I was standing in the parking lot of a Starbucks in Great Falls, MT with my wife at around 1:20 PM on May 17th 2016. While she was on the phone with her Doctors office I was looking at the half-dozen or so contrails in the otherwise clear sky above me. I noticed one in particular that struck me as odd. While they all appeared to be at between 25-35,000 ft, this one was not breaking up and dissipating like the others. It was stretching out laterally in very definite but fine lines that were getting more pronounced rather then fading away. It was while watching this contrail transform that I noticed a black object appear right where it intersected with a "normal" contrail. At first it did nothing.. just sat there without moving for approximately 30 seconds. It began to do a slow turn to the east, then changed direction basically doing a u-turn until on a heading of approximately 300��. The maneuvers it had performed up to this point I could only describe as that of an airship. Turning while maintaining a level attitude without banking as a conventional aircraft would. During this time I was trying to get my wife's attention who was still on the phone, tapping her on the shoulder and pointing to what I was looking at. The object seemed to be just hanging there which seemed very unusual and I was beginning to realize that what I was watching was not a conventional aircraft. Suddenly it began to move again. It accelerated at an every increasing speed, taking only 2-3 seconds to pass over Great Falls and beyond the International Airport before disappearing from sight behind the Starbucks. It was when the object began moving that my wife caught sight of it and watched as it accelerated out of our sight. We both immediately ran to the other side of the building to follow it's path but it had disappeared. She immediately said, "we just saw a UFO". It's speed and noiseless acceleration was obviously unusual enough to her not to question whether or not we had seen something non-conventional but to definitively state so. I should mention that her father was in the USAF and she had grown up in Okinawa as well as various US Air bases. Being in close proximity to Malmstrom AFB she is used to constant military air traffic of various sorts. It was the rate of noiseless acceleration which was the most impressive display of flight I have every witnessed. The distance we watched the object cover, from a point roughly above an area called "Gibson Flats" to a point well past Great Falls International Airport is between 5-6 miles. To cover that in only a few seconds is mind boggling. Even if it took 10x as long to cover that distance, it calculates to a speed that I cannot bring myself to accept, though I personally witnessed it. The best analogy I can come up with is that of a paddle ball. The old kids toy consisting of a wooden paddle with a ball attached by an elasticized string. After hitting the ball and it files horizontally away from the paddle, there is a brief moment where it's flight it stalled and it hangs mid-air before reversing direction and accelerating back toward the paddle holder. It's the return flight of the ball from hanging to acceleration that best describes this objects flight as if tied to a string that was suddenly jerked. Right before the object began to accelerate I reached for my cel phone in order to capture it on video only to find an empty belt holder as minutes before my wife had taken my phone and plugged it into our vehicle charger. I wanted to grab hers but she was still on the phone with her doctors office. Had I known what we were about to witness I would have grabbed it from her. I continued to watch the sky and note the appearance in size of passenger airliners in the vicinity. We can only estimate that in comparison to the average aircraft at approximately the same altitude that the black triangular object we witnessed would be slightly smaller.
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PA Media December 26, 2021