Love and Light.
Local UFO sightings still remain mystery
Sunday, November 28, 2004 12:11 PM PST
By Laura Dobbins/ldobbins@...
Several military aircraft from the Air Force and Marines were testing in China Lake airspace two weeks ago when some people reported unidentified flying objects but Navy authorities insist none of the testing occurred during the time of the UFO sightings.
It seems more questions than answers have been raised with each piece of information revealed about the unidentified object or objects.
A bright circular-shaped flying object was what Ridgecrest resident Bonnie Mathis saw Nov. 6. Her account, similar to others that day, was followed by more sightings of "unexplained hovering lights," - the most recent on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Some residents believe the object or objects may be some type of hot air balloon. One person believes it is a hoax.
Some people are open to the idea of UFOs but most are convinced it's military testing.
Edwards Air Force Base Public Affairs spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Ball said there were a number of aircraft tests conducted in the China Lake area between Nov. 6 and Nov. 9.
"There were all types of aircraft in that area including squadrons from Nellis Air Force Base, the Fresno National Guards, the Marines, the Army and even aircraft from the Mojave Airport," Ball said.
Edwards Air Force Base officials did not receive any UFO reports, said Ball.
"I know sometimes there are weird reflections off the aircraft, especially in the daytime. Lights hovering in the dark are usually the marines who use helicopters," Ball said.
China Lake authorities have checked their sources twice, after Edwards Air Force Base announced there was numerous testing in the China Lake area and contend that no testing was done on the dates or times in question.
"According to our airfield sources, there weren't any flights or testing scheduled in that area on any of the days that have been questioned," said China Lake officials. "The airspace has not been used by China Lake or any other services on the nights in question."
Could be a hot air balloon?
Bob Anderson was traveling north on Ward Avenue when he spotted the lights on Nov. 8. He said he parked his car and watched the glow for a while The lights appeared to be hovering South of Norma Street.
Anderson tried to follow the lights when they started moving. At one point, he said, the lights were low, about 500 feet in the air, near Drummond Avenue and Norma Street.
"The lights were unique. I was trying to figure out how the glow was created since it didn't seem to burn out," Anderson said.
There was no wind in Ridgecrest that day, Anderson who said he is not a UFO fanatic, noted. "I thought it might be some type of hot-air balloon but it was strange and it lasted a while - between 5 and 10 minutes."
At one point the lights seemed to land.
"Then they disappeared," Anderson said.
Is it a hoax?
Another local, Garon Harris, also has followed the object but his sighting was at 5:55 a.m. and it was on Nov. 9.
"I think it's someone playing a hoax," Harris said.
The object Harris saw was traveling east near Downs Avenue. He followed it and got underneath what he described as a one foot by one foot wide object that had containers like dry cleaning bags on it.
The object was descending 100 to 150 feet before Harris lost sight of it.
"I think it was a hot air balloon with candles used to lift it up. It had a translucent covering. I am convinced it is someone playing a hoax," Harris said.
Meantime on Nov. 16 another sighting of strange flickering lights has been reported. This time at least 20 people saw the phenomenon.
It was neither a plane or a rocket say witnesses.
Until it can be proved otherwise, the lights will have to be classified as "UFOs," said UFO investigator Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center based in Seattle, Wash. in a Nov. 10 phone interview.
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