USN Cdr. J.L. Ingersoll was driving his vehicle and was observing two Navy FJ3 aircraft in a landing pattern.
The trailing FJ3 appeared to have only one rear wheel extended. Sensing an emergency he continued to watch and was able to see that all landing gear were actually down, but he also noticed an object somewhat below and aft that caught his attention.
His first thought was that it was a canopy that had been ejected. The object was falling, and its motion seemed erratic, however it descended at a steady rate.
He described it as an as off white in color but with a highly polished surface that was definitely reflecting sunlight.
His best guess was that this object was at 10,000' to 20,000' at first. The object came to a complete stop for about 5 to 10 seconds after dropping 3,000' to 5000', then suddenly changed from white to a reddish brown and instantly accelerated at tremendous speed, estimated at 1,000 to 1,500 mph on a heading of 170º.
Object left a short brown vapor trail.
The witness believes the object was not less than 25' to 35' in diameter and could have been as larges as 100'.
The total duration is found from the estimated descent rate, thus a minimum of about 15 to 27 seconds including the 5 to 10 seconds hovering.