Date of Sighting: July 9, 2009
Location of Sighting: Happy Valley, Oregon. Outer southeast area of Portland, Oregon
Shape(s) of Object(s) (If Known): Oblong light
Color(s) of Object(s) (If Known): yellow-white light
Distance of Object(s) in sky (If Known): 1,500 feet
Further Description of Sighting: A “sailing streetlamp” observed for about a minute in Northwest Clackamas County, over Mt. Scott located in the outer-Southeast area of Portland, Oregon.
10:30 pm, 7/9/2009. A silent yellow-white oblong-shaped light traveled across a cloudless urban night sky. At the nearest point its distance from me was an estimated 1,500 ft. up, about 100 ft. out. At that point its apparent size was that of my thumbnail at arm’s length. The light intensity was like a sodium vapor street lamp at, say, 100 ft. away
I was looking at the Big Dipper and the light appeared out of the Southwest – the color and the absence of running lights caught my attention right off. After about 30 seconds of puzzling over the sight, it was almost overhead at that point, I stepped inside and grabbed my best 7X binoculars and watched it for another 30 seconds or so until I lost sight of it.
With or without the binoculars only one single light was visible, and it was as a fat oblong shape. The outline of the shape appeared to be like that of a 1970s-era streetlamp body. I saw no wings or stabilizers and no structure was apparent to me. There were no other light sources on or around the main luminous object. It had some source of silent propulsion that gave it a ground speed of perhaps 60 to 80 mph.
It flew smoothly as if gliding. It made a straight pass over the East flank of Mt. Scott, and continued directly at the same height and speed to the Northeast in the direction of Troutdale on the Columbia River.
Also interesting: approximately 15 minutes after the yellow-white light, a commercial 737 with all lights switched on made an unusual low, straight West to East pass directly overhead – at approximately the same altitude or lower, est. 1,200 ft – the lowest I have seen these craft fly over the city. It was low enough that the underbody appeared to be in part illuminated by ground light sources. That aircraft continued on to the East at that same altitude and I lost sight of it. While my location is often in an outer-PDX aircraft approach corridor, air traffic is almost always routed from South to North about a mile to the East of me and always at a higher altitude. That 737 was an unusual sight and oddly coincidental.