Occurred: 1997-02-25 14:20 Local
Reported: 1997-02-25 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 15 sec. approx.
No of observers: 1

Location: Boiling Springs (outside of, traveling on highway), PA, USA

Characteristics: Aircraft nearby

SUMMARY: Observed unidentified object apparently following Airliner

My four year old son and I were returning from shopping at approximately 1420 hrs. EST. I observed a commercial aircraft at altitude, traveling in a westernly or northwesterly direction. I was initially attracted to this as the commercial aircraft was trailing a beautiful con trail. I took my eyes off the aircraft several times as I was driving, but I continued to glance up at it intermittantly, and suddenly I observed another object following behing the first aircraft at what I would estimate at under 1 mile, although I cannot be certain of exact distance. First observed second object as it began to glow brightly as if the sunlight were glaring off of it. Second object appeared behind and just outside of con trail at what appeared to be same altitude and speed, and traveling in same direction. Found it somewhat puzzeling that there was no sun glare off of first aircraft, and also that there was no con trail from the second object even though it appeared to be at same a!ltitude and airspeed as the commercial aircraft. Also, this second aircraft seemed to be following much closer than any I've ever witnessed within the local flight corridors. With the recent events concerning military aircraft closing on commercial aircraft from behind and triggering the commercial aircrafts anti-collision warning system, and it struck me as being rather odd that these two were reletively near one another in flight to not have such systems activate. I observed the second object for about 10 or 12 seconds as it appeared to reflect the sunlight, it then stopped reflecting light and the glare stopped, and I continued to see an obhject but could not determine shape. Within a few seconds of the glare from the sunlight reflecting off the second object had ceased, I lost sight of the 2nd object. I continued to observe the first aircraft and it's con trail as it flew off into the distance. The best I can estimate, the first aircraft was approximately over or nea!r Gettysburg at the time I made this observation. I'm sorry to say that I did not observe any unusual flight characteristics such as phenomenal or unusual speed or course deviations. When I stated a commercial aircraft I was inferring larger sized, it may have been a large military aircraft I suppose. I just found it unusual that one of two objects that were apparently at the same altitude and speed, one reflecting sun and one not, and with one apparently following the other, one with a con trail and one without, was a bit "unusual" especially considering there relative distance of seperation! It's probably nothing, but thought you'd like to see the report, perhaps someone else has reported something else that will make further sense to someone there.

Posted 1998-03-07

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