Forwarded by: fwestra@...
Original Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 13:27:08 -0700
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Colorado Couple See Copper-Colored Disc Near Air Base
[Original headline: The truth is out there...]
Joshua Estudillo makes no claims to being Aurora's Fox Mulder, but the
self-described sky watcher said he has seen some things in the skies
that defy explanation.
Estudillo, 23, is part of a small but growing - and increasingly vocal
- nationwide community that believes in forces and beings beyond our
knowledge that might be visiting our planet on a regular basis. Call
it the hot rods of the gods or the grays if you like.
But Estudillo and his 26-year-old girlfriend, Rae Gonzales, said they
saw "something" in the skies near Buckley Air Force Base shortly
before 4 a.m. July 20 and the sighting was no chance encounter -
Estudillo and Gonzales regularly make forays to an observation site
near E-470 and East Jewell Avenue to watch the skies for
The couple described the object they saw as a glowing copper-colored
disc with a blue, iridescent, comma-shaped tail that looked, as
Gonzales described it, like "diamond dust" coming off one end of the
disc. The object moved in a straight line behind some patchy clouds
then reappeared, so it had to be fairly high up but not high enough to
see without binoculars, the couple said.
When asked if the object could have been a weather balloon, Estudillo
matter-of-factly said, "Nah, they don't glow like that."
Gonzales said she saw the same object and that she and Estudillo were
amazed to find that after they separated to record in their notebooks
what they saw, their sketches and notes were nearly identical.
"I'm not into it as much as he is," Gonzales said. "But I definitely
did see something."
Estudillo is passionate about skywatching.
"I started as a fourth grader," Estudillo said. "I'm constantly
looking up, every day. When I got older, it got stronger; it's sort of
Estudillo and Gonzales have traveled to the San Luis Valley in
southern Colorado to catch a glimpse of what many have described as
glowing red and orange orbs that appear at night, something
Colorado-based Mutual UFO Network International Director John
Schuessler said is a common sighting.
"The orbs, that has been occurring for years around the world,"
Schuessler said. "Lately, we've had a number of sightings in the San
Luis Valley and its darn remote."
That remoteness is good for sighting such things as the orbs because
the air is generally more clear than near populated and developed
"When something like that moves in the San Luis Valley, you know it,"
Schuessler, who worked as a life support systems manager on NASA's
Gemini program, was one of the non-profit group's founding members in
1969. He retired three years ago. The group's Colorado headquarters is
located here in Aurora and the international headquarters is in
Littleton. Schuessler said his group often works in conjunction with
the National UFO Reporting Center run by Peter Davenport, a regular
commentator on national radio about such phenomena.
"At the time, when we started the group, my interest grew out of my
work in the space program," Schuessler said. "People I trust told me
some things that were mind-boggling. I haven't had a sighting myself,
but I deal with data and I accept the data."
He said there are several factors that have driven the rise in
UFO-consciousness over the last two decades.
"First, you can only poo-poo something for so long," Schuessler said.
"Also, there are a lot of people with a scientific background getting
As an increasing number of military veterans have come forward
publicly over the last decade with sightings they have had, civilians
have become more comfortable with it as well.
"What's somebody going to do to them?" he asked. "The times have
changed, too. We really have no more of the 'loose lips sink ships'
attitude that began in World War II. The Internet can be a useful tool
- and a devil as well - but it does communicate things worldwide. It's
very hard to cover it up when its worldwide. And I don't think people
are as intimidated today as they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. It really
doesn't matter to them what people think, and a lot more people are
thinking for themselves now."
As for Estudillo's sighting, Schuessler said it is intriguing,
although the iridescent tail is not a common element.
"We've got almost nothing like that recently, but the disc shape and
copper color, that's fairly prevalent."
When Estudillo told members of the Denver UFO Society, of which he is
a member, about his sighting, several other Aurora members told him
they had seen the same thing recently.
Officials at Buckley Air Force Base said they were unaware of any
reports about such an object and referred questions to Air Force
spokesman Capt. Joe DellaVedova at the Pentagon.
"We're not in the UFO business," DellaVedova said, but added that his
office receives UFO reports about two or three times a year.
DellaVedova did speak briefly about Project Blue Book, an Air Force
investigation into UFO's that was discontinued in the late 1960s. The
project spawned a brief but popular late-1970s NBC television series
about two Air Force officers who investigated fictional accounts of
UFO reports based on real Project Blue Book material.
"Project Blue Book is on the web now," he said. "But as far as us
getting reports, it's pretty rare."
Estudillo, whose interest was partly influenced by his grandfather's
work for NASA, said he believes there will soon be major revelations
about what many UFOs actually are. When asked, he agrees that UFOs
need not always mean little green men, but said there are bound to be
things discovered that we as humans have not yet encountered.
"My grandfather always used to say 'For sure, they're out there,'"
Estudillo said. Stranger still, his grandfather spoke of someone
coming for him on the day he died.
"That day there was a UFO spotted," he said.
As long as curiosity remains high, Estudillo said he believes a
revelation might come sooner than later.
"It's 2001 now," he said. "There's gotta be a reason for all this."
If you think you've seen something in the sky that defies explanation,
there are several local and national outlets for making a report. The
Colorado MUFON chapter in Aurora can be reached at 303-451-5992. The
National UFO Reporting Center also takes reports at its website at
www.nuforc.com. The NUFORC website also outlines formats for concise
Skywatching takes preparation and discipline
Local skywatcher Joshua Estudillo admits his hobby might seem strange
to some people, but there is a method to it.
Whether you are looking for UFOs or simply want to catch a glimpse of
astronomical phenomena, Estudillo has some tips for those who are new
"Don't drink alcohol or smoke while you go," he said.
Alcohol impairs judgement and smoking has been shown to affect night
Dressing for the weather is a must, but always take along at least a
light jacket - nighttime temperatures can still drop into the 40s even
in July or August if a cold front is moving through.
Basic equipment should include:
o A digital or film camera with zoom capability
o A video recorder, with night vision mode if possible
o Comfortable outdoor chairs
o Good binoculars with a 7 x 50 rating or higher
o A notebook and pens and pencils
It's also a good idea to bring a partner who shares your interest
along as well. Find a semi-remote area and set up shop. The human
visual range can pick up about a third of the total sky. Watch sectors
of the sky on a scheduled basis and make notes of what you see.
The most important thing to have with you, Estudillo said, is
something that can't be bought though.
"A healthy curiosity and an open mind," he said.
Story originally published by
Aurora Sentinel | Frank Bell - Aug 1 2001
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