BY WILLIAM LEE, staff writer
Don't call them believers.
June 5, 2008-To tell the truth, most can't explain what they've seen.
Those who investigate unidentified flying objects prefer to call these people "witnesses."
Most witnesses, they say, are hesitant to call the lights spotted hovering in a triangular formation in 2004 and 2005 over Tinley Park and Orland Park alien spacecraft, but dozens were willing to talk to producers of the History Channel program "UFO Hunters" at the Orland Park Public Library Tuesday.
Bob Peterson, of Tinley Park, and his 13-year-old son Tyler don't know what they saw but says it might have been an elaborate hoax.
"I saw lights," Peterson said plainly. "I don't believe that they are people from another planet."
But Peterson and his son were far from the only ones willing to talk about their experience.
Many showed up to speak with producers about the incidents known across the country (and Wikipedia) as the "Tinley Park Lights."
These sort of mass sightings make it easier for witnesses to come forward.
"It gets rid of a lot of the stigma that there is around a UFO sighting. Most people do not want to come forward, they don't want to be considered kooks, they don't want to be considered crazy," "UFO Hunters" producer Rob Blumenstein said.
"But when hundreds, potentially thousands of people are exposed to the same thing, often in groups, it's a lot easier to say, 'Hey, we saw something,' " Blumenstein said.
For several hours, he and other producers interviewed witnesses. People with the most interesting stories were interviewed on camera.
In front of television cameras, Orland Park resident Barbara Dominick recounted the tale of spotting the strange hovering triangle as she and her husband, Len, were leaving for a cross-country drive in fall 2005.
While she was sure it wasn't fireworks or flares tied to a balloon as some claim, Dominick still wasn't sure what the incident was.
"It's three red dots in the sky, I'm not going to say," Dominick said, laughing.
The History Channel program is unique because it not only retells the incidents but uses technology to either prove or disprove the sightings.
"Our purpose is to really get to the bottom of witness reports, to meet the people who've had the sightings, apply science to the type of sightings they've had and then see if this is something explainable or not explainable," said Bill Birnes, one of the hosts of the program.
Producers plan to go the scenes of the sightings to try to determine the conditions at the time of the sightings.
Producers have not determined an air date for the program, but they expect it to be in September. They also had yet to determine who among those interviewed would be included in the program.
Recent Sandburg High School graduate Sean Sullivan is hoping his interview is included in the program. He told producers he spotted the triangle with friends at an Orland Park forest preserve during a Halloween night bonfire in 2004.
The 17-year-old admits he's hyper but not crazy and that he didn't imagine it.
"I'm pretty normal, I'm not crazy or anything," he laughed.
Show producers and hosts say most witnesses are normal, everyday people who just cannot explain their experiences.
"A lot of people are willing to say that they saw something without saying that it was a little green man coming down from outer space," Blumenstein said."It's something in the sky they can't explain, which is the definition of a UFO."
William Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 633-6747.
source & references:
Archived UFO Articles and News Items, 2008
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