|Occurred : 9/24/2005 14:30 (Entered as : 09/24/2005 14:30)
Reported: 9/26/2005 9:57:37 AM 09:57
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
|Red chevron shadowing small plane.
We were attending my son’s 7th grade football game at Northview High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sky was overcast with a ceiling of 7500’. I noticed a small Cessna-type plane in the sky that was towing an advertising banner. I would estimate that the plane was flying at an altitude of about 1500’ to 2000’. While trying to decipher the message on the banner, I noticed an additional object in the sky above the plane. It was considerably higher than the plane and appeared to be smaller than the plane, even when the greater altitude was taken into consideration. After watching the object for a while I thought I could discern a chevron shape with a reddish cast. I pointed it out to my wife and my fourteen year-old daughter. They both immediately saw it. The object seemed to “pace” the plane, mimicking the plane’s path, though much higher in the sky. We watched the object for several minutes. At one point I looked away for a couple of seconds and when I looked back the object had disappeared.
After the game I asked my daughter what she had seen and she said that it looked like a huge red hawk.
Several possible explanations come to mind. It could have been a paraglider, but if it was, it was flying at an altitude far higher than I have ever seen before. I thought that it might be some type of kite or balloon device used to support the tail end of the advertising banner. But the pacing behavior didn’t coincide with the movements one would expect from a “trailer”. Besides, when the plane flew directly over our heads later, at a lower altitude after the object had disappeared, there was no evidence that the banner had any attachments. It might have been an eagle or a hawk, but it seemed too big as well as being the wrong color. Whatever it was, it was unusual.
I am an experienced outdoorsman, a college graduate, and a professional. My wife is a registered nurse.