Published: 11:38 AM 10/6/2015
UFO, drone, helicopter or just simply a mystery?
by Pete Salisbury
A series of lights floating over the skies of San Diego and visible from Imperial Beach caused a small storm on social media last week leaving South Bay residents baffled from what they saw. MVHS student Garret Conder displays photos of the object that he said left him “flabbergasted.”
What was that in the skies over San Diego?
Mar Vista High School Sophomore Garret Conder was watching the Chargers game with his family last Thursday night, Sept. 3, when at approximately 8:10 p.m. his older brother Robert Peraza yelled from outside “You guys got to see this.”
Conder described what happened next: “We all ran outside. It was the most credible piece of UFO evidence I had ever seen. In the south east sky it was a diamond shaped object. Goldish-yellow lights. Very bright, not blinking like aircraft lights. I’ve never seen anything like it. My jaw dropped. I was flabbergasted. The lights were in a weird formation, flying above and below each other. Then the lights blinked out one at a time.”
Conder, speculating that it might be of an extra-terrestrial origin, immediately turned to social media, “Tweeting” to the world what he had just witnessed. Others responded that they had seen the same thing, some posted pictures, one person with the screen name @BigKidGeorge from National City posted a short video clip.
According to the National UFO Reporting Center, aka NUFORC, 60 to 80 percent of reported sightings cases are questionable and can be explained as aircraft, satellites, weather balloons, or other natural phenomena.
The prime source of “UFO” sightings are sky lanterns or Chinese lanterns since they move with the winds aloft and can accelerate unexpectedly but also remain seemingly stationary for a bit, confusing witnesses. These lanterns are small hot air balloons made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended. They are often released in celebrations and often in groups.
Author and novice UFO investigator Charles G. Stuart who followed Conder’s sighting on Twitter from Hicksville, In, first thought sky lanterns were a possibility but after further studying the posted materials said in an online interview, “The lights do look a little too organized to be sky lanterns.”
At school the following morning Conder sat in his Marine Biology class when his teacher Mario Olmos discussed daily news, Conder spoke up saying, ”I got the best piece of news” and then related what he had seen in the sky and to his surprise several other students spoke up saying they had seen the same lights.
And to this reporters question of what his teacher’s reaction was, Conder smiled and said “He told me I should talk to the newspaper.”