I feel like I should mention one thing before continuing, just to add a little context:
Before all this happened, I'd experienced only negligible contact with alternative news, conspiracy theory, UFO research etc. I've been politically inclined and historically attuned, but only in a very traditional kind of way. Call it "asleep", call it "programmed", whatever. That's very important, because the first weeks and months were amongst the strangest here, and at the time I was basically completely unaware of UFO activity, literature, and theory. My education, as I hope I can relate here, was dramatic. Ok on to part II...
The next event took place roughly three days after the first. I'd been thoroughly confused by the first sighting. naive as I was regarding the general public's opinion when it comes to the subject of strange things in the sky, I told everyone I knew about the strange lights. The wife, the kids, random family members, anybody I ran into heard my odd story. The reactions were identical across the board: blatant, almost pathologically swift patronage. My wife grumbled something about me not sleeping enough. The kids didn't reply at all. My mother stared blankly at me, nodded a tiny arc for the duration of the tale, replying "I beliEVE you...I belEVE you..." in a tone of voice that suggested total disbelief.
I barely had time to ponder these reactions before things got strange again. For a few nights running there had been a low ceiling of clouds and fog. I watched the spot from my daughters window but couldn't make out much between the rain on glass. I even ran by the place where I saw the lights looking for ANY sign or clue and finding nothing. The grey clouds and rain finally moved off and just in time for the weekend. The first clear evening - a Friday - brought a new development.
I was looking out the same window, this time before putting my daughter to bed instead of after she'd fallen asleep. It was a sunny, bright twilight with no cover and HD visibility and as soon as we got to the room I grabbed the binocs and started scanning.
There was no gap of time between the looking and the seeing. I put the glasses to my head, looked dead east out over the same wooded area, and immediately saw something impossible.
There was a light there.
A low light, in the same place as the first ones, yet obviously, completely, different. Before I'd had time for even partial mental acknowledgement (weird light!! Same place!!) the light changed:
Not slowly, like a traditional aircraft coming straight in, but instantly, like the aperture in a camera housing bursting wide after a hard twist. This thing started as a small white dot and, nano-moments later, morphed into something for which I have no reference for comparison. My best attempt at description would be a Jet Ranger helicopter in profile, with subtly colored beams of light - almost like neon effects - etching out it's shape against the grey/blue evening sky. I saw amber, muted red, gold. Behind the lights, I could make out another form, this one of a semi-translucent framework upon which the lights were either mounted or projected. It hovered there for a few seconds, then rocked slowly north to south, before exiting my view heading south to north and vanishing behind a stand of trees.
It doesn't sound as dramatic or mysterious as the hovering lights of the week before, but in it's way, this event was even more compelling than the first. It confirmed - in my estimation - that something very odd was flying around my house at night and suggested - as I'll demonstrate - that our local military presence was involved with, aware of, and obviously interested in, the phenomenon.
For all my confusion over the first event, it could've easily been explained away by VR drones, or other smaller, less noisy RC craft. This sighting offered no easy out. A helicopter at that distance would be loud enough to shake my hardwood floors, and no helicopter I'm aware of hatches from a ball of light hovering in the air. If it was an aircraft coming directly at me, that fucker arrived instantly and in total silence.
I stalled out then, trying to get everything I'd seen straightened out in my mind. I'd been - I realized later - looking for reasons not to believe my eyes. Luckily (and once more with little time at all to consider all incoming info) help arrived in the personage of the Air National Guard.
The military base I live next to is a constant presence. It's really just an airstrip, without so much as an "AFB" closing out it's cirricullum vitae, but they drill constantly. C-130's have been as ubiquitous as BMW's and doctors in our little suburb, as have Humvee's and guys in desert fatigues. All this in mind, I was only slightly intrigued by the sudden rush of familiar prop-wash overhead just after the helicopter-shaped lights had gone. However, as the roar became a shriek and the room began to hum like the inside of a pipe organ, I threw up the screen and stuck craned my neck skyward.
It was very close.
It was so close, that if I had a baseball and a better vantage, I could have easily hit it. It was close enough so that I could see the numbers at the gear, and the reg code on the tail assembly. Ill give it less than half a football field over my chimney, and call the estimate conservative. It was a C-130, heading dead east, straight at the spot where the weird lights had appeared moments ago. I watched, zombie'd into silent shock, as it flew out east, took a hard right, and climbed as it moved out of range. A minute after the first airplane disappeared, another buzzed the house, this time at a less psychotic altitude.
The skies were quiet for the rest of that night and the next few. I stayed awake as late as I could, binocs in hand, but there was nothing. I told more people about the strangeness and got the same weirded out sympathy in return. I did not go to the local cop shop. I did not go online to Wikipedia the word "UFO". I did not tell anybody, wary as I was of the standard reaction and the pathetic looks.
The next episode, scant days later, would change all that.