Reader Sumitted Report2 sightings to report.
The first happened in 1965-66 era and it was over the Potomac River only a couple of miles from the White House. My wife and I were on the GW parkway which runs along the Potomac river when I looked over the river and noticed a "strange" orange light moving in the same direction and at about the same speed as I. (about 40 MPH) I drove beside it for about a mile before I decided to speed up to get ahead of it so I could pull off at an overlook a couple of miles ahead and at least 100 feet higher in elevation. As I pulled over and jumped out I yelled to my wife to get out to see, she wanted nothing to do with it. By this time the light caught up to us now I was at the same elevation as the light. I thought that it was just over the middle of the river. It did not look like an object, it was just a dull glow maybe 5 to 8 feet in diameter. It continued up the river until it was out of my sight. This happened I believe around 11:00 PM.
I looked for it in the paper, I don't recall which paper it was in but at that time there were three papers in Washington, The Post a morning paper, The Star and The News both afternoon papers. The story said that there had been reports from both sides of the Potomac of the Orange light over the river, which is about a mile wide from parkway to parkway. That meant that my estimate of 1/2 mile had been close. The report stated that the FAA had released a report that it had been testing a new "Navigation" light.
That was not the Big news I had just spent three years in the Army working on choppers and fixed wing aircraft, at that time there was only one fixed wing airplane that would fly at 40 MPH and it was made by the Rockwell Co. in Rockville MD 12 miles up the river and it had a 500 horsepower un-muffled engine that can be heard for 10 miles. Rotary winged aircraft can be heard for three to five miles over the river. The "NAVAGATION" light made no noise. The FAA was testing a light on a silent craft, the likes of which is not known to this day.
My second sighting occurred on 2/16/2007 I stepped out my back door at 7:PM it was dark I looked up at about 45o to see a white light appear from behind a leafless popular tree moving due south. In about a second a 2nd, then a 3rd until 6 lights in a line. I have houses on the next street that have lights in the rear, I looked down their lights were on but there are only a couple of them and they were not as bright or as clear, as I looked back up a second line of lights appeared to the left of the first line, there was no doubt that all 12 lights were part of one "unit" they moved to my horizon which is raised due to the trees around the houses of the street behind me. Just as they disappeared a helicopter came over my house moving very fast heading due south then a second chopper past a few hundred yards to the west, moving in same direction, they both disappeared on the southward course of the lights. They were gone for about 30 seconds, then I saw their lights coming back they flew to a point several hundred yards east of my house were the hovered at about 500 ft. for a min. before they continued on back to the north as they had come. It was dark so I could see no markings on them.
I have recounted this to several people over the months since while stating that I could not explain how so many lights could appear from behind 5 or 6 trees that had no leaves on them and I could see thru them. Then this past Monday I stepped out of the same door and realized the answer. At about 60o up the trees (again with no leaves there was a cloud formation from the north that ended above where the lights had appeared. The lights had been above a cloud, it was only by chance I spotted them through the trees.
My original impression was this ("thing") lights were at less than a thousand feet and traveling at no more than 50 MPH. With these conditions the craft would have been as large as a football field The problem with that is I believe that the choppers were chasing it and most choppers that size can do in excess of 100 MPH, why had they not caught it.
That leaves me to speculate that the lights were above the clouds at maybe 10,000 feet or more, if that is the case these lights ("thing") was at least a mile long, moving at least several hundred miles an hour.
One other thought, the navigation lights were not like an aircraft that charge for 3/4 of a second to flash for a brief instant, they were on for a second and off for an instant. This "thing" (lights) had power to spare!