What Was That? Strange Lights In Upstate Skies
WYFF | January 25, 2007
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- It's the talk of the town and beyond.
On radio, on television and by Internet from across the country, the question of the day has been: So what was that strange light in the sky last night?
Hundreds of folks across the region called and e-mailed media outlets and the National Weather Service to report to report strreaks of blue or blue-green light in the night sky Wednesday at about 8:15 p.m.
"We had several calls last night from people around the area who saw lights in the sky," Larry Lee of the National Weather Service told WYFF News 4's Nigel Robertson.
What was it?
"We have no idea," Lee said.
Reports came from as far away as Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.
"A blue light streaked across the sky in the Gaffney area. The light ... moved from the Greenville-Spartanburg area toward Huntersville, N.C.," Terry Coyle said. "The object had a bluish green tail about two miles long."
Law enforcement agencies also report receiving calls about the lights, and WYFF4.com correspondent Scott Wilson of Gastonia, N.C., also said he saw similar lights in the direction of the Upstate.
Due to national Web exposure on The Drudge Report people called WYFF4 from as far away as New Mexico to ask about the lights.
While no definitive information is available, WYFF 4 Chief Meteorologist John Cessarich said the most likely cause is a group of meteors streaking into the Earth's atmosphere.
Doug Gegen at the Roper Mountain Science Center agreed, but jokingly would not rule out the possibility of alien spacecraft.
"I mean, I can't say there aren't UFO's," Gegen said. "But it was probably a meteor entering Earth's atmosphere and that can cause multiple streaks and odd colors depending on what the meteor is made of."
So, assuming it was a meteor, should folks be worried?
"The sky is not falling as far as I know," Gegen said with a smile.
As for reports of helicopters in the area on Wednesday night, Cessarich said that he was able to confirm there were military helicopters on routine training missions operating in Greenville and Pickens counties.
There are reports of similar sightings from as far away as Europe. Click here for a story reported by the BBC about strange lights in the night sky above Wales.
WYFF4.com Viewer Comments
"Keep in mind the Chinese just blew up a satellite and there is alot of space debris from it."
"I read where there were strange lights before an earthquake. I know that here in the Smokies, when we had the quake, some people had seen strange lights in the western part of Swain county about two weeks before the earthquake. I was researching earthquakes on the 'net when I read about the lights before a earthquake."
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