I am a new subscriber to this list. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is a fairly small
college/tourist/retirement town in the SE part of the state. I have a
masters degree in environmental sciences and worked in a state
regulatory agency for many years prior to moving down here. As a
younger man I spent six years in the US Navy as a hospital corpsman.
Two of those years were spent on board a fast frigate in the Pacific.
The others at Navy hospital located at a Naval Air Station in Florida.
At one time or another I think I have seen just about every aircraft
in the US arsenal, barring some of the higher flying spy planes. Which
brings me to the reason I subscribed to this list in the first place.
At approximately 12:15 pm, on May 19 of this year while bicycling on
the National Park road known as the Colonial Parkway I witnessed a
very large, dark gray object hovering above the James River. I have
biked this lovely stretch of road regularly for the past 7-8 years and
thought I'd seen everything one possibly could in the skies above the
river. But this object was very different. I first caught sight it
about a mile east of the famous Jamestown Island. It was directly in
front of me, perfectly framed by the gap in the trees made by the road
itself. In truth, I could not not see it. Upon first seeing it, I
asked myself, "what the hell is that?" It was quite large, dark slate
gray, shaped like a rounded square with three or four black horizontal
lines running around it. At first I thought it was either a very large
kite or an advertising balloon of some kind. But, this happened to be
a very windy day (winds gusting up to 30-35 mph out of the west) so
that seemed unlikely. As I rode towards it it remained perfectly
stationary in my line of sight. It was only then that I began to get a
clearer idea of its size. It was huge, on the order of a blimp or
dirigible. I cycled on and lost sight of it behind a stand of trees. I
reacquired it another mile or so down the road where the trees thinned
out. It was now well over the river to my right. I had a very clear
view of it from the side this time. It was shaped like a flattened
American football and moving leisurely into the wind. There was no
writing on its side nor any markings or any kind that I could see.
Thinking it might be a huge parasail I kept looking for a boat
underneath it or guide lines, but there was nothing beneath it but its
own shadow. I biked on another half mile or so and came to a meadow at
the 31 km road marker. The object/craft had now crossed the river and
was hovering very near the Surry Nuclear Power Station, a distance of
some three miles from where I stood. I watched it like this for a good
15 minutes. I can't be certain just how close to the station it was,
but it appeared to be over the far beach and was making a very slow
circuit of the station perimeter, taking care to stand off from the
plant itself while remaining just below the treeline (the pines here
can get quite tall, some in excess of a 100 feet). Because the power
station sits on the western edge of a peninsula I can't be absolutely
certain of the exact compass headings. I believe the object was moving
from north to south along the western perimeter of the station.
Needless to say, I was captivated by the sight of this unusual craft.
I couldn't take my eyes off of it. As it hovered/floated over the
water it rocked very slowly on its long axis. It was like a canoe on a
lake moving with a very gentle current. Even though I could see that
it was a very dull, dark gray color, its top or anterior surface
reflected the sunlight brilliantly. The flashes of light were so
bright that they made me squint -- and this with polarized cycling
glasses at a distance of three miles! Having the twin reactor
buildings in the background to use as a rough yardstick, I would
estimate that this craft was at least 200 feet long, and perhaps
By this time I was faced with a dilemma: should I keep watching or go
home and get my camera? My house is about 2.5 miles from where I was
standing, so I decided to go for the camera. I raced home, grabbed the
camera, hopped in my car and drove back to the Parkway. This all took
me about 20 minutes. But, by the time I got back to the river, the
object was gone. I drove up and down the road for a while looking for
it, but it was nowhere to be seen. In retrospect, I wish I'd stayed.
It would have been interesting to see how it left the area.
I could say more about all of the phone calls I made that afternoon to
the power station security office, local military bases, airports,
police, newspapers, Goodyear air operations, etc. but suffice it to
say that I got very little useful information from any of them and in
some cases was actively discouraged from pursuing the matter any
further. That is an interesting story in its own right.
Oh, by the way, what do the other subscribers to this list think about
that Northwest Airlines airliner that had its nose punched in at
18,000 feet over Tampa? Any thoughts on what might have caused that?