I am not a UFO buff but signed on simply because I need a place to at least relate my siting. I am rather dubious of spurious UFO claims and I imagine mine has an earthly explanation.
On July 26, 2001, at approximately 11:30 PM, I was sitting on my deck at my home in the hills above the small town of John Day, Oregon. On a warm summer night the constellations are beautiful and bright since we are more than 150 miles from a town of any size. I often see shooting stars and enjoy the sky. I am nearly 50 and had never seen anything I would term a UFO.
The moon was only half full but very bright. I sat and watched as the moon slowly made its way toward the westerly horizon. I eventually became aware of a very bright light above the hill which marked the town of Mt Vernon seven miles to the west.
At first I believed it was a light on something extending from the hilltop. Then upon closer scrutiny I realized this light was more than a thousand feet above the top of the hill. It also appeared to be a row of 4 or so very bright lights not unlike a row of stadium lights only larger.
As I observed it I didn't believe it to be moving although it did seem the lights swayed somewhat and would dim or brighten slightly with the sway. I figured this might be caused by a stationary object being swayed by slight wind that was blowing.
After 3-5 minutes of observation the object began to very obviously move. First it seemed to move latteraly--assuming I was looking at the front or back. It moved rather slow but very steadily.
It then quickened its pace and headed southeast toward the ridgeline of the next set of hills to the south of me. It then proceed in a southerly direction at an accelerated speed along the ridgeline at an altitude of perhaps 1000 feet. As it got closer I could see their were bright lights along the side. It was close enough that I could make out at least two small colored lights located on the inside of the bright lights. One was very red and the other a pinkish red. Because the lights were so bright it was difficult to make out the exact size of shape of the aircraft and it probably got no closer that a mile.
It was close enough to hear it. It was quite loud and did not sound like anything with a propellor. It could have been a low pitch jet engine. While rare we do get an occasional jet here although nothing this large.
As it passed by to the south of me it picked up speed and raced over the hills to the south in seconds. My best guestimate is that it covered a distance of 10 miles in 30 seconds picking up speed as it went. I heard no sonic boom.
I suppose there is an explanation but it was the oddest thing I have seen in the sky or at least the most unexplainable. All I could think of doing was finding a cite like this and conveying my experience. I needed to do something with it.