Cylinder UFOs reviewed as a common shape; MUFON Journal

Some of the CMS cylinder reports from the past year include witness testimony describing a centered dark band.

The cylinder or cigar-shaped UFO remains in the top 10 most reported objects each year for MUFON witness testimony. While we understand that many contemporary winged aircraft can easily be misidentified when viewed from the right angle, there are good cases where the witness is close enough to the object to rule out known craft.

In the early 1970s there was a rash of cigar-shaped sightings in southwestern Pennsylvania where the objects were very low – hovering and moving directly over building rooftops – and in multiple cases were spotted above electric company transformers where multiple fuses were blown.

I had an opportunity to videotape an interview with an eyewitness to a September 1987 sighting in this same region where the witness watched the object with two additional witnesses and later spoke with a power company employee who was repairing a transformer the morning after a sighting. The employee admitted he was aware of the UFO phenomena and in fact his company had actually issued a memo asking employees to be on the alert for these objects that were disrupting service in the area. The case was investigated at that time by UFO researcher Stan Gordon and this interview can be seen at YouTube.

Photos or illustrations of cigar-shaped UFO are rare as investigators reply primarily on witness testimony to gather case information. This image is from Case 34530 that occurred on January 2, 2012, over Kyle, Texas; a closed Unknown UAV case.

The following is Part 1 of a four-part series covering CMS cylinder or cigar-shaped witness testimony from 2011 for cases closed as Unknown UAV. Edited witness testimony and, when available, an investigator statement is included.

Using the CMS variable “one mile and under” and lower object altitudes, there are five closed cases from 2011 from three states – Arizona, Kentucky and Texas. Our story begins early in the year, on January 4, in Arizona’s Prima County, part of the state’s south central region with a 2010 population of 980,263 and a land mass of 9,186 square miles.

January 4, 2011 – Prima County, AZ. FB1, Category 1. Case 27254.

“I am visiting my sister here in Tucson and last evening coming home out on Tanque Verdie Road west, ‘hopefully spelled right’, we noticed what honestly looked like an airplane to me. It was coming straight at us at about 3,000 ft, ‘I am a pilot’. Suddenly, a relatively bright ‘star like object’ appeared to drop from it slowly. It was under control by someone or something as it stopped a few seconds, then headed west several seconds. It then quickly headed back east toward us in the truck, maintaining altitude. It was changing colors from red to white but in a twinkling ‘star like fashion’. There was no place to pull over in the first few seconds, but we kept the object in sight. Then a second ‘star-like’ object came out, only this one was smaller. I got out and the ‘plane or whatever’ passed overhead. It was dark but I could see what looked like a long cylinder with very slim ‘wings’ at the very back. There was no audible sound. It had two white lights on the front, and two red lights at the rear close together in the center. There are lots of aircraft with a rear set wing, but these wings were coming from the very back where the horizontal stabilizers are normally located, and appeared to be more like sticks than wings as they were very narrow. It did not have the normal marking lights of an airplane. No red light on the port wingtip, no green light on the starboard side, and no white light at the rear, just the two red lights close together. Having never seen anything like this before I was caught up in the moment and lost sight of the smaller object as it was like a far away star you almost had to look away from slightly to see. I had binoculars in the truck but by the time I got them out I could not find the first star-like object any longer and the people in the back seat were making jokes about my sister and I as we were the only ones who could see it from the from the front seat of the four-door pick up. We were just a minute or two from home, and I again tried to relocate any part of what we saw, but could not. I just can’t understand what or why an aircraft would release something like that.”

Field Investigator: “Witness A called me and we discussed his sighting for approximately 45 minutes. I got the impression of Witness A as being entirely sincere about what he had witnessed. Given his background and life experiences I believe that he did indeed see something that is unexplainable.”

March 1, 2011 – Brazos County, TX. CE1, Category 2. Case 29274.

“One morning, around 2 a.m. in early March of 2011, I walked into my backyard to have a cigarette before going to sleep. Before I proceed, I want to state that I am an avid observer of the sky, particularly in the city of College Station. I can therefore attest that I am very familiar with seeing planes (commercial and military), stars, meteors, cloud formations, and just about anything else you would see if you spent a lot of time sky-watching. Going back to 2 a.m. early March of 2011, I had just walked outside and looked up like I always do facing southwest. About 45 degrees off the horizon, I noticed a rusty orange-colored object flying from south to north (my left to right). This object was close (less than 200 feet off the ground and less than 250 feet away from me) and made absolutely no sound. It was shoebox-shaped (cubic) and appeared orange-ish in color but only because it was reflecting the orange hue of street lights it was flying over. Had there been no streetlights, this craft would have appeared black. The craft was not very large, maybe only several cubic meters in volume. My immediate reaction to explain how it moved so straight at constant speed and constant elevation, made no sound, and was so close to me was that it had to be a glider. This cannot have been the case, however, as a glider would have a very visible wing structure, which this craft definitely lacked. Eventually, this object flew out of my sight bearing north. I have never seen an object fly like this before or after this event. Several days later, standing in the same backyard and looking in the sky northwest, I noticed an even stranger event. A few days later (no more than 4) right around sunset (approximately 7:30 p.m.), I was sitting in my backyard and noticed a white, vertically oriented cigar-shaped object, relatively far away, about 15 degrees off the horizon, that appeared to be moving. This object was brilliantly white, in stark contrast to other clouds in the sky that were painted red and orange by the setting sun. As I stared, this object appeared to be changing and moving as I could see the object crossing below and then going back above a non-moving power line that happened to be in the same line of sight between me and this object. I watched this object for about a minute, and during that time its color remained this odd white, but its shape changed from vertical cigar, then shrunk into a sphere maybe a quarter the size of the cigar, then elongated into a horizontal-shaped cigar, and then shrunk back into a sphere. When it shrunk back into a sphere the second time, a bright orange point of light began shining from within this cloud-like sphere. The light was not moving, was colored bright orange, and was not any star or planet I have ever seen. It was still daylight out and maybe a few other stars or planets were even visible at this point in the evening, but this light was 10 times brighter than any other object/light in the sky. This convinced me to run inside and get out a half broken telescope and viewing the object through the starfinder of the telescope (similar angular resolution as a rifle scope). Looking through the starfinder at the still shining sphere revealed something incredible, and something I will do my best to describe in words. The orange light appeared star-like (a point source) and was very bright. It was orange, and its color stayed constant. Its position remained constant with regards to the ‘sphere’ and in my line of sight, making it seem as if both the orange light and the cloud-like sphere it came from were not moving with regards to each other or me. The orange light was coming from under what looked like a mushroom cap that colored this cloud like white. The best way I can describe what the cloud-like shapes (that turned into the mushroom cap) looked like would be very similar to the vapor cone that forms around a jet as it breaks the sound barrier. Very similar in texture and color. Eventually, both the orange light and the cloud-like mushroom cap disappeared into invisibility. They more or less faded from sight as I was looking at them. I have not seen anything unusual since these two sightings, but because of them I find myself constantly watching the skies with an undying anxiety of seeing something similar. I know what I saw and I know it was no object, natural or man-made, that I had ever seen before or have ever seen since.”

Investigator: “The object was first reported in the south to be about 200 feet above the ground and about 250 feet from the witness. Witness stated that the object was in the shape of a shoe box about 6 feet long by 3 feet wide and about 2.5 feet thick. The object was reported to have an orange glow but the witness seems to think that it was picking up the street lights below. The object was last seen in the north and just disappeared in front of the witness. There are three minor airfields location in the Bryan College Station area. West of College Station is Texas AM Test Station. To the northeast is Coulter Field and to the south is Easterwood Field. At this time this Investigation can’t determine what the witness may have experienced.  It should be noted that that College Station is the home of Texas A&M and it has been the experience of this Investigator that we have gotten some hoaxed reports in the area. The witness was reluctant to give any further information about his personal information. This leads this Investigator to believe there should be some question about this report. The size and description given by the witness is also in some question. At this time this Investigator can’t prove or disprove what the witness saw. This case will be closed as an Unknown UAV.”

March 2, 2011 – Jefferson County, KY. FB1, Category 1. Case 28068.

“Bardstown Road, MacDonalds in the Highlands. Driving around the back of the store to go through the ‘drive through’.  Looked up and saw object to the east moving north to south at a decent clip. Being in the car and the angle, we could not get a picture with our cell phones.  We kept looking for evidence that it was a plane and that with the angle of the sun the wings and tail fins were not evident.  As it passed we realized there were not any wings or tail fins and that it was longer than a plane.  It was close enough to see it decently.  It moved on to the south.  Not a usual flight pattern but not unheard of for planes.  But as we looked it did not have wings or tail fins. Currently I do not wish to be contacted by third parties, but could change this status if need be. There was no sound. We had the windows of the car open.”

Investigator: “The reporting witness was very well grounded and creditable. Her description and sighting reflects a pattern which is being reported across the state. Case closed and disposed as ‘Unknown’.”

March 2, 2011 – Coleman County, TX. FB2, Category 2. Case 28070.

Witness submitted this photo found on the Internet as appearing to be very close to what was seen in Case 28070 from Coleman County, Texas, on March 2, ,2011.

“Large well lit craft with three huge lights appeared at a very low altitude and banked hard and lights went out. A dozen very light blue lights moved about the area and circled my location flashing very quickly in a random pattern but never going too far from my location. Large craft first spotted reappeared at times just above the tree line to the west. Then lights again went out. Blue lights flew directly over my location and what seemed like a small craft revealed they were a very large craft with almost no lights on and the only one on that was on was on the very edge of the huge craft. The craft was at least a city block long and holding a tight but slow circular pattern around my location. The large craft appeared close and higher above the tree line. One light disappeared as it rotated out of view and another came on large and bright in the center of the craft. I thought the object was going to pass right over me but it backed away instead and the lights went out again. I could hear the roar of a jet approaching. I saw its lights as it passed overhead. All activity ceased but started back up not three minutes after the jet left the area. The large craft reappeared with two lights showing and looked again as if it was going to pass right over me. Once again the lights went out and I could hear the roar of a jet approaching the area again. I saw the jet streak through the area and the activity stopped again. I left the area and  saw a large, bright object high in the sky. It was located directly over a rural home. I could see folks standing on the front porch and vehicle parking lights on. I stopped to get a picture of the object above the house. It began moving away and I could easily see it had triangular lights on the bottom but my pictures didn’t come out as good as they should have of this slow-moving craft. Captured many pictures and some video of these events, but they do not do justice to what I personally witnessed.”

Investigator: “. I found this witness to be credible.”

March 28, 2011 – Coconino County, AZ. FB2, Category 2. Case 28523.

“I run a paranormal blog, and I took a trip to Sedona, AZ, last week for fun and to see if I could capture anything on film for my blog. I had been told by locals that things often show up on camera near the ‘vortexes’ that don’t show up to the naked eye. As my parents and I hiked up Bell Rock, I took several pictures of the sky and carefully scanned first to make sure I wasn’t photographing any planes, hawks or helicopters.  The sky was totally clear to my eye when I took this. Upon reviewing my photos last night, I found several anomalies only in the skies of Sedona photos, but this was the strangest one. It appears to be disc-shaped, grayish or silver, with some kind of white vertical cylinder in the center. I have attached the un-edited, full-size original photo, as well as a close-up of just the object.  To find the UFO in the full-size, look at the center of the sky area, then slightly up and slightly left.”

Investigator: “This is a peculiar type of sighting because the object was only “seen” by a digital camera.  There were three persons present, but none of them saw the object.  It only appeared in the photo.”

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