Occurred: 1997-03-27 20:10 Local
Reported: 1998-06-10 00:00 Pacific
No of observers: 8

Location: Carlisle, PA, USA

Shape: Formation

This is an investigative report of this sighting report from your webpage.

Carlisle PA sighting of a formation of lights - 3/27/97 I have investigated several similar reports from the Carlisle area. There is a club of ultra-light plane pilots operating from a small airport nearby. They like to play UFO games, and also fly formations. The fact that the lights reponded when the witnesses flashed a flashlight is a sure giveaway. Also, this sighting was near twilight. Ultralights pilots are not licensed. They are not supposed to fly after dark, but have lights for twilight. They use Visual Flight Rules and almost never fly flight plans because they return to the same field from which they took off. They are too small and fly too slowly to appear on radar screens, if at a distance are noiseless (or if the wind blows the wrong way) and may seem to hover, particularly if flying into a headwind. I have been told by a member of this club that "If you want to see a real UFO, you should see us turn our spots on and fly IN A CIRCLE," and he roared with laughter. How to identify possible ultralight formations: 1) the "leader" effect, wherein the lead plane (as with birds) moves around, but the others seem to be steady because they have someone to guide on. 2) unequal number of lights on each wing of a VEE (even number of lights or planes) 3) seen in twilight (although illegal after dark flights are sometimes made) 4) motor noises (but only if very close) 5) usually no motor noses, particularly if at a distance 5) slow or hovering 6) respond to lights or signals from the ground. Investigators should seek out local flying fields on a nice Saturday and make friends with pilots. They are good sources of info, but be careful you don't give them any ideas. Conclusions: These sightingswere most likely ultralights. PS: I once spoke to an ultralight pilot who told me that in the ealry 1980s he belonged to a flying club which operated out of the airport at Stormville NY. They even called themselves "the Martians". He said a pix of their formation once made the New York Times. A 1984 investigative article in Discovery magazine concluded that they were small planes. He said that the small plane pilots also also tried UFO hijinks, with spots and Christmas lights, etc., but he said the "real Martains" were the ultralights. They stopped doing it after literally thousands of commuters were stopping on roads and they were afraid they would be heldl responsible for traffic accidents. These were the stimuli for the ""Hudson Valley UFOs". Of course, once people started looking up, they saw UFOs everywhere. There is an incredible amount of air traffic in the NY metro area. Delgado and Hynek's book "Night Seige" dismissed the Discovery explanation with only a couple paragraphs, yet included sightings with "UFO motor noises", no radar contacts, "hovering" etc. This book can't be taken seriously because of its dismissal, withouht much discussion, of the Discovery investigation. My acquaintance related this story to me and then roared with laughter, "Now everybody's doing it", he told me.

Posted 1998-06-18

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