Approx 20:00hrs Monday 28 OCT 2013.
While driving north on divided highway, Route 29, north of Warrenton at about a mile south of a junction, 29N / Vint Hill Farms Road, I witnessed two falling bright lights in my field of view across my windshield. Momentarily, I thought it was a meteorite breaking apart, but its near proximity to me (approx 5 miles), its low elevation (approx 5 descending to 1 mile), their relatively slow speed (skydiving speed with torch 125mph), and ultimately their altered, intelligent trajectory convinced me that what I was witnessing was unusual. From my 10 o’clock position the lights fell and separated two fingers wide by my 5 o-clock position over what I would guess would be Gainesville (VA) and then they rapidly accelerated at well above Mach away from me toward and over Washington DC ultimately achieving what I would guess was a 5 mile separation from each other at the same elevation of perhaps 5000 feet, and this they maintained. There was no sonic boom or loud fighter jet noise. After two minutes I lost sight of them. The airspace in which I saw the two lights drop was just outside of the Dulles loop, which is a standard loop aviation traffic uses on final approach to Dulles Airport. Air traffic typically crosses over Fairfax (Route 50), bends around Manassas or Centerville, and then glides in two bogies at a time routinely. I am ex-USAF, ex-US Army, and am a trained observer with a severe penchant for details; it is how I make a living – details. Watching air traffic is something I enjoy, day and night. What I witnessed last night does not compute.
Mark C. Grove, MA, ASA, MRICS