Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 10/06/2012
For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used
Early in the morning of 19th May 2012 Gavin was out on the front porch of his house in Joliet Illinois, having a cigarette with his girlfriend Sarah. It was around 1.30am and a clear warm night. From the South they suddenly observed a yellow/amber coloured light moving in their direction. The object was about 1500-2000 feet high. It appeared to be travelling around 70 mph. The light was constantly bright and not flickering or flashing at all. It was moving on a straight course, but would occasionally wobble a small amount. As it approached the couple realised it was completely silent.
I was able to speak with both witnesses by E-Mail. Gavin remembers seeing it as a sphere. However Sarah remembers something slightly different. She says that it looked like the front of the object fanned out and was a bit brighter than the rest of it. She compared it to a “solid headlight.”
The object passed over the house and continued to the North out of sight. Both witnesses were convinced that it was not a Chinese lantern. Gavin has seen and launched these before and knows how they appear. He says the object appeared to be too large, and was not flickering at all.
Often amber/yellow coloured lights seen after dark can be explained as Chinese lanterns. Certainly some aspects of what was seen would fit with this explanation. Up close it is possible to see the structure, but further away lanterns usually look like spheres of light. They do tend to travel on a straight course due to air currents. They also will often wobble as they drift along, just how the witnesses describe. As there is no point of reference in the night sky, they can sometimes appear larger, faster and more distant than they actually are.
That said we should take into account the fact that Gavin has seen lanterns before and feels that this object was something else. Also the brighter fanned out shape that Sarah saw at the front of the object does not really fit in with a lantern. It is interesting how she noticed this but Gavin did not, though this is not particularly significant – where there are multiple witnesses small discrepancies such as this are often noted, and can generally be put down to individual perception. It is possible that it was an unusual design of lantern but, due to the reasons stated above, another explanation cannot entirely be ruled out.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2012