Published: 5:49 PM 10/31/2016
30 to 40 yellowish orange lights
Peyton Neely - Special to The News and Sentinel
MARIETTA — A resident claims she saw an unidentified flying object above Pike Street on Oct. 8.
It’s a mystery Heather Clark, 41, has been trying to solve.
Around 8:45 p.m., Clark was in the parking lot of the Lafayette Shopping Center on the phone with her friend, Tiffany Stump, 33, of Williamstown. Clark was facing east when she saw 30 to 40 yellowish orange lights begin to shoot up in the sky from what appeared to be above Walmart on Pike Street.
“It looked like fireworks but they were much bigger than that,” said Clark about the shooting lights.
After the lights shot up to the sky, Clark said they stopped and began moving down the sky forming what appears to be a chevron pattern.
After the sighting, she reported it to several agencies.
“This case particularly interested us,” said Peter Davenport, director for the National UFO Reporting Center. “Part of the reason I am intrigued is because there are somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 reports submitted to our center similar to this cluster of lights.”
Clark decided she wanted to get a closer look at what these lights could be and began to drive closer. As she drove, the lights began to form a huge V-like shape.
“She just kept saying that she didn’t know what it was,” said Stump, who was on the phone with Clark for the entire duration of this light show.
As she pulled into the parking lot of Walmart to take another photo of the lights in their V shape, the lights shut off and only one light remained.
“The one light remained for about five to 10 minutes before phasing out,” said Clark.
“I could clearly see what looked like a mother ship above the V lights.”
After experiencing this unexplained phenomenon, Clark reached out to friends and family to try and figure out what it was.
“This freaked me out, it’s so bizarre, but I know what I saw,” she said.
A week later, a video went viral of a man in Charlotte, N.C. who believes he saw a UFO as well. The video was shot outside of the Le Meridien hotel in uptown Charlotte. In the video, Chris Hulbert, who posted the video, says he’s a professional driver and was waiting outside the hotel’s parking lot when he spotted the lights. The video shows the same pattern that Clark described in her sighting report.
Thomas Fuggitt, an investigator for mutual UFO reporting and co-founder of the Appalachian UFO Research Society out of Mingo County, West Virginia, said he can’t explain things like this.
“Chinese lanterns are usually what people expect these lights to be,” said Fuggitt. “They get too much credit because they usually do not stay lit as long as these reports say the lights are there.”
Fuggitt said unless it was something with a government experiment, it’s unexplainable. Local law enforcement is usually the first place people go for answers for something they can’t explain.