NUFORC Sighting 116402

Occurred: 2015-01-01 00:01 Local
Reported: 2015-01-01 10:43 Pacific
Duration: 5 minutes
No of observers: 4

Location: Rio Dell, CA, USA

Shape: Fireball
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object

Orange ball of light/fire seen on North Coast; not Identified.

As is typical of the New Year's tradition, we went outside to light some fireworks and howl at the moon. Plenty of others have joined us in this escapade, lighting a good portion of the street with fire while an occasional bottle rocket would flitter upward.

As we look into the sky to gaze at a fireworks display, something catches my eye beyond the show. A bright orange light shines in the distance. It's brighter than Venus by comparison, glowing a dull yet vibrant orange.

Fireworks dissipate over time while this unidentified light glimmers behind. We stare in some mild form of disbelief. Tears are coming out of my eyes for no particular reason I can fathom. The light sits, unwavering.

My first thought was that it might be a paper lantern. Being a holiday it seemed likely that someone might light off a few. It's possible that a paper lantern could have been caught in an inversion current leaving it in a point of temporary stasis. From experience we know what paper lanterns look like however, regardless of distance. The light being emitted was far to bright to be a little ball of fire in a bag.

After a few minutes the object begins to move away from us, getting smaller steadily. I begin to run to tell my neighbors, looking over my shoulder every moment or so to make sure it's still there. By the time I make it to my neighbors front door, the object has vanished.

While it's very plausible that this was something mundane, we can only go with the emotions during the event. The feeling was grandiose, like witnessing a miracle. Hearts were racing, not with fear, but a feeling of tranquility and unrequited joy. Tears came down as there seemed to be no other way to express such a thought. I simply remember thinking, "We are not alone."

Posted 2015-01-07

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