Two U.S. Marine helicopters and  two tiltrotor Osprey aircraft landed on Northwestern University’s lakefill campus in Evanston early this afternoon drawing a crowd of onlookers.

A tiltrotor Osprey flying over the campus lagoon.

The helicopters, with insignia that mark them as part of the fleet sometimes used by the president, then took off and flew low over Evanston — startling some residents — shortly after 1 p.m.

A city fire engine and ambulance stand by as an Osprey flies over the lagoon.

Reports are that the exercise was in preparation for a possible visit to the campus by President Obama later this week. University and city officials declined comment on the possibility of a presidential visit.

Evanston Now reader Luke Adams captured this video of an Osprey flying over Fountain Square.

Update 5:40 p.m. 9/29/14: The president reportedly will appear on campus Thursday and is expected deliver a speech on the economy.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. So who pays ? The taxpayers ?

    I hope the Presidential visit [campaign stop for the Governor] is being completely paid for by either the Governor’s or President’s campaign funds and not the taxpayer’s dollars.  All costs, market value of fuel, staff, pilots, Secret Service and other protection, planes Monday to ‘scout out’ NU’s campus, should be billable to political funds not  the taxpayers.

    I doubt the speech at Northwestern is something that would have occurred or needed to occur if not for the campaign stop—it is just an excuse to bill the taxpayers. In any event ‘speechifying’ is not governing—there are too many important things that need to be taken care of for political trips, let alone billing the taxpayers.

    1. It would really be great if

      It would really be great if Northwestern cancelled Obama's appearence and they had to find something else to charge th remembere visit off to taxpayers.

      Other than the taxpayer funded Obama family vacations, this has been going on by presidents for as long as I can remember. This has been true for presidents, governors, mayors, etc..

      It is my opinion, that these taxpayer funded trips or events should be followuped by trip reports detailing what was learned or discovered, plus an expense report. This is especially true for state and local governments, regardless of political party.

      This reminds me, what ever happened to Wally's detail cost report for patiogate?


      1. How do you know? Do you work

        How do you know? Do you work for the post office? NSA? Secret Service? If the latter, try not to screw it up this time.

    2. I, for one, hope to get a

      I, for one, hope to get a glimpse of the president!  I once got a wave from President Reagan while he wa visiting Chicago.

      Sorry, but you're sounding a bit mean-spirited.


Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.