2020 – The Powers of Observation: Bob’sObs 9-19-20

(ignore May 1, 2017 publish date – this was published on September 21, 2020)


Back in 1988 when I got my first camcorder and had moved into an apartment atop an old building, I started videoing all of the little odd things that I could observe from my new vantage point.

At the end of the year, I would edit hours of stuff down to a one-to-two-hour videotape and make copies for my family members at Christmas.

“Bob’s Observations” sounded rather stuffy, so I called it “Bob’sObs”. My mother was my biggest fan and insisted that I watch it with her so I could narrate/explain all the little odd things I saw that I didn’t mention as I was shooting.

Bob’sObs probably ran for a decade or so. I still see lots of odd things, but my concentration these days is still photos that I can post about.

Such an occurrence happened this past Saturday and began 12.5 miles away at the World Trade Center in Manhattan and ended 10 miles north of the WTC – in a straight line – at the George Washington Bridge, which is 5.5 miles east of me.

In this first picture, you can see something white in front of the upper part of 1 WTC. To the far left of that, you can see a very small dot in the sky:

This is a small plane – I’m guessing over the Hudson River – heading north and pulling what appears to be some sort of banner (how you like dem eagle eyes from over a dozen miles away?)


As the plane continues north, you can see the banner against the open sky:


The plane has passed the Empire State Building and the banner is about to do the same (but what is its message?):


Plane and banner pass some of the newer Manhattan skyscrapers:


Now much closer to me, you can start to make out lettering as plane and banner pass New Jersey buildings, but you still can’t read what it says (though it’s probably NOT a Black Lives Matter banner). So what was the important message that two states needed to see?

BTW – the church is St Joseph’s R.C. Church in Bogota, NJ, which is across the Hackensack River from me. St Joe’s is probably 2-3 miles away. The high-rises right behind it are in Cliffside Park, NJ, atop the Palisades by the Hudson River. They’re actually 5-6 miles away. There’s an entire valley with a couple of towns and Route 95 between these two buildings.


Finally, the banner is now directly facing me between The Modern 1 and 2 towers in Fort Lee – JUST south of the GWB (the plane is behind the tower on the left, which is The Modern 1). It’s as close as it’s gonna get (5.5 miles vs. the original 12.5 miles):


AND THE BANNER IS SEMI-SORT OF READABLE (that’s “NY” on the bottom, right?). I had to go to the full-size file of the image to make a stab at whatever this socially-important, bi-state message was and then search Google images for something that fit my guess and this is what I came up with:

















The print and image look the same, right?


BTW#2 – I DID take one more picture that shows that the plane (and the banner) turned around somewhere in the vicinity of the GWB and were heading south down the Hudson River so all of Manhattan could read the banner:






Actually, the plane did this round trip a couple of times. I first saw it when it was heading south and the banner faced NYC, but I saw that it turned around down near the WTC and shot its complete northern trip.


So much for dem eagle eyes…………






One Comment

  1. Marilyn Kibbe September 21, 2020

    So refreshing to see something other than political agendas being advertised…you are one great photo guy even as you enjoy your retirement days.
    Auntie M

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