Rosamond, California -- Authorities say nothing was there, but about a dozen people who called the Valley Press Thursday night, April 23, claimed something was.
That something was described as a large craft lingering above the Albertson's grocery store at about 9:15 p.m. It made no noise, but its lights caused motorists to park and gawk, and some to call the newspaper.
On Friday, Kern County deputies at the Rosamond sheriff's station, about a mile from the grocery store, said they had no reports of such sightings.
Edwards Air Force Base public information officer Gary Hatch said base operations reported no flights scheduled in that area at that time of night. The base's command post also had taken no reports of any craft, either known or unknown, in the area, Hatch said.
Calls about the object began flowing to the Valley Press shortly after 9 p.m., copy chief Jana Treece said.
"After the first couple of calls, we all said, 'Yeah, OK, sure,'" Treece said. "But between about 9:15 and 11 (p.m.), we received a dozen calls from people who were either on their way to the Albertson's to do some shopping or who were eating at the (nearby) Taco Bell.
"For the most part, everyone gave the same description," Treece said.
That description was of a large object, not quite octagonal in shape, between 100 yards and 200 yards in length, with orange and yellow lights around its bottom surface.
"One of (the callers) said cars were pulling off to the side of the road to check the object out," Treece said.
Suggestions that the object was a helicopter blurred by windy, hazy weather conditions were discounted by those calling, she said. "Everyone said it was not a helicopter because there was no noise associated with it," Treece said.
Of those who called, "I couldn't get anybody to leave a name," she said.
While she and her co-workers occasionally field similar types of calls, "we don't get so many all on the same night and all calling about the same thing," she said.
Hatch surmised the object could have been a helicopter with a lighted billboard attached to the bottom, akin to the ones that occasionally buzz the games of the Lancaster JetHawks baseball team. Although the JetHawks were on the field Thursday evening, the field they were playing on was in Visalia (120 miles away).
If the object really was 200 yards in length, "it would have been bigger than the Albertson's store," he said.
Mitch Barker, public affairs specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration, also reported no information on the object.
"We checked with our air-traffic control facilities, and there was nothing logged during that shift, so I don't know what to tell you," Barker said.
However, it's possible that something in the sky over Rosamond might have been missed.
"A lot of people think we have surveillance of the skies taking place at all times, but that's not true," Barker said. "Our people are looking at where the airplanes are actually flying and concentrating on keeping them apart."
[Rosamond is close to the towns of Lancaster and Palmdale, California, sites of huge military aircraft production and testing facilities serving nearby Edwards Air Force Base. The area is known for a high concentration of exotic aircraft, and the local people are used to seeing unusual things in the sky. Many UFO sightings are reported here each year, some of which are not easily explained as any known aircraft. -- ed.]
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Original file name: CNI - Antelope Valley UFO
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