Night-time activity near Groom Lake Road, May 16, 2019
by Joe Buchman

Wednesday 15 MAY 2019

Visited the Little A'Le Inn briefly around 7:30PM, then drove on to a campsite near the gravel parking area between the mailbox and Groom Lake Road. I'm generally a terrible night sky observer - it's cold and I'm in bed asleep when the mothership has repeatedly come over, I suppose.

This was a more interesting night.

At about 9PM I saw the headlights of someone driving toward me apparently on a dirt road off in far the distance. When they reached Groom Lake Road, they turned toward the base and I observed their tail lights until they disappeared.

I've been camping here in my small RV/Roadtrek Van (a Dodge based, 1998 190 Versatile) once or twice a year or so for over 20 years now and have never seen the desert so green . . . and noisy. In the past it has always been a cotton-in-the-ears level of mysterious silence. But this time I could bear birds and insects chirping.

9:40PM - sound of jets flying over in the distance.

Thursday 16 MAY 2019

2:00AM - low rumble of jets - no lights observed/no visible contrails.

2:20AM - bright strobe light on an aircraft moving southeast to northwest. watched it from south of Groom Lake Road to past an area above the Medlin Ranch.

2:25AM - low rumble in the distance, seemingly coming from the east.

2:35AM - noticed a barely visible, very thin white line almost directly overhead. at first I thought it might be a laser coming from the base Over time it very gradually dissipated in the moonlight - so must have been a very high contrail?

2:45AM - bright strobe light moving east to west. no contrail.

3:20AM - more low rumbles

3:28AM - very bright strobe moving northwest to southeast seemingly over the base at about the height, from my viewing angle, of the setting waxing gibbous (about 85 percent of full) moon.

4:21 AM - a strange, bright, seemingly vertical, small pillar of amber light in the far southeast, just north of and a bit outside of the light pollution from Alamo/Ash Springs. very unusual yellowish amber color, maybe five times brighter than venus, not as bright as the moon, and perhaps five to ten diameters of venus tall? Was about to grab my binoculars when . . . it just blinked out. 3 or so seconds later it blinked back on briefly, seemingly not quite as bright and then blinked out.

4:35AM scanning horizon with binoculars, notice a very dim light above the ridgeline near Groom Lake Road from my viewing angle. appeared to be hovering. 4 or 5 blueish white strobe like lights, with another red one on each end. only visible through the binoculars. didn't notice any motion - for example no sense that it descended below the ridgeline, but it/they, the lights just faded away.

8AM - gentle rain

12:13PM - loud, van shaking, military jet blasts by just to the east of me and very low to the ground. only caught a glimpse - one wing down, one pointing toward the sky - a sharp turn apparently and . . . gone in a flash. rumble and echo of the engines remain for what seems like a minute. wish I had studied up on how to identify aircraft. only saw it for a second, or two at most.

3:30PM - rain again

9:30PM - no lights in the sky, no noticeable lights at the ranch either. slept through much of the night. no strobes, contrails, strange lights or sounds that I noticed.

Friday 17 May 2019

9AM - thick clouds and cold - in the 40s.

11AM Sunshine, cool lite breeze, lots of birds chirping.

12:30 - very brief, somewhat intense hail storm.

Left around 1PM, went to ET Jerky. Met Harry Carey's (legendary baseball announcer) grandson.

I find myself wishing I could purchase a video dome for the roof of my RV - something that would record 4K or higher constant video of the skies above me when I'm out there. Also seems that by the time I see anything - like that jet - it's way too late to grab a camera.

Panorama of the Hidden Camp Site

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