Odd, lights glowing and flickering in the early morning sky above Cape Coral on Jan. 27 had many Florida residents reporting possible UFOs to their local NBC affiliate.
«They were small lights that hovered over the water…and then they disappeared,» Pete Maccio told the TV station.
Nearly a week later, nobody is quite sure what they saw.
Watch the NBC-2 report on the Cape Coral UFOs
Cape Coral, located on the Gulf of Mexico side of The Sunshine State, is known for having more miles of canals than any other city in the world. Now it’s also known for UFOs.
Theories on what the unusual lights might be range from water reflections in the sky to aliens to another more probable explanation, and one very often mistaken for UFOs: sky lanterns.
«We reached out to the MUFON organization, the Mutual UFO Network, which tracks suspicious spottings,» NBC-2’s Steve Campion reported.
«They told us many of the recent reports filed with them across the state could be explained by a sky lantern. The increasingly popular contraption uses hot air to float high into the sky,» he said.
In November, FOX-4, WFTX-TV, received several phone calls from eyewitnesses who saw unexplained lights over Cape Coral. One person said, «They were actually those Chinese lanterns you light up like a balloon and it floats up and then when they go out, they fall to the ground. That’s exactly what they were.»
The most recent sightings over Cape Coral have brought out opinions from those who completely disagree with the sky lantern idea.
Commenting in International Business Times, Teresa Thornton wrote: «Sky lanterns!!! That is the most ridiculous explanation for these lights yet, second only to swamp gas. Lanterns are balloons and these lights don’t act like balloons — even if they were tethered, they would be bouncing around independently in the wind or breezes over the water.
«Notice how they stay in the same pattern, not rising or falling. … I’m sorry, but MUFON HAS NOT explained this away.»
And if you can’t get enough of these sky lanterns, feast your eyes on this.
On June 2, 2012, 12,740 lanterns were released into the air over Iasi, Romania. This incredible event claimed the Guinness World Record for «Most Sky Lanterns Flown Simultaneously.»
Looking at the following video, it’s easy to see why these objects are so often referred to as UFOs
Lanterns are among the many things that people mistake for truly unexplained objects. Here are some more: