On early Saturday morning, this past weekend, I was driving home from a kareoke birthday party at Tokyo Garden. It was about 2:30 am and I was heading north on Hwy. 99 and took the Ave. 7 off ramp as I always do when I saw a strange light darting about to the north of me. Curious I drove in the direction of the lights. What I saw was three bright lights flying low over a bunch of grapes. The object(s) would swoop down and then dart back up and then disappear only to reappear several minutes later and repeat the process all over again. At this point I had an idea of what was going on, but I wanted to get closer to be sure. As I got within a mile of the craft, I saw it swoop back up and turn off it's lights and at that point I saw the familiar green and red marker lights. I rolled down my windows and heard the engine. Yep, it was a cropduster. I was a bit disappointed and then headed home.
Later that day (i.e. when I woke up), I had recieved an e-mail from a Peter saying he had a very strange encounter last night 2.25am on Highway 99 around the Ave. 9 junction. Realizing he had seen the very same thing I did, I shot him back an e-mail describing what I had seen and asked him if this is what he had seen and then described how it was just a crop duster. He replied back that he thought it was a crop duster but wasn't really sure. This started me wondering how many other people that night might have confused the crop duster for some sort of alien craft or top secret military project buzzing a Madera County farmland at 2:30 in the morning. It reminded me of all the Interstate 5 sightings between Coalinga and Kettleman City that I had reported on in the past. Same type of object seen, three bright lights flying low over the highway then swooping up only to go through the motions again. Most sightings were also during the same time of night (late night or early morning) and most occur during early summer, as was the case of this sighting.
When I had first started investigating these lights I had discounted the crop duster theory. My reasoning was that June was too late to dust for crops and my evidence for this was that we never dusted that late on my family's vineyard. Only by researching on this did I realize that crops were sprayed this late into the year and also spraying for the West Nile virus was done this way. The reasoning for spraying at night as that the chemicals wouldn't evaporate as quickly during the day and therefor less needed to be applied to have the same effect.
Now I'm not saying that all UFO nighttime sightings are crop dusters, but I am wondering how many people who aren't familiar with crop dusting and their night flying techniques may mistake them for UFO's. I'm pretty certain now that most of the sightings over the years on Interstate 5 were crop dusters (well except for that one incident with the strobing red lights) that passerbys mistaken either for an alien space craft with nothing better to do than buzzing cows in the middle of the night or some super secret military aircraft that is making itself not so super secret by revealing itself to the public. Hopefully this opinion piece will help those that may have misidentified plane lights as a UFO, realizing that even the pro's sometimes get it wrong.