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Washington County, Early-to-mid 1980s
Post by loves2garden on May 28th, 2008, 8:57pm

In summer of the early to mid 1980s, I was part of a group of about 8 people who had gathered to observe/photograph stars/meteorites. We were located in Washington County, WI, east of the area of Western Ave. and Division Rd. It was about 10 p.m.-midnight, with clear skies. I noticed what I thought was a group of planes flying low on the northern horizon. They were southbound, coming our way. There were some trees on this horizon, but otherwise the area consisted of farmers' fields interspersed with private homes. In other words, the view was unobstructed. I watched as the lights from the objects approached at a slow speed. There was no sound, but I thought perhaps that this was due to the fact that the objects were approaching me. The other people in my group, one by one, stopped what they were doing as they became aware of what was happening and started to observe the lights. I couldn't understand why planes would be flying in this area--even planes on their way to Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. The low altitude of the objects started to concern me. I would estimate that these objects were no more than about 200-300 feet off the ground, if that. As they approached, I believe I recall seeing a total of nine lights that I interpreted as being a light on each of the noses of what might have been three planes, and a light on each of the wingtips of these planes. I strained to see the outlines of the individual objects, but, despite the low altitude, could not see any outline. Judging from the arrangement of the lights, I interpreted it as three objects that were flying in a triangular formation--one object in the lead and the other two flying in back side by side. The lights kept in precise distance and formation from each other. The lights did not blink. They were white. It was as though the lights were flying in blackness, though I felt that they must have been attached to some thing or some things. The objects (I use the plural though there is the possiblity that there was one object) flew nearly directly over us at the slow speed, passing just slightly to the east and proceeding south. There was no sound despite the low altitude. It seemed that if it was three planes, judging from the space between the lights, they would have been about the size of those four-propeller military aircraft that fly over Ozaukee County cities before parades on the Fourth of July--but those planes make a lot of noise. As the objects passed over us, I just drew in my breath. They were so low and so big. I thought that as soon as the objects passed over and flew south towards the more populated area, the light pollution from Milwaukee would surely allow me to see the outline of these objects. Unfortunately, I could see nothing except the object or objects' nine lights. I must say that I was frightened and I noticed that none of my friends said a word or moved during this experience. It was as though we were frozen. I asked a friend if he knew what he had just seen, and he said he didn't. It was a very strange situation. We had a number of cameras on tripods pointed toward the northeastern skies for meteorites, but nothing pointing toward the objects. There were camera bags lying on the ground filled with 35mm cameras with high ISO film in them, yet none of us reached for a camera. We just stood there transfixed. If anyone can remember seeing lights like this in Washington County during this period of time, please comment.