Friday, 8 January 2010

UK UFO - New Years Orange Orbs

As expected the recent holiday period was littered with reports of ‘orange orbs' and lights in the sky (LITS) and from what I can gather this was due to no more than the proliferation of Chinese Lanterns and their many derivatives. Indeed many of the online media sites that covered the reports tended to follow up with an explanatory article several days later, it would of course be futile to mention all of these but as usual I will repost the ones that were located in the North-East of England, namely Sunderland.

They come via & courtesy of the Sunderland Echo who you may remember have a bit of past ‘form' for this as back in 2006 they covered quite extensively one of the earliest such IFO's, further information available here. As well of course as one or two more recent incidents.

And refreshingly it seems that the majority of the public who witnessed the LITS recognised them for what they were (see comments at foot of post).

Anyhoo, on to the 2010 reports and on the 5th January 2010 the Echo ran the following story.

Sunderland Echo UFO

Mystery of the orange light in the night sky

STRANGE sightings have caused a stir in a Sunderland street after lighting up the night sky. The Tokes family were astonished when they saw three unusual objects float across the sky, one after the other. Dad Les was parking the car next to his home in Hepburn Grove, Hylton Castle, when he noticed the first strange light at about 8.15pm on Saturday.

Les Tokes - Sunderland UFOThe 52-year-old said:

"As I looked across, I could see this orange light in the sky between the two houses. At first, I thought it could be a plane, but as is started to get nearer it looked the wrong shape…..It wasn't very big and was a strange oblong shape. It was pulsating red and orange and was completely silent as it passed over the house."

By the time he called his wife, Anne, 40, and children, Stefan, 12 and Robyn, nine, it had gone. However, as the family, watched just about seven minutes later another one exactly the same appeared travelling in the same direction as the first over towards the Nissan factory.

"We watched it right the way across as far as we could. Then when I went back to the front of the house a third light, exactly the same, appeared."

This time Les alerted his neighbours to the strange sighting and they all watched as it travelled slowly over their homes.

"We couldn't believe what we were seeing, for three to follow each other like that was strange. We get a lot of aircraft going over our houses towards the airport, but these lights were totally different and were going in the wrong direction for the airport. Also, they went right over our houses and we couldn't hear any noise whatsoever."

Source: Sunderland Echo (04 January 2010)

Followed by this story on the 7th January 2010.

Sunderland Echo UFO

Sunderland UFO sightings: The truth

Little Layla Wood may hold the key to the mystery of the strange lights that have been spotted in the Sunderland sky. The Echo has been inundated with calls and emails from readers after we reported on sightings of objects floating above Hylton Castle during the festive period. But it seems the unidentified lights, which have also been spotted elsewhere across Wearside and East Durham, may be Chinese sky lanterns. Three of the hot air balloons were set off on New Year's Day and the following day to celebrate Bexhill School pupil Layla's fifth birthday.

Stepdad Mark Bulmer, of Baltimore Square, said:

"We bought them for Layla's birthday celebrations. We've never used them before and we were surprised at how high they go…..We set them off in Town End Farm but they floated off over Hylton Castle, which is what we think people have seen…..They are made of tissue paper and are three to four feet high, from underneath they look like orange circles. Layla loved them."

On Tuesday, the Echo reported on the Tokes family who had spotted three unidentified lights in the sky above their home in Hepburn Grove, Castletown. Les Tokes, 52, said:

"They were pulsating red and orange and were completely silent as they passed over the house. We couldn't believe what we were seeing."

Since then, dozens of readers have been contacting the Echo saying they too have seen them. Many people appear to have spotted the lights floating in the night sky throughout the festive period. But, several people are saying there is no mystery to the lights and claim they are in fact the new craze of Chinese lanterns, which are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to fireworks. Kathleen Taylor, 65, from The Avenue in Hetton, said she saw a strange orange light just minutes after midnight on New Year's Eve.

She said:
"I couldn't take my eyes off it, I was really fascinated by it. It was like a small ball of fire in the sky…..I thought it was a plane on fire, but then realised it was rising up. I didn't know what it was, but I don't believe in UFOs."

Anne Laing was celebrating New Year's Eve at her home in Moorside when just after the stroke of midnight she and a friend saw three of the strange lights hovering in the sky.

She said:
"At first, we thought we were seeing things, but there was three of them together just still in the sky and they lasted ages."

Lyndsey Fox, 21, from Seaham, who saw 20 lights fly over her home, said:
"I believe that these mysterious orange lights are nothing but Chinese lanterns that are used for celebrations."

Paula Weston said:
"I live in Coventry but was visiting relations in Sunderland for Christmas (Bede Street, Roker)…..Early evening on Christmas Day, me and my brother-in-law went outside for a cigarette and saw a strange orange light in the sky."

Jacqueline Watson, of Harraton, Washington, said:
"I too saw the orange lights on Saturday…..I was looking out over the back garden at the snow when I noticed two lights following a parallel course coming from the south-east towards Harraton in Washington…..They approached quite steadily, then simply disappeared into thin air.”

Anthony Cuthbert said:
"I saw the orange light next to the Alexandra Bridge."

David Young from Washington said:
"It wasn't a UFO…..They are called Chinese lanterns…..They are available in different shapes, cost £2-£3 each, and are basically a paper hot air balloon with a special candle at the bottom to provide hot air and make them light up and float up into the sky."

Source: Sunderland Echo (07 January 2010)

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Friday, 3 October 2008

IFOs Into UFOs - Chinese Lanterns In Sunderland (Again!!)

UFO Balloons - Chinese LanternsThe Sunderland Echo recently (3rd October 2008) ran a story regarding a UFO report from a few days ago, they reveal the source of the sightings whilst also mentioning that BUFORA (whom I personally thought were practically defunct) have also revealed that Chinese lanterns were the likely cause.

I wrote about these lanterns at the beginning of July foretelling of the misidentifications I believed that they were going to produce over the summer months, now only a couple of months later and the vast majority of UK UFO reports it seems are (eventually) attributed to these Chinese lanterns.

The article I wrote was titled: “IFOs: (LITs) UFO Balloons, Chinese Lanterns & Misidentifications” and can be viewed here.

Regular readers may remember that one of the three UFO reports I referenced to highlight the fact that these Chinese Lanterns/UFO balloons were predominantly reported as UFOs was in fact an earlier 2006 Sunderland report.

Anyway, here's the recent explanation of the September 2008 Sunderland UFO report:

Teen party sparks UFO alert

(Last Updated: 03 October 2008 11:14 AM)

Yasmin and her grandmother Yvonne RenwickAn 18th birthday party sparked a series of apparent UFO sightings across Wearside, it emerged today. Shocked residents told last month how they watched as eerie glowing orbs appeared over Hetton and Easington Lane .

As reported in the Echo, more than a dozen witnesses were left stunned after spotting nine "fireballs" in the night sky. Mum Sharon Johnston captured the orange lights on her mobile phone camera. The 33-year-old, from Hetton, said they appeared to be travelling in formation and were in the air for about 10 minutes before suddenly vanishing from sight. However, the British UFO Research Association later revealed it was likely the lights were Chinese sky lanterns, which are often released into the air at public events and celebrations.

Today it emerged that 30 lanterns were lit at Elemore Golf Club, Hetton, where Yasmin Renwick was marking her 18th birthday.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the article in the paper…..It was a complete shock…..The lanterns were a surprise on the night and it was surprise the next day when I heard how many people had seen them…..It was a great birthday party, though, and I'll never forget it."

Often used as an alternative to fireworks displays, the lanterns – made of paper and bamboo – are known to rise as high as 1,500metres and can travel miles. Yasmin's gran, Yvonne, also from Hetton, helped organise the surprise party with the birthday girl's mum Zoe. She said:

"I was at a wedding about a year ago where I saw about 150 lanterns released into the air. It was so dramatic…..They went down well at the party, but the day after my phone didn't stop ringing. Apparently, people were rushing into their gardens with video cameras…..But we all had a laugh about it afterwards…..It is something to remember Yasmin's birthday by."

Source: Sunderland Echo

When I wrte this Blog post the earlier article by the Sunderland Echo was unavailable online, this has now been rectified so here is the article that preceded the one above.

Light thrown on UFO sightings

(01 October 2008)

UFO researchers today identified the mysterious orange lights spotted floating in the sky over a village.

Shocked residents last week told how they watched in awe as the eerie glowing orbs appeared over Easington Lane . As reported in the Echo, more than a dozen witnesses were left stunned after they saw up to nine "fireballs" on Saturday.

Mum Sharon Johnston captured the orange lights on her mobile phone camera. The 33-year-old, from Hetton, said they appeared to be travelling in formation and were in the air for about 10 minutes before suddenly vanishing from sight. The British UFO Research Association says it was likely the lights were Chinese sky lanterns, which are often released into the air at public events and celebrations. Often used as an alternative to fireworks displays, the lanterns, which are made of paper and bamboo, are known to rise as high as 1,500 metres and can travel miles. They are regularly seen at weekends and mistaken for UFOs.

After viewing the footage, a spokesman for the association said: " I see nothing at all here to suggest anything other than lanterns. The colour, appearance and behaviour of the lights unfortunately fit an all too familiar – and, from our perspective, annoying – pattern."

There have been similar sightings in Bristol, Lincolnshire and Wrexham.

The spokesman added: "It is not the fault of such witnesses that so much time ultimately becomes wasted on these reports as the general public are by and large, and perhaps understandably, unfamiliar with the behavioural traits of these things."

Source: Sunderland Echo

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