My UFO Sighting of November 10, 2002, by Paul Nahay

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I was in a car being driven by Sue Swiatek (of the Fund for UFO Research, the website of which I am webmaster), on Sunday, November 10, 2002.  We were driving south on Rt. 295 in New Jersey, and were maybe a mile north of Exit 31 (Lawnside, NJ). We were returning to Maryland and Virginia after having, the previous evening, attended the Intruders Foundation seminar in New York City, where we attended a lecture about the Jim Mortellaro alien abduction case, presented by Budd Hopkins.  I was in the front passenger seat, and it was approximately 1:30pm..  Sue saw something to the left and ahead of us, and called my attention to it; it would have been in the southeast quadrant of the Rt. 295 and White Horse Pike/Rt. 30 interchange (Haddon Heights, NJ).  I got to see it for perhaps at most about three seconds; I feel if I had gotten to see it for even a few more seconds, I would have been able to decide more definitively how anomalous it really was.

What I saw was a large, dark rectangular object, oriented horizontally, just above the trees, about 1.5 miles away.  It was the length (left to right) of two of my thumbs held at arm's length, and it was about 1/4 as wide (up/down) as it was long (this estimate of "thumb width" was done later, not at the time).  It was either black or very dark gray, and it was somewhat "fuzzy" in its outline, in a way I can't quite describe; it looked strange, unlike anything I've seen before.  We were currently driving down a hill, thus the object, which I happened to see as the bottom of it just started to go below the treeline, continued to descend below the treeline (being on Rt. 295, we couldn't stop or slow down, of course).  Sue, who saw it for a few seconds longer, said she thought it was moving horizontally and downward, very slowly; I had the impression it was moving downward as well (since WE were moving horizontally and downward ourselves, it made it hard to discern how much of the object's motion was from it, versus us, but we both had the impression that it was moving itself, but very slowly).  We had our windows closed, so we would not have been able to hear any sound from it even if there had been any.  It was definitely not an airplane, nor a conventional blimp, and certainly not a helicopter; there were no wings of any kind, nor anything hanging down from it, such as the cabin of a blimp.  Had it been a human-built craft, it had to be landing, and quite slowly (far more than any plane could), and it appeared to be going down in an area that was fairly dense with trees.

We were startled enough by this sight that we pulled off at the next exit, Exit 30 (Lawnside, NJ), which was only about a mile ahead of us.  Of course, it was impossible for us to tell exactly where it had been, but we drove though an old residential area to about where we thought we had seen the object.  Naturally, we saw nothing.  We pulled into a large shopping center (the one having the tall tower with the White Horse on top; no, the object we saw was NOT this well-known landmark that I knew even as a child growing up in NJ).  We looked around the skies in all directions, saw nothing.  After looking for about seven minutes or so, we got back onto Rt. 295 at Exit 29a, and continued southward.  For the next ten minutes, I kept looking out the back window of Sue's car, scanning the skies for any object, but saw nothing (not even any planes).  The weather was a bit chilly, but the air and sky were very clear, with visibility of (I would guess) tens of miles, with some very high clouds.

As to the estimation of the size of the object: it was the length (left to right) of between one and two of my thumb widths, held at arm's length.  My thumbs are approximately 2cm wide; the distance from my eyes to my thumbs, approx. 60cm.  Using simple geometric proportion, the following table estimates the range of possible lengths of the object (ObjectLengthInMiles=ThumbWidths*2cm/60cm*MilesAway):

Thumb Widths (2.0cm): 1.0 1.5 2.0
1.0 Miles Away 0.0333 0.05 0.0667
1.5 Miles Away 0.05 0.075 0.1
2.0 Miles Away 0.0667 0.1 0.133

Taking the middle estimates of 1.5 thumb widths, with the object being 1.5 miles away, gives us a UFO length of 0.075 miles, times 1600 meters/mile equals 120 meters, with the range being between 53 and 213 meters.  The 747 jets that NASA uses for the space shuttle program are 71 meters long, so the middle estimate puts the object at being 1.7 times the length of a 747.

--Paul Nahay, 12/8/02

Here's Sue's comments on my account above:
Thanks for putting together that UFO sighting report that you did. Great job. I have nothing to add, except that it seemed like it was clearly descending from the left to the right. There may have been an adequate clearing/field beyond the trees that we saw, where it could have landed. It looked too rectangular (sharpish corners) to be a blimp, at least the blimps that I have seen. Absolutely no wings. I'm clear on this. Definitely anomalous, but could have been an unusual design of a blimp that is more rectangular than I'm used to seeing.
--Sue Swiatek, 12/8/02

Here's what I wrote to a friend five years after my sighting, when they forwarded me the following link to a sighting that also involved a horizontal object:

Dimensions of this draw object are longer than what I saw; I would say whereas this is about 1:5, what I saw was about 1:3.5. Also, my object appeared not only in clear daylight, but was apparently much further away. If my object was as far away as it appeared, there would be no way you could see a being's face, or probably even their body, any more than you could see a person's face in the window of a plane overhead. Object seen above must have been very near, and thus very much smaller than what I saw. Thing I saw was just massive. In fact, I now realize that I should compare what I saw to one of the World Trade Center buildings, if it were floating in the air, and horizontal (but of 1:3.5 aspect ratio), but if it were as far away as it appeared to be, would have to have been much much larger than the WTC buildings.

--Paul Nahay, Sept. 23, 2007

Here is a photo of an object very similar to what I saw from New Zealand, Sept. 27, 2010 . The object in this photo appears very far away, and at a 3/4 view, while the object I saw was much closer (such that it appeared very large to me), and perpendicular to my line of sight (such that it looked like a large, horizontally-oriented rectangle).

Here's an email I received on November 19, 2007, from "Beth" :

Hi Paul,

I ran across your pages after doing a websearch for rectangular shaped ufos. I too saw one in Charlotte, NC, in September 2004. It was in broad daylight, 5pm rush hour traffic, on I-85. Unbelievable, and I'm the only one that reported it - or saw it.

It was the strangest thing I've ever seen. It had reflective panels that were encased in some metal looking casing, and was dark army green. It may have been reflecting the trees below. I saw it head on so I could see no depth to it. It resembled a skyscraper floating sideways and was about the size of a tennis court. It floated silently across and above the tree line and disappeared. I saw it for at least 20 seconds as traffic stalled and we were going about 10 mph.

I reported it to nuforc. At first I thought it was a banner being pulled by a plane. It was so shocking to see that my mind tried to make sense of it. I immediately realized there was no airplane pulling anything.

I read that you also saw a rectangular ufo. I'd love to hear more about what you saw if you want to share it. I feel we are members of a very small group of individuals who saw this strange shaped ufo. What could be the reason?