The city glow of Sedalia, Mo., lit the night around the state fairgrounds as a crowd gathered for the coming July 4, 2010, fireworks show.

Author’s note: The following story may or may not be of paranormal origin. The story is, however, about something unknown, and that puts it firmly in the realm of “From the Shadows.”

The city glow of Sedalia, Mo., lit the night around the state fairgrounds as a crowd gathered for the coming July 4, 2010, fireworks show.

Paul Michaels stood in that small crowd when, at about 9:20 p.m., before the fireworks show began; something appeared in the evening sky he couldn’t identify.

“There was what looked like a plane about 150 feet off the ground,” he said. “There was a cloudbank right on the edge of the fairground, all along 16th Street. I saw it pop out of the clouds.”

As Michaels watched the craft, he became convinced it wasn’t a normal airplane.

“What I saw running south to north was a plane 150 feet above the tree line. It looked exactly like a plane,” Michaels said, but it didn’t behave like an airplane. “You couldn’t hear it coming. It came right over the top of us. The fireworks hadn’t even started yet.”

Little traffic drove past the area, most people there to watch the fireworks show had arrived, so city din was light.

“(The craft) was just as quiet as a balloon,” Michaels said. “It looked like a military plane.” But, at the same time, it didn’t.

Michaels, who had done electrical work at an Air Force base in Texas and had observed many military aircraft, noticed it didn’t act like any craft he’d seen.

“It didn’t have any blinking lights,” Michaels said. “And the canopy didn’t look like a canopy.”

The craft had an orange-yellow glowing “observation dome” in the front – and it was slow. Too slow.

“If you moved your hand through the air, that’s what you were experiencing,” Michaels said. “This thing was floating.”

Living in Sedalia, Michaels has had many chances to watch military aircraft in flight. Whiteman Air Force Base in nearby Knob Noster is home to the 509th Bomb Wing, the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber and many other aircraft that do training runs across the area.

“Mom lived out in the county on a 40-acre lake and (military aircraft) would shoot out over that lake,” he said. “They were buzzing all the time. They’ll come in at an angle, from southeast, not from south to north like this one. But you hear them coming and going.”

He stood and watched this craft fly slowly out of sight; then another appeared, floated slowly and silently until it was out of sight. No one else seemed to notice.

“Fighter jets will shoot through Mom’s yard at 8:50 at night,” he said. “But (with these craft) you didn’t hear any swoosh or anything. It was doing a steady speed. It was doing faster than traffic, but I’ve seen trucks going down the street faster than they were going.”

The craft had no markings, insignia or writing.

“They just baffled the hell out of me,” Michaels said.

One day Michaels spoke with a man who worked at Whiteman Air Force Base and described the craft to him. The man had an answer.

“A-10s,” Michaels said. “He said they can be quiet.”

So Michaels looked into the A-10 Thunderbolt fighter jet. Even though the craft Michaels saw looked like a military plane, “it didn’t look like an A-10.”

“Talking to people from the airbase, they said the A-10 can do that (fly low and silent), but you can still hear them,” he said. “It still makes noise. These were quiet as a church mouse. I’ve got an old ’63 Dodge that makes more noise than that.”

Michaels asked if what he saw could be an advanced military craft not released to the public. The people from the airbase said yes, but the base didn’t have it.

All Michaels wants to know is what he saw.

“I’ve seen some things I don’t know how to explain,” Michaels said. “I’ve talked to several different people who can’t explain them either. I don’t believe in things until I see them myself.”

And he has.

The question is, what did Michaels see slowly cruising low over the state fairgrounds in Sedalia on July 4? A known military craft, an unknown military craft or something from beyond this world?

“I’d be interested if someone out there has seen something like what I saw,” Michaels said. “I don’t want someone to try and explain it away. I know different.”

If you have an idea what might be flying slowly and silently through our night sky, please send me an e-mail at

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,