A little disgusted with myself that I had blown off the lion's share of an excellent visual opportunity, I made my steamy cup o' ritual java ("Al's liquid quickening" I call it) and stumbled out the back door, making my way to the usual spot next to a waist-high retaining wall.
He'd caught me looking up into the sky over the fire. Knowing something of my interests, he said quietly, "I... ah... I saw something weird under goggles on Guard drill last weekend..."
He was apologetic, as many are when he related the rest of his, obviously uncomfortable, tale. A small digression... where, when, and why did we learn to feel shame at having a truth to tell?
"Mike" (not his real name, he can't afford to associate himself with this twitchy UFO business, like most professional people...) is a highly experienced military aviator and civilian GS-12 working as an instructor pilot at aforementioned Fort Rucker, the sun source of the World's professional helicopter flying effort. Like most of his ilk, he is not given to "wild blueberry horse feathers," and besides, no one who remotely knows ME is going to disrespectfully rattle my chain on the subject of UFOs. They know I'll eat them. Sincerely. [...no "smiley face"...]
Puzzled that there would be an unplanned formation of "mystery" aircraft (running without position lights!) flying over the military training area in the middle of this highly canned and orchestrated exercise, he alerted his co-pilot to have a look! Both pilots were goggle equipped. With perhaps thirty years of piloting experience between them they watched, mouths hanging open, as the puzzling lights traversed the sky.
Helicopters in formation have a singular hazard potential... but this craft made the transition from lead to trail, around the ~outside~ of the flight in under ~three~ seconds...! That's just not done! It's negligent and irresponsible! This is a protoplasm smearing turn if not near to same!
Moreover, it's torturous metal stressing and aerodynamically impossible for aircraft of human manufacture! Mike and his co-pilot then watched the formation of lights continue on their way until they were too far away to be seen, even with the goggles.
About 35 degrees in elevation and almost due west, a bright amber colored light about the magnitude of Sirius blinked on as I watched, and began to transition to the North at a steady rate of one degree in six seconds. Tres slow! There was no sound, and the rate of speed, color, and magnitude of the light did not waver. I watched until it moved behind a large pecan tree in my neighbor's yard... I watched it travel for several minutes starting about 04:35 Central.