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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 8/8/2019 21:40 (Entered as : 08/08/19 21:40)
Reported: 8/9/2019 6:30:59 AM 06:30
Posted: 8/23/2019
Location: Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Shape: Light
Duration: 15 seconds
Characteristics: There were lights on the object
2 very bright/deep orange lights appear and disappear, stationary, out over the NC ocean at a 30 degree angle off horizon.

At 9:40pm looking directly over the North Carolina ocean on a clear night with a half moon, we saw first one, then 2, deep orange glowing orbs over the ocean at an angle of 30 degrees. On this night, that means these lights appeared stationary, halfway between the ocean horizon and the half moon. From Ocean Isle Beach, 30 degrees into the sky and almost straight out into the ocean, but more like 20 degrees to the right/south. Which was almost directly under the half moon at this time on this date.

3 nights prior, my brother and I saw a green fireball (meteor I assume) Bright green and going straight down into the water, directly straight over the ocean (probably burning up prior to hitting). This night was another clear night and I was on the beachfront deck with 3 others: My wife, my friend, and my sister. All 4 of us witnessed the event: brief but long enough for everyone to turn their heads and witness enough of it (both lights).

The event itself: 1 deep orange stationary light appeared in the sky. It was about the overall luminosity of the half moon in the sky, so quite bright. More of an orb than a small point. Since we were spotting meteors, I yelled to look at that one coming right at us. (Thinking it was a large fireball headed directly at us since it appeared stationary.) But then it lasted too long and didn't move, and then started going out exactly as a 2nd one started glowing. Briefly this was like 2 orange headlights in the sky coming at us. As a guess, it seemed like 3 miles out over the open ocean at a 30 degree angle into the sky off the horizon. No boats in the area (some to the distant left and right), and no planes in the sky, at least none anywhere to be seen with lights on them. Visibility was strong, with the milky way band of stars visible directly overhead despite the half moon.

The 2 orange lights only lasted about 15 seconds and each appeared stationary, and locked, horizontal to each other. Based on the distance away they appeared like they were 1/10 of a mile apart in the sky. The first light lasted 6 seconds, then started to fade concurrent with an equal and opposite brightening of the 2nd light to the right of the first light. Then the original light was gone and the light to the right was on, for about 5 additional seconds, then both were gone. They came on and off but didn't move otherwise.

I went online to see if this is common in NC, and it's ultra common over the last 20 years. Lots of people seeing this type of thing and not a lot of good theories. But this video from 6 months prior seems to show exactly what the 4 of us witnessed:

Closest guess would be military exercises, flares on parachutes. But the lack of planes and the lack of smoke trails and any movement at all are an issue. Also, some other events seem to last longer, this one was rather fast and not useful for flares unless they failed somehow. Kind of a Chinese lantern glow but it was super windy that day and there was no movement, and we were watching the sky all night for meteors and I'm not sure how they could get out over the ocean and only ignite themselves briefly like that. The shutting off of the one on the left and concurrent turning on of a new one on the right make it 10x more eerie than if it was just one odd light, because it seemed like it could signify intelligent intent - which could of course be a coincidence.

When filing these reports does anyone get back to you to say what it was, or to see if they can confirm if there were military exercises off the coast of NC that night? In the above similar event video online, it was in December and on a Tuesday rather than a Thursday night, but they said it happened "between 9 and 10 pm" which was a match, also a match in terms of appearing out in the ocean and slightly to the right. Though above video appears like a 20 degree angle and our event was a bit higher in the sky.

Just after and seemingly unrelated, way to the left/north up the coast was a very distant storm cloud with frequent lightning within the cloud, looking like stranger things type movie effect. Visible lighting but eerie, and all within 1 cloud. Very distant though and to the left rather than straight/right, where there were no clouds, boats or planes. Though I guess that means some sort of exotic orange ball lighting could an angle.