Synopsis: On 08 Aug 2011, at 2300 hours, WITNESS was enjoying a campfire with her family, about a mile and half south of the lakeshore in Willowick, Ohio. Gazing up at the stars, WITNESS saw what she thought was plane, but noticed an additional object flying with it, below, and to the side. WITNESS later checked to see if it might have been the ISS or satellites over the area at the time, but found no reports of it. WITNESS was with other family members who saw the same objects: her husband, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend. Her aunt, who was not a witness but heard the story from WITNESS, suggested it may have been an aerial re-fueling mission. In a subsequent e-mail, WITNESS stated that the objects were above Lake Erie, and headed West/Northwest at commercial plane height, but not so high as to leave a vapor trail. The lights did not blink. The one on top was larger. WITNESS remembered that they couldn’t make out anything around the lights, even using binoculars. They saw no craft, just the 2 lights, which did not alter course, had no sudden movements across the sky, but were moving in a very smooth, steady path.
Evidence Submitted: Rendering/sketch.
Initial Action: This UFO case was opened as an AN1, an anomaly that left no lasting physical effects, such as lights in the sky and similar phenomena.
Investigation and Findings: API contacted WITNESS multiple times via e-mail and conducted a telephonic interview to better determine exactly what WITNESS saw and when WITNESS made the observation. WITNESS consulted with her husband and they both concluded the sighting was most probably on a Saturday evening in 2009, either late August or early September, making the possible dates August 22 or 29, or September 5 or 12, 2009. WITNESS in a later e-mail said her husband thought the lower, smaller object was dangling from the larger one on top and that it seemed as if there was something stiff or steady connecting them. One object was lower and off the northern side of the larger object, not directly below it. With this input, Investigator researched aerial refueling and sent WITNESS numerous examples from YouTube of aerial in-flight refueling clips. However, WITNESS related in the follow-up e-mail that she was mistaken in seeing something connecting the two, relating that she didn’t actually see anything physical connecting the two lights, but for some reason thought that’s what they all saw—two separate objects flying at slightly different altitudes and in perfect synch. WITNESS then e-mailed a YouTube clip of what most closely resembled what they observed. It was a video clip of a UFO taken over Lake Erie in 2009. Investigator did find numerous accounts of unidentified flying objects over the Lake Erie area during the 2009 time-frame that seem to match was WITNESS observed. The lights did maintain a perfect distance and appear to be on object with two lights. With no further input at this point in the investigation, what WITNESS saw is Undetermined.
Inaccuracy in the recall of WITNESS made it difficult to determine exactly what WITNESS observed and the date of the sighting. Additionally, the weather conditions at the time of sighting could not be confirmed. At first, the observation of a connecting apparatus between the two objects lead Investigator to think WITNESS may have observed an aerial in-flight refueling mission. However, in subsequent e-mails WITNESS withdrew from that accounting. Investigator conducted a telephone interview with WITNESS on 12/12/2012 and felt WITNESS was honest and forthcoming, doing her best to recount what she remembered seeing. Investigator asked WITNESS if she had ever seen Chinese Lanterns in the skies and she said she had, adding that what they saw was NOT that.
Investigator did find numerous reports of anomalous unidentified objects—very similar to this case—over Lake Erie during the time-frame before, during, and after those of this WITNESS. There has been a (and is, apparently, on-going) UFO flap over Lake Erie with multiple video recordings of these objects on YouTube and other UFO database reporting sites. WITNESS stated she did not know this and had not heard of sightings in her area until she began to look at YouTube videos in hopes of showing Investigator a match with her sighting. It is quite possible this WITNESS saw exactly what these others saw, and continue to see. Research has shown that different reporters from various news organizations in the area have contacted the FAA and near-by military installations inquiring if they have information on the origin of these craft. None thus far have reported a knowledge or affiliation with the objects in question. They remain unidentified. Barring any other solid input, Investigator is unable to determine what WITNESS observed. Case is closed as Unidentified.
Object Details: Closed as unidentified.