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Fwd = [SW] unusual night sighting of fastmoving aircraft

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) Originally from: owner-skunk-works-digest@netwrx1.com (skunk-works-digest) Original Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2003
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      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

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

      Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 07:51:55 -0500 (CDT)
      From: Todd Madson <crash@xxxx>
      Subject: Re: unusual night sighting of fastmoving aircraft

      Very unusual:

      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
      in question.

      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?

      - -Todd


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