A buddy and I were enjoying a quiet, clear evening on a west facing deck overlooking the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. The moon was less than half full and becoming orange as it was settling down on the horizon mostly west but slightly southwest of our position. The sky overhead was full of stars and the wind was almost calm though slight, variable breezes would occur. The waves in the bay were moving from north to south. You could hear a truck off in the distance for several miles and several minutes until it faded away. We were waiting for it to disappear so that we could witness complete silence with exception to waves and crickets. At approximately 23:15, I noticed a red light above the bay coming from south to north (left to right). It was common for aircraft to fly along the bay but most often it would be a coastguard helicopter or a care flight air ambulance going from Traverse City to Charlevoix or Petoskey at that time of night. The coast guard helicopter is red and I thought since the light was red it was probably them but I continued to observe expecting to hear the typical sound made by copters and to see a blinking light. I estimated the craft to be 4 miles south of us and pointed it out to my friend. When it had traveled another several seconds I recalled thinking it was traveling the speed I expected a helicopter to move. Its course was level and unchanging. When it was about a mile south, I said that it was odd we couldn���t hear it since it was so quiet outside. This made me think maybe it was a small plane of some type since they are sometimes less noisy. I continued to monitor its unchanging flight and at the point it passed the directly in front of our location I asked my friend ���What is that? There���s no strobe light and no sound.��� He didn���t have an answer and neither did I. At this point, I estimated the object to be about 300 feet above the bay and maybe 5-7 miles out ... which is to say �� of the way to the Leelanua Peninsula or right down the middle of the bay. The object never seemed to be definable with regard to shape though it was rounder than any other shape since it was just a fairly bright red light and I guess at that distance it seemed rounded. As I write this recollection it occurs to me that the object may have been a bit closer since I really couldn���t determine its size and I had no sound to use as a guide. Nonetheless, the object continued its heading and maintained the same altitude on its northerly flight. I changed my position on the deck in order to continue my observation until trees obstructed my view. I am curious what this was but might tend to believe it is something man made. Perhaps a drone of some type.
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