While watching a "warm-up" fireworks display in Giles Co., VA, on Friday evening, July 4, 2014, at around 09:15 PM, we noticed an orange-colored "orb" slowly approaching our location from a nearly due south direction, from a distance of several miles away. This twilight skies were generally clear, and visibility was quite extensive at this time, so one didn���t have to strain ���at all��� to see this approaching ���craft��� of unknown origin. The object, which we witnessed (and undoubtedly scores of people at this fireworks event did as well), was "clearly not" any distinguishable form of ���traditional��� military or commercial aircraft, large "Chinese lantern", weather balloon, commercial hot-air balloon, star, comet, meteor, etc., nor did it have FAA beacon lights, etc., as neither its physical description, motions, movement, etc. during this event were not consistent with such. In other words, I���ve personally witnessed the aforementioned examples of cosmic and aerial phenomena, and this, clearly, could not be remotely described as any one of them ��� that is, it was clearly ���none of the above���.
In any event, the object in question, again, approached our general location/direction from a nearly due-south direction, and seemed to travel at a slow, apparently-steady speed, although there was a very slight, but visually-noticeable, ���wobble��� or oscillatory type motion/movement associated with its flight mechanics/path) that seemed to be present for most of its (exposed) flight duration. Although I did personally witness this object ���suddenly��� appear, or make an entrance into the southern skies, when I did notice it, it was already in motion, and heading in our general direction. The object, which was a bright, "orange-colored orb" (clearly noticeable and larger than a typical star in the night sky), appeared to move along a somewhat steady flight path and altitude the entire time. Although its flight altitude was indeterminate from the scene, one might guess that it was at least a couple of miles high, although clearly within the cruising altitude range of today's commercial aircraft. Futhermore, I didn���t sense any ���pulsing��� or ���pulsation��� associated with this craft during its flight, but then again, given the fact that I witnessed it from a distance of miles, and without the use of a telescope, binoculars, etc. on this note, I just couldn���t be sure enough to comfortably opine.
After the object slowly made its way towards our location (again, along a near due-north trajectory), for a span of about three or four minutes, it seemed to ���stop���, for a few seconds, while in mid-air, and then slowly reversed course direction (making a near 180-degree turn) and subsequently ���disappeared" about a minute (or less) later (i.e., after course reversal) - despite the fact the sky cover at that time was ���very marginal���, and certainly not thick enough to suddenly ���veil��� or ���cloak��� this craft, after almost immediately.
With regard to any noises��� (i.e., exhaust, sonic booms, etc.) emanating from this aircraft, no discernible noise was noticed, although given its altitude and distance from our location during the entire event, this is understandable. There did not appear to be any discernible exhaust or ���contrail��� in its wake either, so as to what form of propulsion system it was using is open for debate at this time.
As for the distance the object appeared to cover during this three or four-minute flight event, one would be relegated to speculation, but given its relatively slow speed (seemingly at or below Mach 1, or standard commercial aircraft speed), and the fact that it was only visible for a total of approximately a three or four-minute period, one might assume that it only travelled a few dozen miles or so during the time it was visible in the sky. Whatever the case, at the time the object reversed course, it still appeared to be several miles from our location. As indicated, its flight path was generally along a somewhat-northerly trajectory ��� one that appeared to be slowly approaching our direction (and the "warm-up" fireworks display, which had just started about fifteen minutes earlier?).
Although one person I our party tried to get a few photos of the craft, all he managed to get (after hastily-attempting to zoom in on the craft) was an orange, blurry streak. This person was caught off guard and tried to get the best photos he could, but none actually ���turned out��� that well, or provided any definition of the craft ��� clearly not enough to warrant submission for analysis. This was quite unfortunate as this person is not really a camera ���novice���. I would presume he was just so wrapped up in attempting to get a good photo that he made some ���rookie��� camera mistakes. What a shame as if he had used his video camera, then ���that��� should have yielded some salient video for review.
To reiterate, in terms of the object���s size and appearance, it appeared to be quite a bit larger than the adjacent stars in the backdrop of the night sky, and was clearly visible to anyone that would have looked in its general direction. In fact, I���m quite surprised that dozens of people didn���t start running around and pointing up at the sky, etc., even if they did, from my vantage point (along a tree-lined street, in a residential setting), I didn���t see much of that. But hey, given that this ���unexplained aerial phenomena��� was unexpected, and the fact that the crowd was eagerly anticipating the impending (���main���) fireworks event (which was due to begin at any moment), and simultaneously enjoying some live music, etc. the minds of this generally-rural crowd may have been generally ���distracted���, and thus left unaware of the southern skies during this (apparent) three or four minute ���flight event���, which we witnessed. Although we did continue to discuss the object amongst ourselves, we didn't actually get out amongst the crowd to alert them of our discovery as again, and/or discuss it with them as again, the crowd was then enjoying the live music (in a direction away from the aerial phenomena) and eagerly anticipating the impending, and ���main��� fireworks display. But I digress.
So, whether or not this intelligently-controlled aircraft was ���terrestrially-based��� or not, or else some ���military-based��� or ���black ops-related��� aircraft of some sort (which seems somewhat doubtful given the craft���s seemingly innocent and ���investigatory��� movements/nature towards the fireworks location), who can say? As for it being some sort of black-ops/���secret drone��� of sorts ��� well, not this thing. There was nothing clandestine about this object (other than its quick disappearance). In fact, it would seem safe to say that any drone used by whatever ���spook agency��� would clearly not construct it as large, or have it so brightly-illuminated as this ���craft��� - that would be ludicrous on the face of it. To be sure, this object was so brightly-illuminated that everyone could clearly see it. Consequently, in regard to assigning a ���traditional��� cosmic or aircraft ���explanation��� for this object ��� such would not seem applicable here, at all. So was it even terrestrially-based? Who can really say, at this point.