We were traveling north on I39 as we approached the Tonica exit, we noticed several objects, black against the evening sky, to the western horizon, presumed them to be helicopters, as we’ve seen a helicopter convoy through that area once before.
A few miles further on I had been watching this current convoy as far as we could before the terrain blocked them out.
As we got off at the first LaSalle exit, heading north, I looked to the skies towards where the convoy would have been, and then an odd lighted object; higher, slightly closer, could be seen.
I had my camera, and took a picture (picture 1) before losing sight of it as we descended into the valley. Did not see it anytime beyond that point in the daylight.
A couple of hours later we are heading home, south on I39, and as we approached the Tonica exit, I looked to the west and the activity was still in progress, I took a photo of the object, even closer at this point, still a couple miles out.
The “helicopters” if that is what they were, were much closer, half mile or less, and seemed to be lifting off from the fields.
Surrounding the object in the sky, it had a large whitish rhomboid light, (looks rather greenish on film), with depth to it, like a large chamber, and a red light to either side and slightly behind, the whitish light.
It was slowly weaving back and forth, so sometimes both red lights were visible, other times only the one. I took a few pictures, would check the picture and delete it if it was too blurry.
I only had a few spots left on the SD card. I got one good night time close up (picture 2), and then its lights went out.
I had my wife stop the car, and I got out on the interstate to take a couple of pictures of the lifting off “helicopters.” I took two more pictures, a still photo (not sent), and a 30 second time lapse of the area (picture 3).
I set the camera on the hood of the car, it was still running, so the picture is a bit jumpy, but not as jumpy as it would seem please note by looking at the centered ascending lights, then note how much smoother the plane trajectory is in the upper left of the time-lapse, this compared to the wild movements of the closer two lights.
Once they got to their altitude they moved off in near opposite directions. The other “helicopters” are further away to the far right of the picture and did not get on film, they were further away and behind the main object.
Note: I never really heard the helicopters, it was still busy on the interstate, only 7 PM or a slight bit later, but they were close enough I should have heard something, but I didn’t.
They moved off for a while, the light intensified remained constant, then as one, they shut off their lights as well. No strobes on any of the “helicopters” anywhere, anytime.