes occurred. It gave the impression of a pinball being bounced rapidly around by bumpers.
Over the course of about 90 seconds, the object bounced its way to the West, and finally over to the Southern sky, where I lost it behind some trees. There was no sound at any time.
I watched the sky closely for about 30 minutes thereafter, and I spotted the light twice more, after roughly five minutes intervals. In both cases, I observed it near the big dipper where I had first seen it before, and in both cases I only had about 20 seconds to observe it before it went behind trees or my house. However, there was one amazing pair of flashes (again, separated by less than a quarter second) when the object performed a complete 180 degree reversal between the two flashes.
After that, I watched the sky with gradually decreasing attentiveness for about another hour, and I didn't see anything else of interest. There were commercial airplanes in the sky off to the South while I was observing the flashing object, but they had no apparent interactions with it.
My impression was that the object was high up and far away, but I cannot rule out the possibility that it may have been closer, though it must have been at least above tree level, since it regularly disappeared behind the trees.
As an amateur astronomer, I am highly familiar with the appearance and behavior of aircraft, satellites, and meteors in the night sky, and this phenomenon appeared to be none of these.
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