I don't know which I noticed first, the crowd or the lights in the sky. Both were remarkable, as both were displaying odd behavior. I became aware of them as I pulled into the shopping center parking lot, a late night stop on my way home.
The crowd influenced where I parked my jeep, I did not want to park too close to them even though the twenty or so people seemed quite occupied with the lights in the sky. Having just exited the Sushi bar, the crowd's attention was focused on some bright white lights that were moving about the sky in a most unusual manner. The movement was erratic enough that many in the crowd had their phones out and were attempting to capture the event on them.
Even though I didn't park too close too the crowd, the late hour and low background noise enabled me to hear many of the comments that were being made. The term "UFO" was being thrown out as was "awesome" and "beautiful". A few of the young people commented about how the experience was freaking them out.
The lights WERE odd. Alternating between a bright white and a vivid blue, they were maneuvering in a quite erratic manner. Rapid ninety degree turns and dramatic gains and losses in elevation were atypical of normal air traffic. It was hard to tell exactly how far away they were, but they appeared to me to be closer as opposed to farther away.
The lights were also captivating. They would disappear for a few moments, only to appear again and resume their silent dance across a portion of the late night sky. I hoped that they would stay around long enough for me to retrieve my camera and configure it to somehow capture an image of them.
I pondered as to what the lights could be as I hopped out of the jeep, opened the tailgate and unlocked the security box. They object did not appear overly large and the lights had a man made quality about them. I am not a UFO type person, but the lights were unusual, unidentified and they were flying. I wanted a picture.
I kept glancing at the sky as I opened my camera case, swapped lenses and switched to manual mode. The lights were polite enough to remain in the area while I made the adjustments to allow shooting a lit, moving object in the dead of night.
A hundred and twenty seconds and twenty three images later, I came up with exactly two pictures that were semi-usable. That was all of the time the lights gave me to capture their image. After the lights instantly disappeared, I decided to show them to some of the people that were in the sushi-bar crowd. we all agreed that whatever we were looking at was man made, likely an electric powered, radio controlled model plane. I think that they were relieved that they were seeing something man made, rather than something extra-terrestrial. Both their concern and their relief were likely enhanced by Saki or Sapporo.
I don't know who gave us that late night airshow, but I am grateful for their efforts. It was beautiful in it's own way and it did promote some discussion among those of us who witnessed it. I am sure that the operator of the machine lives in the area and will likely launch it again. If they do launch it and I see it, I will try to track down where they are flying it from and examine it more closely. Until then, I will as always, keep my eyes to the sky. One just never knows what one might see.
Thanks for reading,
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