Reported: 2005-01-25 11:05 Pacific
Duration: 5 to 8 min
No of observers: 2
Location: Lake Wales (east of), FL, USA
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aircraft nearby
Couple Spots Huge Lighted Object In Sky With Smaller Lights Dancing In Sky Around It
My wife and I were crossing Florida from West to East on the way home from a Seminar in Tampa. At a little after 8 p.m. we were on Route 60 between Lake Wales and Vero Beach, Florida. We were getting close to a Camp Retreat known as River Ranch.
My wife called my attention to a huge lighted object in the sky to her right. I looked and saw what appeared to be a large formation of equal size light. The lights were steady and not blinking. It looked like the top of a very wide oil refinary tank with lights mounted around the top edge of the tank. In fact, I thought it might be a very large tower of some sorts, but I ruled that out when I could not see any indication of anything stretching from the formation of lights to the ground, that it was actually a huge object in the night sky. About that time a brilliant flare-like light burst in the sky closer to us and between us and the lighted object. A second burst or explosion of bright light came out from that first burst. The light bursts resembled huge Roman Candle balls, but were as bright as flares and had no trail of lights or sparks, indicating they had come up from the ground. I drove on watching the formation of lights and finally pulled over to get my binoculars out of the trunk. The huge object was still in the sky and I saw the lights on it through my binoculars and the naked eye, but could not get the binoculars focused into one image. I never did see any kind of craft, but only the formation of lights which seemed to curve around the edge of something. It was so huge that it looked to me like about a 10 to 15-story building, with one light cut on on each floor, lying on its side up in the sky. While I fiddled with the binoculars, the lighted object moved rapidly away from me towards the west or southwest and disappeared over the horizon. When I stopped to get my binoculars out of the trunk, my wife saw more of the bursts of light -flare-type lights we had seen when we first spotted it.
When my wife first called my attention to the big lighted object, there also seemed to be scores of smaller independant lights jumping around the sky in the vicinity of the big object. A few of these smaller lights had blinking lights and were probably aircraft, but the "jumping" smaller lights were puzzling. There was a full moon out. I wanted to think this was a lineup of small planes, or helicopters, but there were no blinking lights and the perfect formation of the lights on the big object, that all moved as one, prevented it from being any of these. My wife will separately enter her version of what she saw.
((COMMENT FROM READER))
Likely explaination for sighting in Lake Wales 1/24/2005
Referencing the sighting reported on this date, I am very familiar with this area. The direction the folks were traveling (east) and the fact the wife sighted the lights to her right (south), this was most likely military activity over Avon Park Bombing Range. Flares are frequently dropped from high flying aircraft that float slowly on parachutes. The high altitudes and distance make the flares seem motionless without a reference.
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