|Occurred : 5/4/2017 23:00 (Entered as : 05/04/17 23:00)
Reported: 5/5/2017 11:42:29 AM 11:42
Location: Lawrence, KS
|helicopter chasing orange light at low altitude
I was in my room in my apartment watching Dave Chappelle on Netflix, when I heard a helicopter overhead. It sounded very low and powerful, so I figured it had to be military, and I-being a total nerd-had to run out to the parking lot to get a look.
By the time I was out my door and in the parking lot, I had just enough time to watch a small orange ball of light being chased by what I assume to be a Blackhawk helicopter (because of size and sound) disappear behind the rooftops of the buildings east of me. This struck me as bizarre because I saw something similar some months ago in the same general area (skies south of Lawrence, I live on the south side of town, not far from Baker Wetlands).
The light was small and orange in color and was about 50-100 yards ahead of the helicopter. It made no erratic movements but was travelling at a fair clip as the helicopter was tracking it at almost the exact speed and it was moving pretty quickly. As such, I have my doubts that this could've been a paper lantern (though the color and intensity of the light were similar to one) and the distance ahead of the helicopter rules out a refueling boom. I'd give the altitude of the two objects to be between 500-1000 ft agl and the speed! of both to be about 100 kts at the time I saw them.
Also of note, I saw another object in the sky in the general area at the same time, though it may not have been connected. This object seemed to be an aircraft judging by the red and white lights it had on it, but it hovered in place for a moment until the lights slowly faded out with no apparent change in location. The direction I was looking toward would be about a straight line to KCI, so I wasn't immediately suspicious, but--having seen plenty of air traffic heading to and from KCI on that flight path--this didn't look like anything I'd seen before (no landing lights). I mention this because it was odd and because the previous sighting of a few months earlier of the same kind of event had 2 helicopters chasing the light instead of just one. Maybe this was the second.