Published: 7:16 PM 9/3/2015
strange sightings to start pouring in over September and October...
By Aaron Drawhorn
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s that time of year when reports of UFO sightings in New Mexico surge. Before you prepare for an alien invasion, UFO enthusiasts are giving a heads-up about what’s really going on: an annual NASA balloon launch.
“UFOs and New Mexico kinda go hand in hand,” said Paul Garver, assistant state director of MUFON New Mexico, referring to the Roswell incident in 1947 and the Socorro sighting in 1964. “MUFON is the nation’s oldest and largest civilian UFO investigative group,” he said.
Garver expects some strange sightings to start pouring in over September and October.
“It’s easy to be confused, but their appearance is very strange. In fact, when I’ve seen them, my first reaction is, ‘What the heck is that thing?’ so it’s perfectly natural,” Gaver said.
Four high-altitude balloons will launch from Fort Sumner in De Baca County. The balloons are affiliated with NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility to study everything from the atmosphere to the origins of the universe.
“Reports will be coming in, and our goal will be helping people understand in advance that what they’re looking at is most likely one of these balloons,” said Garver.
“They are a remarkable sight. They are way up in the sky, they’re fairly large, they will vary in color, silver, white. Depending on what’s in the atmosphere, they may look orange or red, so they’re really quite unusual,” he said.
The National Weather Service in Albuquerque said clear evenings will give the best views of the balloons, off to the east, for the Metro area.
“Folks in the Albuquerque Metro area could potentially see them. We do think, however, the better viewing of this more than likely will be out into the eastern plains of New Mexico,” said Clay Anderson, senior meteorologist.
“We are expecting above normal precipitation during the months of September and October, so that generally would be more cloud cover for New Mexico,” said Anderson. “So the viewing may be limited more so than a normal year,” he explained.