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Sighting Reports 2007

Man Sees Several Large Lights at Low Altitude to The Southeast

Map Showing Location of Witness When Experienced Sighting.
Map Showing Location of Witness When Experienced Sighting.

Date of Sighting: October 23, 2007
Time of Sighting: About 9:30 PM CST
Date Sighting Reported: January 4, 2008
Duration of Sighting: Unknown
Location of Sighting: About 1 Hour Drive West of Sioux Falls, South Dakota (60 Miles W)
Latitude: 43.69 Degrees North
Longitude: 97.89 Degrees West
Number of Witnesses: One (Many Other Groups Saw Similar Lights on October 22)
Weather: Clear Skies. Visibility 10 Miles. Winds Were From the NNW at 8 MPH.

Description: I was driving along Interstate 90 in South Dakota during the night, heading east toward Sioux Falls. I was just over an hour's drive from arriving in Sioux Falls when I observed a series of amber glowing lights to the southeast. The lights were similar in character and location to the eyewitness accounts by other persons that were reported to have occured the night before, on October 22nd. Not to appear to force the explanation that the lights were extraterrestrial aircraft, the explanation that they were likely military flares appears questionable. First, whenever military aircraft conduct flight operations, there is considerable paperwork and regulations to adhere to (flight plan, ordinance expended in flight, etc.), for pilot and crew alike. Flight regulations prohibit the dispensing of flares below a certain altitude, e.g., 2,000 feet, so to avoid the risk of ground-related fire to structures and noncombatants; in addition, to minimize interference with radar. Flares such as the M206 have a nominal burn rate of 3-5 seconds, often with smoke contrails. The aforementioned lights I observed appeared at an altitude considerably below 2,000 feet, didn't entail smoke contrails, burned with light beyond 5 seconds in some cases, and had an apparent brightness beyond any military flare I ever have seen; about 3 times as bright as Venus. I didn't notice the usual flight pattern or blinking lights commonly associated with commercial or even military aircraft. One possibility to consider, if the explanation of military flares was still adhered to, was that military aircraft released the flares to observe the contours of unidentified aircraft in the area during the night, so as to provide descriptive reports back to military air traffic controllers. Could it be a civilian plane dropping flares, such as a prank? Conceivably, but again, too bright, no contrails, below 2,000 feet, and so forth. Not to mention a person could risk losing their pilot's license for such a stunt. In sum, I can't conclusively explain what the lights were, but they were highly unusual, even for a military flare.

Comments: UFOs Northwest has received many reports of these lights on October 22, 2007. This is the only report that we received a day later on October 23. After reviewing several reports we thought that the lights "could be" military flares for lack of a better explanation. However, no confirmation of military exercises was obtained despite repeated inquiries. The witness to this sighting seems to be very educated on military exercises, aviation regulations, and the use of flares. He presents a good argument that his sighting on October 23 and the sightings from the previous night were probably not military flares. In the absence of this explanation what could these lights be? Why were aircraft observed in the area? Were they checking out these lights? Click here to read a special report on these sightings.