Sunday, March 14, 2021

Wellington West Palm Beach UFO Sightings Were Probably Floating Lanterns Expert Says

Brian Vike's Favorite Cases.

Newspaper Article.

By Mitra Malek

Posted Jan 3, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Updated Mar 31, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Glowing orange and red lights floated across parts of Florida’s sky New Year’s weekend, including in the Wellington and West Palm Beach areas, setting off a state of wonderment among witnesses.

But those UFOs weren’t so unidentified after all.

The drifting bulbs and streaks were probably floating lanterns, said Brian Vike, founder of the paranormal blog The Vike Factor, which fielded about 250 e-mails, 30 or so from Florida, noting the strange sightings worldwide.

“They’re all lit up and glowing,” Vike said. “They’ll go up and down and sideways, so it looks pretty weird.”

A woman and her fiancé saw two “red orange” lights float over them while taking a walk in Wellington around 6:55 p.m. Jan. 1, the blog showed.

A West Palm Beach resident saw four red lights “spread equally apart coming in from the south heading north” at about 10:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve,, according to the blog.

Wellington resident Carol Coleman spotted a “reddish-orangish-yellowish” glow at perhaps 9:30 p.m. Jan. 1, but didn’t think much of it other than noting it was “strange.”

“It reminded me of the tails of the fireworks,” said Coleman, who didn’t write to The Vike Factor.

Massachusetts resident Brian Milne and his wife spotted similar floating orbs of red on New Year’s Eve in Fort Myers. The couple had a pretty good idea of what flew slowly above because they have set off paper lanterns in Cape Cod.

“If you don’t know what the thing is, you’re going to think it’s a UFO,” Milne said. “A couple of them up there gives it an eerie feel.”

The lanterns are often made of a flame-retardant paper, similar to a paper bag. In the opening, which faces the ground, a wire frame holds a candle. The flame heats the inside of the paper, making it glow like a lantern. The heat causes the lantern to rise, like a tiny hot air balloon, up to about 500 feet, Milne said.

When the flame dies and the bag cools, it floats back down.

Vike said he’s fairly certain people spotted floating lanterns over the weekend. In fact, many wrote to him later confirming it.

“There’s some good stuff out there that you can’t explain, but this is probably” the lanterns, Vike said.

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