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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 1/13/2004 15:00 (Entered as : 01/13/2004 15:00)
Reported: 2/16/2004 10:45:50 PM 22:45
Posted: 3/2/2004
Location: North Dakota (over, inflight), ND
Shape: Other
Duration: 10 minutes
Characteristics: There were aircraft in the vicinity or aircraft chasing the object
Short markings in sky. Looked like black line segments.

I was aboard a personal aircraft when this sighting took place. A dark line in the sky, on more than an inch in length. Seemed stationary. Didn't look like a contrail. Was very dark, solid, like a mark in the sky. Extremely strange, like nothing I'd ever seen before. 3 others with me, also saw it. Didn't know what to make of it. 2 others appeared not long afterwards. Clouds seemed to pass through them. Again, they just seemed like someone had scratched a short black line in the sky.

Soon we moved out of sight.


Dear Mr. ((name deleted)),

Thank you very much for the interesting report!

Could the phenomenon have been the shadow cast by an unusually thick contrail, do you think? If it wasn't that, I have no idea what you witnessed.

What direction were you flying, at the time, and where was the object, relative to your position, please? Also, how did it disappear from your sight, please?


Peter Davenport



Dear Mr. Davenport,

I'll tell you all that I can remember.

It didn't look at all like a contrail, or even a shadow. It was very dark, quite opaque. If you can imagine a thick black pen mark drawn into the sky, but very crisp. I would swear on all my senses that it was solid. It wasn't above us, it seemed to be directly to the side of the plane, far off, but who knows depending on its actual size. It was stationary --hovering, if you will. It looked like a perfect tear in the sky. We were heading west, so it was to the north of us.

I can understand where you might think it was a shadow of some kind, but it was so perfectly linear, not at all hazy or smokey. Like a perfect black line segment in the sky, short and constant. After viewing it for a while, one more became clearly visible above and behind it... it seemed to be futher back but there is limited perspective in the air, as you know. The new one was slightly covered by a cloud haze though, and not as clear as the foremost one. Also, they didn't disappear, but we eventually moved out of sight.

I took the time to go through the other sightings on your website, and it seems as if at least two other reports are very similar, if not exactly, what I saw.

I'm also at a loss as to what it was we witnessed. Have either of these other reporters been able to provide you with any other insights?

Could it have been a weather balloon? Some sort of science experiment?

Best Regards, ((name deleted))