We are not alone, Observer readers say, at least in terms of mysterious “glowing balls” hovering in the sky.
An Indian Trail man reported to a UFO website that he saw orbs resembling Chinese lanterns over his home last Sunday night. Scientific American magazine this week declared 2017 “a banner year” for scientists investigating potential alien encounters.
In response to the article, three readers sent in photos and video of objects that appear to closely resemble the Indian Trail man’s depiction.
Austin Korte, a former Duke Energy IT worker who’s now a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, sent the Observer eight photos. They show balls of light he says he’s seen twice near Interstate 77 in the Rock Hill area. He frequently passes through the area driving from Charlotte to Columbia.
Korte, 26, says he’s “a comparatively normal, well-educated individual who typically doesn’t buy into the overly dramatic.” But he said his first sighting, last July, left him so dumbfounded he could have wrecked his car.
“I spotted two glowing balls of light sitting in the air miles ahead on the horizon, practically enveloped by clouds,” he recounted by email. “As I grew nearer, probably a dozen more in total popped up all around both sides of the road, simply hovering and static in the air. I couldn’t make out any type of mechanical apparatus, just glowing and unmoving balls of light. I will not claim to have extensive experience with drones, but I have been around them enough to have merited questioning whether these balls of light were something completely different and to marvel at how strange they were. Nor were they towers, lights on a building or helicopters.”
Nor airplanes, he added.
Korte said he had almost forgotten the incident when, in early December, between Fort Mill and Rock Hill, the balls appeared a second time.
“There were only two of them, and I was just as awestruck at that moment, but I was late for an important engagement and didn’t pay much heed to them afterward. I passed them driving, trying to make out what they could be, but couldn’t see anything other than ‘light,’ ” he wrote.
A second reader sent video that he said he took in Rock Hill on Tuesday morning. The video, a little more than a minute long, seems to show a bright, object like a full moon hanging in the sky – except that the moon was in its last-quarter phase Tuesday.
“I pulled out my phone to record it, but my phone wouldn’t focus on the light as it continued to flex, contract and expand,” the reader said by email. “I got so entranced for a second (the only way I can describe it) that I put my phone down in the middle of recording. I quickly ran in to tell the others, (but) when we came out it was gone. They started to pick at me and make fun until I showed them this video.”
A third reader, his location unknown, sent video clips he said were shot in Vallejo, Calif., several years ago. He described them as silent, slow-moving objects, a fiery orange, that were the size of a helicopter. Like the Indian Trail man, he too first thought they were Chinese lanterns.
The video clips show small, illuminated orbs, singly and in a group of three, tracking across the night sky over a street-lit neighborhood.
“If you ever do find out what these objects are,” the man wrote, “by all means, can you let me know too?”