Before I go into it, here are the pictures taken on 9/15/18 in Black Rock Desert, NV at around 9pm. https://imgur.com/a/SAHFvP3
So recently my school traveled to Black Rock Desert for a rocket launching competition. This took place during the second event of that week, which allowed night flights. We were on the Playa, I believe facing black rock itself. (I have some decent day photos i can upload if requested) Also keep in mind that my part of the team did not travel into the desert that day, but my friends team did, and he was the one to capture these photos.
The story is quite simple. He took a picture of the night sky at 8:54pm. Just a normal photo on Auto, no long exposure or anything like that. The second photo he took was at 8:57pm. Later, when he was looking at the photos, he noticed in the cluster of stars over the mountains to the left that there was a streak or smudge of light. He zoomed in on it and noticed it looked like a string of lights on an aircraft, but because of the quality of the photo, he knew it could be any factor. That is, until he looked at the second photo and noticed these lights were gone, and had looked like it reappeared clearer, bigger, and more prevalent to the very left of the picture, a bit above the center point. Now, nothing was seen in person because he wasnt paying attention, but he didnt remember hearing anything out of the usual and no rocket flights were going on at that time.
We have talked to a couple people and some say something with the atmosphere (which didnt make much sense to us) or perhaps a secret military jet. The area would make sense, but following the trajectory of the movement of those lights doesnt seem to match with the profile of a plane or jet. Also, it wasnt a long exposure of blinking lights on a plane. This was just a picture snapped on a phone, and the size increase to the second photo makes no sense. Comparing it to its surrounding, we assume this thing was pretty big. The Playa is huge, and the mountains are miles and miles back.
We believe that in the first picture he caught the lights moving to the left, and in the second picture the lights moving towards us, which would explain the blur in the first photo and the size increase + clarity in the lights in the second. I had also just been talking to somebody about the Phoenix lights just a day or two earlier, and it reminded me so much of it that I did a side by side comparison. The lights even seem to have a curvature about it, like you would expect your typical UFO to look like.
Now, we have tried to think up some logical explanation for these photos, but we cant reach any. I read through the checklist and it didnt seem to match up well with any logical explanation listed. We would love to hear any input or theories that you guys would have as to what this could be, and if it actually was an accidental capture of a UFO.