On Monday, October 17th, 2011 at approximately 7:45pm, I was traveling with my spouse on I-355 southwest towards New Lenox. We were roughly four miles from the US 6 Southwest Highway exit when I noticed a small, extremely bright silver and amber hued light flare violently in the southeastern sky. After momentarily intensifying, it began to soundlessly plummet towards the earth at a 75-degree angle.
The light, which at first resembled a pulsating silver and amber flame, was falling so rapidly I estimated it would collide with the terrain just a few hundred feet from our car in seconds. Unconsciously bracing myself for impact, I was startled when it began to decelerate, releasing four amber-hued jets or streams of what appeared to be flaming gas as it declined to an altitude of 200 feet.
After a moment of intense anxiety, I was able to discern that the light concealed a dark object, roughly disc-shaped and tilted at a 45-dgree angle so that the amber jets appeared to be issuing from its underside.
As soon as I was able, I drew my spouse’s attention to the disc and she began to reduce her speed to between 5-7 miles an hour. The disc was roughly 200 feet from us at this time and we were gradually approaching it from the northeast.
There was virtually no traffic on I-355 at that time and I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were alone, vulnerable and potentially in danger. I felt the onset of panic but tried to remain calm.
The amber jets issuing from the disc cut off abruptly and were replaced by a vaporous fog which enshrouded it as it as it hung suspended in midair roughly fifty feet from the ground.
The disc had become a black silhouette which did not move or sway in the wind. The fog quickly began to dissipate and the disc tilted from 45-degrees to 180-degrees and began to glide very slowly across the shoulder of the road and into the oncoming lane as if on an invisible track.
As it approached it began to descend at a 45-degree angle, but did not change its axis. The descent was surreally smooth. The object did not waver or rock in the wind. When the disc had descended to about 30 feet, I suddenly felt an unaccountable feeling of calm come over me. As it neared the well-lit median, a small teal (the color is still difficult for me to describe – this is approximate) light or beacon slowly appeared under its outer lip or rim. The process of illumination reminded me of the irregular flickering of a fluorescent bulb when first switched on.
The light emanated from an object that superficially resembled an ornate cylinder lamp or lantern hanging from the underside of the disc’s outer rim. It also seemed as though portions of the disc had suddenly become internally illuminated by the same unusual teal light, giving the impression of an detailed inner framework and a large window-like area.
As the object continued its descent it passed between two median streetlights and paused directly in front of our car. We had slowed almost to a halt at this juncture and the object proceeded to slowly move directly in front of our vehicle. I was now able to confirm with certainty that the object was disc shaped (although observing it from its side caused it to momentarily appear football-shaped). It was roughly 30 feet in length and perhaps 9-12 feet in in height. It emitted no sound whatsoever. Its surface was metallic and highly refractive like an intensely polished mirror. Its undercarriage appeared to be corrugated in the light of the teal lamp.
The object kept an even 30 foot distance from our car at all times, moving silently forward as we approached it while remaining directly in front of us at all times. Again, it did not rock or sway in the wind.
The disc remained in front of us in this manner for about 20-40 seconds, then slowly moved west to the shoulder of the road where it continued to follow us from an approximate 30 foot elevation and 30 foot distance for another 20-30 seconds. It then proceeded into the darkness over an adjoining field. As it moved out of the street lamp’s illumination, the discs internal lighting dampened and gradually went out – leaving only the glowing of teal lamp to identify it.
When it had passed completely into the darkness the disc became almost totally camouflaged, except for the teal light, which had become faint and ghostly. My spouse and I strained to observe the object as it begin to climb in elevation and pass over the (then) unfinished structure of the Silver Cross Hospital near the US 6 Southwest Highway exit.
As we traveled towards our home, I was able to observe the object by following the small teal lamp. I was also occasionally able to see the entire disc as the ambient light beneath it caused it to become visible. The object remained visible in the night sky for a distance of about 5 miles and a span of about 5-6 minutes before it vanished moving towards the southwest.
Since this occurrence, I have contacted NUFORC (just a short time after the event) – the investigator suggested that I may have seen the Direct TV blimp. This seems unlikely because the object did not resemble the blimp in question, or any other blimp I have ever seen for that matter. Moreover, I would be astonished if any dirigible could maneuver in the manner we witnessed. Flying an unlit blimp just 30 feet above a major highway (between median streetlamps!), residential area and at least two airfields is not only extremely dangerous but against the law and highly improbable.
I contacted the FAA on the afternoon of the 18th but they told me bluntly that they couldn’t account for the object (I mentioned it might have been a blimp). I was also surprised to discover that the FAA apparently does not track everything in their jurisdiction and that private aircraft could be flown and landed in virtually any private field without radio contact or illumination!
When it became apparent to the agent that I was trying to report an unconventional aircraft sighting, I was referred without further comment to the private company, Bigelow Aerospace Corporation. Not wanting to waste any further effort I simply gave up.
I am writing this report with considerable reservation. There are other aspects of my experience which I am not comfortable disclosing in a public forum. This experience has severely troubled me since October last year. Its implications are enormous and have had adversely impacted my life, health and worldview.
I am submitting this because recent circumstances have caused me to reflect further on the possible implications of this shared experience and because, frankly, I really dont know how else to deal with this.
It is my hope that a responsible member of the MUFON organization with experience, sensitivity and demonstrable qualifications might assist me in finding a way to better understand what I experienced and why.
For this purpose, I may be reached at the email address included with this report.
I would greatly appreciate any assistance, explanation or corroboration which might be offered. My thanks in advance.