I stepped out to view night sky-clear sky-lot of stars- some thin clouds in distance, i observed 2 lighted objects coming s to n in fairly close proximity to one another approx 1-2 miles in distance at approx 30-40 degree angle from horizon. i assumed they were military due to the speed and close proximity. both swerved up sharply with immediate increase in speed. at that moment 2 more lighted objects just appeared as if from nowhere closer above us at around a 80 degree height. they were flashing white lights sequentially.1-2-3-4 then a second or so repeat. in the off second i could perceive a small reddish orange appearance. the first 2 objects reappeared. all four objects began circling in a horizontal pattern with varying heights. none were in any kind of formation. one stopped, flared a diffuse light and a smaller lighted object shot out from it at an enormous speed to disappear to the south. shortly they all disappeared. my spouse observed almost all of this with me. the speed of the objects as they were circling, the lack of formation, the varying heights, and the pausing in flight with the shooting out of the smaller object motivated this report.