Aliens or just some dumb space station?

Okay I saw this thing in the sky a couple years ago (Apr. 1997) and I’ve always wondered about this.

Anyway, I saw a bunch of lights pretty low on the horizon, about an inch up maybe. There were about 11-15 lights clustered together, a couple lights in the center. Around these center lights are two sets of lights which are rotating around the center lights, it looked like they were rings. They were rotating pretty fast, and not all in one direction. I’m not really sure how to explain this. But if any of you saw “Contact”, I would say that it resembled the “machine” that they made. I also noticed that it stayed even with the horizon the whole time i watched it, moved in straight line across it.
So was this the machine from Contact, aliens, space staion, satelite or what?

It was me. Sorry. I’ll stop doing it.

It may be pretty tough for anyone to answer this, this far after the fact. One thing to consider: are you sure this object was in the sky and not on the ground? (Your description sounds to me like Ferris wheels, but that may just be your description, or it may just be my reaction to your description.)

yeah i don’t think anyone will be able to answer this for sure, i was kind of looking more for speculation, it’s just something i’ve always wondered about. i’ve thought it might have been the Mir space station, but i have no clue what Mir looks like. As far as it being on the sky or ground, it was definitely in the sky. At first i thought it was a cluster of stars, but then i noticed it was moving.

I think we can rule out any man-made spacecraft. Even the biggest space station looks just like a bright star coasting slowly across the sky, like a high-altitude aircraft.

Did you see this in a populated area? What kind of terrain? I know it’s really hard to judge the size, but what was the approximate angular size compared to, say, your fist or fingernail on your outstretched hand, or the moon? Was it completely dark, or was it shortly after sunset? Did you hear any noise? If it was completely dark, how did you know it wasn’t on the ground?

My only theory right now is that it was an illuminated blimp - those can display patterns using the thousands of lightbulbs arranged on the envelope. But it wouldn’t make sense to display such a meaningless pattern - they’re usually used to display ads.

Like scr4 said, it’s nothing man-made in orbit (all our stuff in orbit is just a point of light in the night sky).

Considering how many lights you mentioned, it doesn’t sound like a plane.

scr4 had good questions about angular size, etc. that I think you would need to consider further.

My WAG is that it was a blimp or hot air balloon advertising something.

okay, let’s see…i wasn’t in a populated area, kind of. I was on a farm about 40 miles outside of Richmond, VA, there were no distinct noises i could hear. That’s pretty flat terrain too. i’d say the angular size was about the size of my thumbnail. I started seeing it a little while after sunset and watched it for a long time, and by that time it was completely dark. I’m pretty positive it wasn’t on the ground, but i wouldn’t rule out something flying over the city. The only thing about that is that it stayed on the same plane the entire time. By the time i stopped watching it, where it had moved to was a straight horizontal line from where it had started, as if it had been moving with the earth’s orbit. Then again i don’t know how a stationary object in the sky might move with the earth’s orbit, so say if it was a blimp, and it was stationary, it might move across the sky like that.

personally ithink it might have been a blimp or hot air/weather balloon, seems like the most logical explanation, but like scr4 said, the light pattern wouldn’t make much sense. Another thing i forgot to mention is that the moving lights looked almost as if they were being propelled by…i guess the only good word i can think of here is thrusters. I didn’t see any sort of visual evidence to really back that up, but these lights would move slower sometimes, faster sometimes, in no particular fashion or timing. Almost as if they were balancing out something.

The question that comes to my mind now, is there any sort of military base around there? Do we have any planes/ helicopters, etc. in our military arsenal that might do such a thing?

well, Camp Peary, the CIA training camp, is just 30 minutes down the road near Williamsburg… there’s NASA research installations nearby, A huge Navy base in Norfolk (including, I believe carriers?), not to mention all them marines up at Quantico who might be out on a lark.

I’d don’t know much about what our military has stowed away in its garage, but there’s a huge military presence in that area.

Sounds interesting. It’s definitely not something in orbit - there is nothing in stationary orbit big enough to be seen by the naked eye, and even if there was, it wound’t move along the horizon like that. Likewise, anything in low earth orbit will move across the sky and disappear over the horizon after 10 minutes or so. It would not move parallel to the horizon. And the fact that you could see structure (multiple lights) alone would rule out anything in space.

It’s not a weather balloon either, since they don’t hover and aren’t illuminated. Hot-air balloons are often illuminated, but usually not decorated with spinning lights.

Are you absolutely sure there are no hills in that direction? In my experience, once the sun sets, it’s easy to forget where the hills are. It’s also very hard to judge the movement of something in the sky - it’s easy to convince yourself that something is slowly moving across the sky when in fact it’s sitting perfectly still.

Of course, it could very well be something military. Any speculations in that direction, anyone?

Could it be light reflecting off the spinning blades of a helicopter? Maybe?

I dunno.

It also could’ve been a flock of birds whirling and diving in a circular motion. They do do that sometimes, and can pick up the light when they do it.

It sounds like an alien spaceship to me.

i can’t be certain there weren’t any hills, i haven’t been there in a long time, but the point i saw it was well above the tree line.
And the spinning helicopter blades sounds the most like what i saw, except there is the whole thing about it staying stationary in the sky. I don’t think a helicopter could pull that off for that long, but i’m no expert.

Personally i’m intrigued by the whole military aspect.
i can see it now…“New to the military this year, the X-762, the hovercraft with the excellent flashing, spinny blades! Perfect for infiltrating the enemy’s defenses and then confusing the hell out of them by causing them to ponder: ‘What the hell is that?’…”