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UFO reported in Ridgecrest, California, USA, 2004:

This article was published in the daily newspaper The Daily Independant, of Ridgecrest, California, USA, on Thursday, November 11, 2004.

Top Story

Residents report UFO in Ridgecrest

By Jessica Tamturk

A bright circular-shaped flying object was seen soaring over the skies of the Indian Wells Valley late Saturday evening, startling at least five eyewitnesses.

At around 10:45 p.m., as each of three friends was returning home from a shared community event, a large object allegedly moving along the west side of the Valley caught their attention.

"It was neither a plane or a rocket," said long-time Ridgecrest resident Bonnie Mathis Tuesday evening. "It was very bright, and diffused colors within the object could be detected upon closer examination. Whatever it was, it scared the crap out of me."

In the three days since the incident, Mathis said she has been able to rule out that a jet or rocket incident had occurred that night for the lack of flames or the absence of emergency support, nor did she suspect the object to be a meteor since it was moving too slowly.

"I've seen lots of meteor showers and this was too big and too slow to be a meteor," said Mathis, adding that the entire sighting lasted about a minute.

"My husband was driving the car, so my attention was on this thing, whatever it was, for the entire time," she said. "Towards the end of its trajectory it just faded. It didn't lose its intensity it just got smaller, until it crossed the horizon and was out of sight."

UFO investigator Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center based in Seattle, Wash. said in a telephone conversation Tuesday that over 100 UFO sightings from the North American continent and beyond had been reported to his organization.

Among them was a report filed by a Newport Beach resident, which corroborated Ridgecrest eyewitness accounts.

The individual described that he had seen a large bright object moving low across the skies Saturday at 10:45 p.m., and rapidly made its way over the Pacific Ocean "at speeds no man made object could move," said Davenport.

No reports from Ridgecrest, nor the greater Mojave area, were reported to NUFORC for Saturday evening.

"It doesn't mean it didn't happen, it's just that as of yet we do not have a report filed," said Davenport. "Our belief is that out of 1,000 sightings, only one or two individual reports are filed. But if you have more than that, then perhaps several thousands have seen the object."

Upon description, Davenport would not commit to any specific confirmatory statement, but that sightings in the Mojave area were quite frequent.

Jerry Johnson, Mathis' friend, said Tuesday that she also had witnessed "a huge, bright light moving westward."

Johnson added that she had perceived a greenish glow around the object, a report that was corroborated by the third friend, who rendered a statement on condition of anonymity.

"I've seen lots of meteors in my life, and at the time I didn't think it was one, but in hindsight I don't know what else it could be," said Johnson.

Sgt. Jon Wheeler, who commanded the Ridgecrest Police Department Sunday and Tuesday, said yesterday that no such sighting reports had been filed with RPD.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Public Affairs Officer Ron Keck said this morning that Saturday's sighting comes on the heels of at least three other instances reported by NUFORC to have occurred in the Mojave Desert area since early September 2004.

Sept. 4, 2004, 8 p.m. - Two lights were reported as moving very quickly and erratically through the skies over Red Rock Canyon State Park. Objects were moving in instant 90-degree turns, performing looping and circling acrobatics throughout clear night skies for approximately 15 minutes. Scared, the witness quickly left the area, convinced that sightings were neither satellites nor meteors.

Sept. 17, 2004, 1 a.m. - Two campers, who were en route to a camping area east of Ridgecrest on State Route 178, reported seeing two red blinking lights circling a single white light right above their vehicle. After about five minutes, the lights that had begun moving northward an "unbelievable speed" vanished.

Oct. 28, 2004, 3:35 a.m. - While traveling northbound, a Ridgecrest resident sighted an orange object three times brighter than Venus to the northwest of his location, just above the mountains. As the individual continued northbound for about a quarter mile, he noticed that the object had moved behind a cirrus cloud, at which point "a large brilliant flash took place." While progressing further on his itinerary, the man reported that the unidentifiable object to be hovering in plain sight about 1,000 feet away from him for 20 to 30 seconds. As he looked upon the object, a black dot on the top of it was momentarily apparent. The witness report included that the object was "of size, color, and speed of likes he had never seen before."

Davenport spoke at length to the witness of the Oct. 28 sighting and reported that the person filing the statement, who allegedly is affiliated with the United States Navy, was "exceptionally serious minded."

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