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Light formation over San Francisco captured on video

Video was recorded in the early morning of Sunday, December 9 showing a series of glowing lights over San Francisco, California.

Witness Enrique Barrios recorded the series of seven lights with his cellphone camera. He described to CBS 5 that these “fireballs in the sky” looked like “flying candles” at first, but then started making formations. Another witness who photographed the UFOs described that each of the individual lights “kind of looked like a fiery, floaty thing.”

CBS 5 asked Bing Quock, assistant director of the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, to comment on the strange aerial lights. He said, “It’s not a planet, it’s not a constellation, it’s not meteors, it’s not the moon.” He went on to suggest the illuminated objects were simply lights attached to balloons. Judging by the appearance and behavior of the lights in Barrios’ video, paired with witness description of “fireballs,” “flying candles,” and “fiery, floaty thing,” Quock’s supposition is a good one. These aerial objects were most likely paper sky lanterns, also referred to as Chinese lanterns.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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  1. I would almost agree except for two things. Chinese lanterns dont turn off and on. Secondly, a third video surfaced showing what looks like chinese lanterns, until they move and form a triangle. Comments in the video are its lanterns, then its ufos.:)

  2. Lanterns can appear to “turn off and on” when the fuel cell has mostly expired. The flame goes out, but then reignites. Maureen and I observed this repeatedly when we conducted tests with lanterns. Additionally, when multiple lanterns, balloons, or any group of drifting objects is in the sky, at some point, the objects are likely to form a triangle, or a circle, or a square, or a line . . . They are free-floating objects, and they move around the sky. The human mind loves to connect dots and make things familiar. Take clouds for example. We love to assign familiar identifications to clouds. But a cloud that starts out looking like a sheep can morph into an elephant, then morph into a dinosaur.

    Based on my research and my personal experience, there is nothing in those videos that would suggest anything other than sky lanterns.

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