Re: Strange Lights/Noises Beale Vicinity

Message posted by Will (NorCal) on February 20, 2005 at 16:05:53 PST:

Yes, the rain has been maddening.

It is possible that it was due to sound reflection, as I am at the eastern edge of the valley. The foothills start rising up about a mile to the east.

I am about (approx) 10-12 miles due north of the Beale runway. -121.5 x 39.3 is pretty close to where I am.

Depending on which approach they are flying, aicraft either pass directly overhead or slightly to the east.

The sound was distinctly different than normal electrical-storm stuff, and there was no indication that there was any of that activity in the area. Both times, it coincided with aicraft noises.

Definitely not a C-5, as we used to have lots of those a few years back. They literally screamed after making the turn onto final and throttling up. Not a U-2, either, as they are generally quiet with an underlying high-pitched whine.

More like a KC-135 or possibly a Global Hawk. I havent observed many of the GH approaches due to the miserable conditions we have enjoyed for the past couple of months, but they are noiser than a U-2, and approach speeds are faster than what I would have expected, given the wingspan and narrow chord. It very well may have been GH approaches I was hearing last night.

The odd sound is hard to describe, but as I posted, was "different" enough for the wife and kids to take notice..i.e., "wtf was THAT?"

It was hollow-sounding, and almost like a very short foghorn blast...Whoormph....followed by the light that was not at all like a lightning strike. When there is a lightning flash, it illuminates everything for an instant. This was more like a directed beam that lasted about a half second. It was also "whiter" and less "blue" than lightning, if that makes any sense. It seemed more "local" than lightning would have been.

The closest I can come to describing it is if you have ever experienced being in the vicinity of an electrical transfomer exploding, you have heard the noise, something between a hum and a boom, and then see a flash. It was similar to that, but happened twice, and both times were while an aircraft was passing overhead at a low altitude.

I only posted it because I thought someone that monitors NorCal approaches might find some correlation.

It's either that or somehow a lighthouse got blown in from the coast last night......cause I know the Rachel wacko beam can't reach this far....;)

Will (NorCal)
Thinking about digging a foil-lined basement.

In Reply to: Re: Strange Lights/Noises Beale Vicinity posted by lone wolf on February 20, 2005 at 7:52:18 PST:


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