The 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)
An 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