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Thu, Jun 17, 2004

Pennsylvania Authorities Search For Mystery Plane

Circling Aircraft Prompted Gettysburg Hotel Evacuation

It was a dark and foggy night over Gettysburg (PA) when, out of the gloom was heard the persistent sound of a small aircraft flying low over downtown. In earlier days, police might have turned on their overhead lights and driven to the airport, in hopes the aircraft might follow. Early Tuesday morning, officers instead evacuated the Gettysburg Hotel.

"I thought it was just flying to the airport, but it just kept circling and circling," said Police Chief Rolf Garcia in an interview with the Gettysburg Times. He said the aircraft flew as low as 150 feet for about two hours, before disappearing in the misty dawn at about 6:30 AM local time.

As a result, hotel manager Phillip Murray evacuated 26 rooms on the five-story building's top two floors.

The aircraft hasn't been heard from since. In Gettysburg, Chief Garcia said no one on the ground could read the aircraft's N-number. Attempts to contact the aircraft were met with silence. There were no reports of downed aircraft or emergency landings later in the day.

FMI: www.gettysburgpa.org/borough.html

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