I have been taking a look at the last half a dozen issues of the monthly Australian national level sightings listings which Paul Dean and I are compiling, with the assistance of civilian Australian UAP groups. There are numerous lights in the sky sightings, both visual, and in photographic form. Some are easy to identify, such as aircraft, fireballs, stars and planets, while others are a little more puzzling. In this post, I'd like to share some observations of my own which are similar in content to those in the sightings listing.
1. Formations of lights in the sky:
The UAP group to which I belonged at the time, received a series of half a dozen or so, independent reports of formations of nocturnal lights in the sky. Each report was similar. About 9pm at night, the witness or witnesses would see a formation of white lights in the sky which would suddenly appear at about 30 degrees elevation in the sky. Over a few seconds these formations would travel to about 30 degrees elevation on the opposite side of the sky and then just as suddenly disappear. There was never any noise, and the individual objects in the formations, were of small apparent angular size. The other piece of information I had was that all the sightings were from beach side suburbs of Adelaide.
One night I was visiting a friend at a beach side suburb, and at 9pm we went outside on the off chance that we would also observe a formation of these lights. As luck would have it, we did. The details were the same as for the other observations we had received. However, on this night there was one difference. I had a pair of binoculars with me, so looked at the formation through them. I was able to determine that the cause of the sighting was a formation of birds, reflecting street lights as they flew over at some undetermined height!
2. Flash in the sky:
One morning I was sitting outside on a clear blue sky day. Looking to the north-east, I suddenly saw a brilliant flash of silver light in the sky which lasted about a second, then it was gone. There was nothing in the area where the flash had been, no aircraft, no balloon, nothing but blue sky. My first thought was that it was a daytime reflection from an Iridium satellite. However, when I looked at the predictions for Iridium "flares" I found nothing listed for the day, time and location. Then I looked into Iridium flares a little more closely and found that some of the Iridium satellites are disabled and the prediction services do not list these. So, the best I can say is that the flash in the daytime sky was most likely an old Iridium satellite reflecting sunlight in my direction.
3. Orb in the sky:
One day I was looking at the clear blue sky above the city of Adelaide when my attention was drawn to an object travelling across the sky at a slow rate. It seemed to have a small angular size and was dark in colour. I could not make out a shape. However, through binoculars, I could see that it was a cardboard box! Somehow, a gust of wind must have lifted it into the sky and there it was travelling along.
4. Another orb in the sky:
Recently, I was at a local shopping centre, when my attention was drawn to an object in the sky. It seemed to be reflecting the sun in a cloudless sky. I watched it for a while and had time to photograph it twice before I lost sight of it. When examining the photographs on my computer, I could make out an apparently round, small angular sized, white/silver light. However, there was no way from the photograph that I could have determined what I already knew it was. I had initially seen it at a closer range, and saw that it was a transparent plastic bag of some kind.
The first lesson that I have learnt from the above observations, and others over the years, is that some times it is only with luck that you are able to determine the cause of some sightings. If I hadn't have had access to binoculars at the time of two of the above observations, I would not have been able to say one was a formation of birds and one was a cardboard box. In the case of the plastic bag, if I hadn't seen it at close range, but only had the two photographs to examine, I would not have known it was a plastic bag, simply a mysterious light in the sky.
The second lesson, which I pass on to new investigators, is that you are going to be able to explain some lights in the sky but not others. If, after a while you can't determine a cause for a lights in the sky sighting, then don't waste any more time on it. You are better off spending time on more interesting sightings.
However, it is worth spending a little time on these sorts of sightings, as you get to learn some basic astronomy, some basic meteorology, and some basic investigation skills.