I was driving east bound on M-72 just east of Grayling, Michigan on Wednesday evening, May 9, 2012, at approximately 9:55 PM EDT.
My fiance was in the front passenger seat of the car. There was one vehicle (minivan) about 50 yards ahead of us, no vehicles behind us, and no oncoming traffic. We were heading to the home of friends to spend a few days fishing and morel mushroom hunting.
The east/west highway, M-72, was lined with pine trees about the typical height of telephone poles on each side of the road. Our view of the sky was limited to the north and south because of the trees.
The sky was clear and very transparent with no cloud cover. The car thermometer read 47 degrees.
Several, seemingly stationary, bright star-like lights simultaneously appeared (turned on) in the night sky for a few seconds and then abruptly dimmed off.
The lights suddenly appeared before us about 50 degrees above the eastern horizon in a line partially obscured by the trees on both sides of the highway. There were at least 6, and perhaps 8, individual lights visible from our moving frame of reference (55 mph).
The lights were light yellow/orange in color similar to the way the planets Jupiter and Saturn appear when visible in the night sky, and about the same apparent size and magnitude of Jupiter. (Venus was shining brightly in the western sky behind us at the time of the sighting.)
There was no way to accurately determine the altitude of the objects.
After a few seconds, the configuration of the lights changed to resemble a triangle with a few/clump of lights to the right and a couple of stray lights above and below the triangular configuration; and then the lights just abruptly turned off as if someone had a big dimmer switch in the night sky! They did not fall and trail off like a meteor or fireball created by re-entering space debris. Nor did they blink on and off in a strobe-like fashion.
I have observed many meteorological and astronomical phenomena over the years, including displays of the aurora, meteor showers, sporadic fireballs & bolides, et cetera. To date, this was the most unusual thing I have seen in the night sky. I jokingly said to my fiance, who also witnessed the lights, that we had just seen something from science fiction that resembled the cloaking technology from Star Trek or Star Wars.
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