Published: 1:18 PM 2/15/2013
Alexandria, Virginia - 02-14-13
I got home from work tonight around 7:30, just past dark, and went out on my 9th story balcony to smoke a cigarette as I do nearly every time I look at the skyline watching the planes take off from National, Boeing and Andrews AFB.
About 2 miles or so away across the Beltway in Virginia near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, I saw what at first I thought was a helicopter taking off very quickly from a patch of woods.
It was glowing bright, orange-yellow. As it came closer it looked strange enough for me to get my binoculars.
When I looked through them, I saw a circular shape glowing orange and more brightly underneath. OK, I thought, it must be a very large Chinese lantern of some sort.
It then moved past me and my mother, who I waved over at this point, from our right to left heading northwest.
As it passed us it went dim. As it went completely dark, I could see its shape against the cities glow in the sky; it was a perfect sphere.
I would estimate it was 10 to 20 in diameter and traveling 50 to 80 mph. It all happened in about 45 seconds. I checked the Alexandria wind online and with my finger; 0 mph.
I couldn't say for sure if the small airplane close behind it was tailing, but there is air-traffic here 24\7.
There is a lot of helicopter activity now in the direction it was headed, right over the Homeland Security building.
It was at about 400 ft. and maybe an eighth of a mile away when it went past. There was a high overcast sky.
In a side story, today was my best friendís birthday today. He left us a couple years ago now and we miss him dearly. He was in tune with the truth and I am glad to say I am now also.