Published: 4th March 2011
MARYBOROUGH’S UFO phenomenon remains unsolved after government authorities and weather experts yesterday failed to explain strange orange lights sighted by hundreds of residents during the past week.
The Chronicle was bombarded with phone calls, emails and visitors all day yesterday after publishing a story on the hovering objects, which appeared in the night sky above the city last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and yesterday. (Thursday - 03-03-11)
While all residents had similar descriptions of the glowing balls of light and their slow movements back and forth across the sky, the story did take quite an eerie twist – no one was able to successfully capture the unidentified objects with a camera.
“My partner, my brother and I all saw the lights. I tried to film them on my phone, but when I later looked at the footage nothing showed up – very strange,” Phil and Karina said in an email.
“I took a very magnified photo of the last single orange orb, but it does not seem to have come out on my camera,” Martine said.
“It was very weird ... (the lights) did not seem to be flying too high above us.”
Greg said: “We saw four lights in a group.”
“I tried to take photos with my camera, but they didn’t come up.
"I grabbed my binoculars to try and get a better look.
“It was queer ... while I could see a string of lights without the binoculars, when I looked through the binoculars I could only see one light.”
UFO Research Queensland sightings officer Martin Gottschall, who has studied UFOs for more than 30 years, yesterday said he had received reports about orange balls of lights moving over Maryborough.
“It could well be UFO activity. They (UFOs) are pretty clever at camouflaging themselves and making themselves look like conventional objects,” he said.
As for the objects not showing up in photographs, Mr Gottschall said it seemed as though extraterrestrial craft could “make light do things that we haven’t learnt yet”.
“People have theorised that maybe the force field around the UFO somehow affects the way in which ordinary light like infrared shows up.
“For example, when people take photos of what they think is a UFO and there’s an aircraft nearby, the aircraft will come out defined while the UFO is hazy.”
Gay Cayabyab, the Maryborough Neighbourhood Centre’s multicultural worker, dismissed suggestions the orange lights were Chinese New Years lanterns.
“The population of Chinese in Maryborough is not very significant and it’s no longer Chinese New Year, for one,” she said.
“Lanterns are released as signs of good luck, but I’m not aware of any celebration and it’s very unlikely that they would be released for several days in a row.”
A Fraser Coast Regional Council spokesman said it was unlikely the lights were caused by aircrafts using the Maryborough Airport.
“There’s nothing out of the usual happening at the airport.”
A spokesman from the Bureau of Meteorology said yesterday he “could not think of anything weather-wise that would cause something like that” and directed the Chronicle to two different Queensland UFO organisations.
The Australian Army was contacted but did not respond to a suggestion the bright lights could have come from its Wide Bay Training Area at Tin Can Bay.