|Occurred : 8/24/2015 20:58 (Entered as : 08/24/2015 20:58)
Reported: 8/29/2015 7:56:12 AM 07:56
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
|I saw the strange ring of lights that others witnessed on August 9, 2015 in Minnesota.
((NUFORC Note: We suspect the lights were part of an advertising display. PD))
I was leaving work and walking to my car, which can be seen in the lower left of some of the pictures: the silver colored Chevy Volt.
While it looked like the moon was shining through some clouds (it was overcast that evening), the shape of the lights caught my attention: they looked disc shaped and they didn't appear to be moving or changing shape which is what you'd expect them to be doing if it was the moon shinning through clouds: as the clouds move, the moonlight shining through them will change shape too... but the shape of these lights didn't change for as long as I was watching them, which was approximately 5 minutes.
My first thought was that it was just the moon poking through some clouds and so I fired up the star-chart app on my smartphone, and sure enough the app indicated that that's approximately where the moon was located. But... the next night (or it might have been a couple of nights after) it was clear outside and as I was leaving work -- at approximately the same time as before ( 9 pm) --, I noticed that the moon was nowhere near where I had seen that strange series of lights, it was approximately 20 degrees higher up in the sky. In fact, upon paying closer examination to some of the pictures I took, I can make out exactly where the moon was that night: the moon's directly above the storage building, it's in the top 1/3 of the picture and looks like a bright dot of light (my car is in the lower left), and you can see that the disc-shaped anomaly is much lower in the sky, and from where I took the picture it appears directly above the rh side of the storage building off in th! e distance.
From where I was standing ** at the entrance to RFA Engineering and looking south **, the disc-shaped light anomaly didn't appear to be moving or changing shape. I thought it might be spotlights too, but as you can see there's no spotlights shinning up at the disc-shaped anomaly. After observing it in the RFA parking lot, I wanted to try to snap some pictures where there was less light pollution, and so I drove over to the nearby Wells Fargo and snapped a picture from the parking lot there -- the disc-shaped anomaly still had the same shape as before and didn't appear to be moving. Because my smartphone star chart app told me that that's where the moon was -- and as I already mentioned, the app was wrong (because I hadn't calibrated my phone's compass before using the app) --, I just dismissed what I was seeing as a curious play of moonlight and really slow moving clouds. But why would the moon only illuminate this one particular bank of clouds and not anything else, especia! lly considering that the moon was so much higher up in the sky.
I was really intrigued, and if I hadn't dismissed it as the moon poking through the clouds I probably would have paid much closer attention to the disc-shaped anomaly, including trying to take better pictures of it, and I would have watched it for a much longer period of time.
After dismissing it as the moon poking through some clouds -- which it turns out that it couldn't have been --, I left for home.
What I saw is a dead ringer for what other people witnessed on August 9th, 2015 in the southern Minneapolis metro area. It looks just like the light anomalies captured in those pictures: a ring of lights that are arranged in a circle, or an elliptical pattern. This can't be spotlights because there's no light beam going up to the pattern of lights in the sky.