Residents of Tucson, Ariz. and Kansas City, Mo., claim to have seen UFOs floating over their respective cities on Saturday night. An eyewitness, identified as Cbazz, posted a video of the Tuscon "sighting" on YouTube.
He also posted the following description:
My family and I witnessed these strange amber lights in Tucson on our way home from dinner. There were seven or eight of them crossing the sky — some solo and others in pairs flying very, very close together.
These objects were silent. Living in this part of the country we often hear fighter jets from the Air Force base, but we are used to that and it is always recognizable and very loud. This was not that.
Also occasionally we see squadrons of choppers fly in this area fairly low, but they are always very loud as well and have a distinct sound. The objects we saw tonight were silent and moving across the sky very fast. The objects that were paired were flying closer together than I have ever seen any kind of jet or plane fly at that speed, and they never separated or drifted apart from a uniform distance.
An eyewitness in Kansas City apparently had a similar experience.
"Not for sure what they are, but I got several videos of them and pics. Looks like a UFO fleet!?" wrote YouTube poster jemnich1.
So what exactly was up there?
Ben Hansen, a former FBI special agent who specialized in analyzing photos and videos had this opinion on the sighting:
In my opinion, both videos are definitely man-made, combustible objects — most likely Chinese lanterns. The Kansas [City] video is slightly different, especially in the beginning because they appear to move more quickly, but that could simply be a perspective illusion of the videographer's zoom and shaky tracking.
Both videos are consistent with the characteristics of ground-launched, fire-lit objects. In the last five years, we have seen an exponential increase in the use of Chinese lanterns and similar lighter-than-air objects launched as hoaxes or as part of celebrations.
If you have never seen them in the sky before, the experience can be quite stunning to the casual observer.
The Tuscon UFO video is below: