Naturally I missed this event that took place right in my hometown... less than a handful of miles away... typical. But then again, my fate is to miss out on everything life has to offer, so... I guess it's just a status quo situation.
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Greenwich police respond to 'UFO' sighting
By Debra Friedman
STAFF WRITER - Greenwich Time
Posted: 09/28/2009 08:52:45 PM EDT
GREENWICH -- It wasn't a bird, a plane or Superman, but residents of downtown Greenwich thought a myriad of lights in the sky just may have been an unidentified flying object passing overhead Saturday night.
The bright, moving lights in the sky caused several people to call police to report a possible UFO sighting. Some reports indicated there had been 30 to 40 individual lights glowing in the night sky.
The questions prompted police to send two marine officers to investigate the sighting.
However, it didn't take long for police to determine the possible extraterrestrial sighting was actually a bunch of "genuine oriental sky lanterns" being set off at a birthday party taking place on Steamboat Road.
Officer Dennis O'Donnell said it didn't take much work to figure out what was going on.
"We got our binoculars and looked down," said O'Donnell. "We went down and spoke to the homeowner. We didn't want to ruin their fun."
O'Donnell said while the lanterns were legal, the amount of distress caused by the sightings caused them to ask the homeowner to keep the lanterns, which are like mini hot-air balloons, to a minimum.
Lt. Daniel Allen said several calls had been received about the lights.
The bizarre sighting sparked discussion on town blogs where bystanders at the town's teen center had sent in anonymous pictures.
Walter Urda, a town resident, said he saw the lights and while he didn't think it was a UFO, he said it was hard to believe they were lanterns because of how fast they were moving. "These were being propelled," said Urda. "If it was an air current, the balloons would have been very lethargically moving along."
Urda said the "intense" orange lights were traveling in pairs, and sometimes threesomes. Urda estimates he saw 30 to 40 go by.
"They kind of disappeared into the clouds all at the same spot," said Urda. "I was standing there in total amazement."
Urda said he thought the lights may have been the exhaust of fighter jets moving at a slow pace, or perhaps a strange sort of natural phenomenon.
However, police said they were confident the sightings were from the Chinese lanterns. "The wind was due out of the south, which caused them to have some velocity," said O'Donnell. "They are perfectly legal and biodegradable."
Allen said while it is rare to have calls for UFO sightings in town, it does happen.
"Obviously this particular accident was alarming to a number of people so they called to determine exactly what was going on," said Allen.