Occurred: 2005-07-16 17:05 Local
Reported: 2005-07-22 16:50 Pacific
Duration: 4 sec
No of observers: 1

Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Shape: Flash
Characteristics: Aircraft nearby

Sun reflecting off long, thin object following airliner, then airliner "disappears' into small cloud.

While looking due south from the rooftop parking lot of a Lake City (N. Seattle) store, I noticed an airliner - probably 3-5 miles distant - coming from the south and banking east. I assumed it had just taken off from SeaTac Airport. I noticed what appeared to be the sun glinting off of a horizontal object directly above the rear of the plane. At first I thought it was an unusually large aerodome of the type seen on AWACS aircraft, but the 'glint' was fully half the length of the plane, and appeared just above and behind the vertical stablizer. I saw no actual structure. The plane immediately passed into or behind a small cloud whose apparent horizontal size was roughly 5 times the length of the plane. I expected the see the plane emerge from the other side of the cloud in 2 - 4 seconds, but it never did! This was VERY strange, as the cloud seemed too small to obscure even a quickly turning airliner. I stared at the cloud for minutes, not knowing what to expect, but saw nothing emerge. The cloud eventually merged with - or moved behind - another larger cloud, but had only clear blue sky around it when the incident occured.

Posted 2005-09-02

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