The witness states: I was flying in today, from Dayton Ohio, to New York, (LGA). We were descending, I would imagine we were somewhere over New Jersey.
There are always many aircraft about in the NY corridor, so it’s not uncommon to see different aircraft streaking by, below or to the side of you.
I was flying in an Embrajer-145, 50 seat jet, operated by US Airways Express, Chautauqua Airlines. It was a very clear day today, (11-23-03)
Approximately 2 PM — We must have been about 15 minutes from landing, because I remember the pilot saying as much. We were scheduled to land at 2:42 PM, but because of a tail wind we were going to come in early, around 2:15 PM or so.
Anyway, it seemed we were slowing down, then speeding up, which is not uncommon as you get into the flow of traffic, well, we were in the slowing down mode, when I looked out the window, (I was in a window seat, left side of the aircraft.) and I saw this red circular object pass to the side of us very quickly, then ascend with a lot of speed. It was traveling very fast, and what caught my eye was the shape.
It was definitely circular and a bright reddish color. I did a double take and tried to see where it went, but it disappeared from view rapidly. I still do not know what I saw, and thought maybe you or someone on your site could shed some light on it.
It just struck me as very odd, the shape of it, I’ve never seen anything that shape in the air before, and from an airplane, I really got a pretty good look at it, unlike the view one would get from the ground.
It also appeared to move in a very jerky type motion, not the fluid way a normal airplane would travel.
Anyway, maybe others have seen something similar. I don’t know. I have been flying since I was a small child, I am now 36 yrs old, and I’ve never seen anything like that.
My first thought was military, thoughts racing as they do when you live in NYC post 9/11. Like maybe it was a flair or something that was shot.
The object seemed to be flying on its own, but it had that look initially like maybe it was launched from somewhere. I don’t know, that was just my first impression.
But then after following it with my eyes for the brief time I was able to, it definitely seemed to be moving on its own power. I cannot tell you if we turned away from the object or the object turned away from us, or some combination of the two, as my eyes were just fixed on the object and I really wasn’t paying attention to the exact movements of the airplane I was in, for that short time. I can tell you that the object did ascend rapidly in that jerky weird type of motion, as it passed us.
Again, the object I saw did not seem to behave like or look like any aircraft that I have ever seen. I am at a loss as to what I saw.