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Another of the UFO experiences I had was in mid 2001. I don't remember the exact date, so sometime in late spring or early summer. I was with 4 of my friends, we were driving to an area ~ an hour from where we lived, to go to some local lakes. It was late night, I don't remember the exact time but I would say midnight-ish.

In the couple months or so prior, there had been a few reports in the local newspaper about "strange Orange lights in the sky" several nights, in the same general vicinity the lakes are. Orange lights that were witnessed exhibiting the usually-reported UFO-type behaviors: zooming around fast, hovering weird, not regular lights for the area.

I'm usually very observant, and it was a crystal clear night sky, so knowing we were going to the general area where those reported sightings had occured, I was being mindful to be watchful. There was hardly any light pollution, both on the way there and where the lakes are located. The sky was literally alive with stars.

On the drive to the lakes, approximately halfway between where we lived and where the concentration of lakes are, there is another individual lake. The lake is on the side of the highway and nearly adjacent a forest service access road. There are no homes in the area and no streetlights - it is very dark there in the nighttime.

We rounded the bend approaching the lake, the blackened shape of the lake subtley standing out from the forest surrounding, reflecting many of the literally countless stars far above. There was no moonlight, just stars flooding the entire sky and horizon. That night was among the brightest star filled skies I ever remember seeing.

In the tree tops, behind the far back edge of the lake - from our vantage point - my attention was immediately drawn to a bright Orange light that shouldn't have been there. It wasn't a star; it was bigger than any star. It was Orange; there were no manmade light sources in that area, especially in the tree tops.

(paraphrasing)

Me: "Slow down, slow down."
Driver: "What? Why?"
Me: "I think I just saw something in the trees. Pull over.

Then I quickly brought up the newspaper reports from the month prior.

We pulled over near the start of the lake, at a spot with an unobstructed view looking lengthwise across the entire lake to the far-back tree line, where the Orange light was visible through. I sat for a few moments, staring through the windshield from the backseat passenger side then got out of the car to get a better view.

Google Maps images to help you picture this better.

Click links for full size

Red 'X' was me; Orange dot, the light
http://i.imgur.com/ywwa00X.png

In Car/Lines of Sight
http://i.imgur.com/3O2UYLg.jpg

Out of Car/Lines of Sight
http://i.imgur.com/WbkSHHb.jpg

Note: I grew up enjoying my child, teen, young adult years in a place where I was regularly outside at night, and while I lived in town for many of my teen/young adult years, I was regularly out of the lit up town areas, in places where the night sky was highly visible. I'm very familiar with how planes, satellites, shooting stars, helicopters, etc. look in the night sky.

You know the feeling when you're looking at something that shouldn't conceivably be there, plus the fact that it is the exact same kind of bright Orange light that you just read newspaper reports of during the months prior of "UFOs in the sky," somewhat near that area, and that you were consciously on the lookout for any bright Orange lights in the sky that shouldn't have been there?

Yeah lol. It was a feeling of surprise and "is this for real?" I wasn't scared, because I wasn't alone. And because it wasn't menacing; I didn't get any bad vibe from it. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't definitely excited lol.

I stood there staring at the light hovering in the tree tops, in what looked to be little more than ~ 1000 feet away. The distance "it" was at - either in or behind the trees - with the landscape behind being level enough, it could've realistically been up to ~ 1 1/4 mile away. However, it looked to be almost right there, just behind/in the trees.

The light didn't move, not at all. Not side to side, back or forth, up or down. Nothing. Completely still. That was probably the weirdest thing about it: bright Orange circular light, in the dark tree tops, late night, no manmade lightsource able to be there - or should be there - completely stationary, silent. A few minutes went by - I was wanting to get closer lol.

The 4 friends I was with were 2 guys and 2 girls. The guys were brave; the girls, not so much. The girls were wanting to leave, they had that "let's just leave, I don't feel like getting abducted" tone in their voices lol. I was trying to talk all of them into taking a "quick drive" up the forest service access road into pitch dark forest to try to see that Orange light close up lol.

Myself, left, with one of the friends, right; 4 years earlier, mid 1997.

It was decided, not by me, that we were not going to go up the dirt road in the car, even though the dirt road was well maintained and would have been no problem. As we left and approached the end of the lake - to the left of where the light was - it was still slightly visible up to the right through the trees. When we were perpendicular, it wasn't because of the incline hill/trees to the right.

We continued up the highway, all the while I was staring out the windows to the right/right-front. There was no Orange light visible through the trees. ~ 1 mile up the highway, more open, still nothing. Same with looking front/right/back from ~ 1 1/4 mile. So the light was definitely back there, just off the highway several hundred feet to the right, in the tree tops of the pitch dark forest.

Past the lake ~ 1 mile
http://i.imgur.com/GQOWcyI.jpg

I was frustrated, I was seriously wanting to drive up that forest service road into the forest. There were 5 of us, in a reliable, fast car - I felt that we'd be safe. It was guaranteed to be some type of actual UFO, whether manmade or otherwise! But it wasn't my car, I also wasn't the decider for what my friends did or didn't want to participate in.

Some irony about the forest service access road.

In Google Maps, when taking screen captures for this, I went a few clicks up the road, as far as imagery was available, somewhat near the distance the nightime Orange light would have likely been at. I was just going to zoom back to the highway, when I panned the camera and noticed an image of an Orange late-day Sun through the trees, not too dissimilar to the Orange UFO light through the nightime trees lol!

Start of the forest service access road
http://i.imgur.com/QYyLFQ0.jpg

Orange Sun through the trees; Orange "UFO" light was bigger
http://i.imgur.com/OOM2lav.jpg

Also worth mention

While that highway at night usually isn't busy, there were no other vehicles as we approached the lake, were at the lake, drove past the lake, not until well after ~ 1 1/4 mile past. It was kind of like when you hear of other UFO/Alien stories - whether arguably legit or completely manufactured - that there was "no one else around." It wasn't necessarily uncommon for the time & location, just adds to the ????

That Orange light sighting and the other-worldy UFO sighting were not the weirdest UFO related activity I've experienced. When camping with friends when I was 11 or 12, at a kind of local, secluded island campground - different and very far from the otherworldly UFO sighting campsite - something really weird happened. It still gives me chills.