Strange lights over the Potomac River in the area of Colonial Beach, Va. to Cobb Island, Md., to the south near St. Clements Island

The strange lights were approximately in this area of the Potomac River. Located upriver from this location is the Harry Diamond Laboratories at Blossom Point near Nanjemoy, in Charles County, Maryland, where numerous classified agencies perform various tests and the United States Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division just south of the Rt. 301 Gov. Harry Nice Bridge.  The green island shown in this Google map is St. Clement’s Island. 

Strange lights over the Potomac River in the area of Colonial Beach, Va. to Cobb Island, Md., to the south near St. Clements Island

LEONARDTOWN, MD. – These lights have appeared two nights in a row and were visible from the Breton Bay area looking west towards Westmoreland County, Virginia. At about 12:15 am or so, on Aug. 15, 2018, there was a triangular pattern that I assumed was an unusually large tug as the Ocean tugs are about 5 stories high and at night have lights on each deck and present quite a sight on the river.


Since the lights in the sky over the new triangular pattern were the same ones that briefly appeared the night before, I decided to run for my camera to video this scene. By the time I stuck my memory chip in the camera and ran outside, the unusually large triangular pattern blacked out and the three to four lights overhead remained.


The three to four lights visible almost appear to be similar to the landing lights on jets that come into Reagan and BWI which many motorists can see as planes fly on the runway approaches to land.


There is no runway approach for any nearby airport in this vicinity and the lights moved slightly and then extinguished, which a plane would not likely do.


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Being at least several miles away and zooming my camera into the max, the unsteadiness caused quite a bit of movement but a few times I was able to fix on the objects with a bit of steadiness for a brief time.


About 30 to 45 seconds of video capture the airborne lights while the triangular lights that appeared to be reaching up from the water as if it were a ship were visible for about a minute until it disappeared before the video camera was implemented.


The only vessel on the Potomac during the time of this event was the pusher tug Jack Holland, according to the live screen of The Jack Holland was located south of the entrance to Port Tobacco Creek headed south in the Potomac River with a destination of Chesapeake Va.  it would be impossible for me to see this tug in my line of sight and could be nearly an hour before it will come into my view as it steams down the river.


The shape of the triangular light pattern was far higher than the tree line on the shore of Newtown State Park. There are no construction projects at the State Park which could account for the strange lights and the St. Clements Island State Park is uninhabited. – Ken Rossignol screenshot shows no other maritime traffic on the Potomac River, other than the push tug Jack Holland near Port Tobacco Creek,  in the vicinity at 12 56 pm and would show any ship that had been on the river for the last few hours.  The area of the sighting was in a line from just west of Coltons Point towards Colonial Beach.

4 Replies to “Strange lights over the Potomac River in the area of Colonial Beach, Va. to Cobb Island, Md., to the south near St. Clements Island

  1. I have video from not long ago of something I can’t not explain a few weeks ago off of Calvert. It crossed the Bay from the Eastern shore obnormally fast, cast shadows on my deck then took a 90 degree turn twice. Made no sound during all of this. Crazy stuff!

  2. I live on the Maryland side of the Potomac and see these lights almost every night on the Virginia shoreline, and have for several weeks. We were alarmed at first but then the same thing would happen every night once it got dark. They look like flares sort of.

  3. Sept.19 2018: Approximately 8:20 PM.
    Sitting in our car parked near the shoreline of Colonial Beach, VA looking across the Potomac River towards Cobb Island, MD. We saw 3 red pulsating lights flashing in a circular rotation traveling from Monroe Bay area of Westmoreland County, VA over the river towards Cobb Island, MD. Compared to what we would expect on a visual of an aircraft, this object was much larger in length and had no sound. There was no flashing white strobe that would be expected of an aircraft. It was too high to be a recreational type of drone. It appeared to hover over the water at what we would estimate about 1,000 feet near Budds Creek, MD before going dark.

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