Fwd = [SW] unusual night sighting of fastmoving aircraft
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Originally from: owner-skunk-works-digest@... (skunk-works-digest)
Original Subject: skunk-works-digest V12 #2
Original Date: Fri, 02 May 2003 12:20:02 -0500
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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 07:51:55 -0500 (CDT)
From: Todd Madson <crash@xxxx>
Subject: Re: unusual night sighting of fastmoving aircraft
On April 22, 2003 at approximately 10:04-10:06 p.m. I saw a very
fast (probably high subsonic) aircraft fly from the northeast to
the southwest. Halfway into the sighting it abruptly veered more
in a westerly direction and quickly went out of sight of the viewer.
The aircraft was flying much higher than other aircraft in the
area (most a/c in my area, Bloomington, MN are on final appoach
for MSP). This a/c was at least 15000 ft. MSL by my guess.
Other aircraft in the area were probably 3000-5000 feet as I live
only miles away from MSP.
The aircraft had a very strange, super bright and distinctive
strobe light pattern of nine very quick pulses followed by a
pause then nine pulses ad infinitum. I've never seen a strobe
pattern quite like it - it was definetely calling attention to
itself. My wife even noticed it.
The nine pulses were timed very, very fast - you could couldn't
count it out vocally it was so fast.
No planform or other lighting was visible. Sounds from other
aircraft in the area masked any possible sounds from the aircraft
The aircrafts speed reminded me of the time last summer when the
Thunderbirds flew overhead on their way to the Mankato air show
and they were only visible for a minute or two as they were
going quite fast. It's certainly possible that the aircraft in
question may have been an F-16 since after 9/11 they would
periodically patrol our area but I haven't seen one locally
since last fall and the quick passage through our area to
areas beyond make me believe it was a temporary visitor just
passing through the area.
Has anyone seen or been aware of a new strobe light design for
aircraft with a very bright, pulsed design?
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