Page 1 of 4

Glowing balls in the sky

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:28 pm
by livum
My mum and I saw two maybe three glowing balls, slow moving in the sky at 11pm.
The glowing balls were possibly on fire, but we are not sure, and they made no sound.
They seemed to change direction randomly, and just dissapeared over the houses. This happened on Saturday 18th July 2009.
This occured in Bromley, Kent.
If anyone has any information or seen something similar it would be muchly appreciated.

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:35 am
by mike a feist
Not those blasted chinese lantern balloons again eh!? maf

I don't think so...

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:20 am
by livum
I don't think they were chinese lanterns, because my little brother and dad were a while away from me and my mum, and they saw four orange glowing balls that seemed to stop and hover before moving away.
This occured at about the same time, and someone who was with them told them that the same kind of thing happened at about the same time last year.
My mum also saw one near Christmas.

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:36 pm
by antares6iron
mike a feist wrote:Not those blasted chinese lantern balloons again eh!? maf
Got to agree with maf

They are a total pain and dangerous...Image

I still don't think they were....

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:10 pm
by livum
I don't think that they were because it wasn't windy and it looked like they were on fire. They weren't floating as a balloon would.

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:29 pm
by antares6iron
There have been a lot of these sightings if you check around on this forum and they are normally found to be chinese fire lanterns but maf and myself were just saying balloons instead of the lantern...

Alaistar Mcbeath our meteor section director has reports of them on a regular basis....

Sky-lanterns: These are small, roughly metre-high, paper hot air balloons, powered by a burning wick suspended below them. Released singly or sometimes in groups to "celebrate" some event to go wherever the wind takes them, they first started to appear as objects mistaken for meteoric fireballs in the summer of 2007 over Britain, and have recurred occasionally ever since. They can look like literal "balls of fire", but typically are much slower-moving than meteors. The fact they can appear in groups has also led to numerous "UFO" or "mystery lights in the sky" press stories. In theory, mass-releases are supposed to be notified to the UK aviation authorities in advance, but it is clear this does not always happen, nor is it obvious just how many sky-lanterns constitute a "mass-release". To tell them apart from genuine fireballs or other astronomical targets like artificial satellites, again the best way is to examine them with good binoculars.

Have a look in our Meteor section for more info and welcome to the forum!

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:24 pm
by markt
Hi Livum,

They are Chinese Lanterns what you saw. They are becoming more and more common these days i'm afraid.

Best wishes, Mark.

Thanks everyone

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:47 pm
by livum
Thanks everyone for your fast replies, i didn't have binoculars with me at the time, so they were probably chinese fire lanterns.
Thanks again.

glowing lights

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:44 pm
by dave clayton
hi there
I too have seen orange lights but by the speed and then the rate of climb I dont see how they could have been ballons. A few nights later a string of these things stopped the traffic on the A14 in suffolk. Its the same as crop circles, if the tricksters would stop perhaps we would get to the bottom of things

close encounter

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:06 pm
by dino
i saw 4 ufos last year, that could be mistaken for lanterns at a distance but i seen 1 of them Really close i had to look vertically up & it was big the size of a hot air balloon completely round and covered in flame jets it was dead silent and definately being steered by something intelligent!,there wasnt any clouds and it was a still starry night, i could fill in a lot of space going on about this,so i wont, if anyone has seen anything similar or anyone wants to know more please contact me, up to now i have not heard of anyone seeing these things as closely as i did,so if your out there it would be great to hear from you.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:44 pm
by mike a feist
You say that you "saw it really close" can you tell how close it is unless you know how big it is,,,,and to know that you know what it is?? maf

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:01 pm
by dino
i still to this day havnt got a clue what it was i saw but i do know i saw four of them traveling in pairs and one of them deviated and came more or less over my head,when i first spotted them they were over an area i know is about a mile or so away and they looked big then! i admit it was night but it was crystal clear that night and i especially noticed how there were a lot of stars visible,im pretty good at judging sizes & distances ,if you were there watching with me your jaw would have hit the floor,i wish i could have caught it on video,ive never seen anything before or after this and im pretty open minded about it,all i can say if it was a hoax,which i doubt then it must have been some very clever people that made those things.look on uk ufo .co .uk i posted what i witnessed soon after on that site.To be honest i feel my witnessing these ufos is wasted no one has tried to talk to me about it and it was a big deal for an ordinary bloke like me to see what i consider to be the real thing.Ive got a great memory for detail wish i knew an animator and show everybody what i saw,anyway thanks for the interest!

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:16 pm
by dino
p.s. i live in urmston manchester , im quite puzzled why nobody else has seen them close up and reported it but ive worked out those that report a big ball of fire and adament it wasnt a lantern because of its behavior or appearance probably saw what i saw.

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:07 am
by Robin Scagell
Someone gave me a pack of 10 of these wretched sky lanterns for Christmas! I have to say, though, that while in theory they are innocuous enough, it is worrying how many scare reports they do trigger off. It would seem sensible to set them off near the sea with an offshore wind, so there's no chance of them coming down on a hayrick or whatever, but then someone might mistake them for a distress flare and call out the lifeboat! One supplier specifically warns against doing this.

I have seen literally hundreds of sky lanterns, starting in 2007 during a festival in Portugal. Sky lanterns usually appear orange, though the paper can be coloured, giving them a slightly different appearance. The larger ones can drop sparks as they burn. They drift on the wind, and a group of them will drift together. However, at the Kelling Heath sky camp in 2008, some astronomers who saw them for the first time were mystified because they did not all go in the same direction. If there isn't a steady breeze they can drift irregularly and appear to be under intelligent control. They are completely silent, even when seen up close. The distance of objects in the sky is notoriously difficult to judge if there are no reference points or you don't know how big the object is.

I would have thought that most emergency services should be wise to them by now. I believe that distress flares are bright red, with a quite intense light, and shoot up in the sky before drifting downwards. I think that as they fall, they tend to stay more over the point of origin than does a hot air lantern. I found this news item which confirms this: ... nedin-call

There's also this: ... lares.html

And this, which highlights the envirnmental hazards: ... y-lanterns

So, Dino, do keep your eyes on the skies!


Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:59 pm
by dino
Sorry to go on about this subject as it is separate from astronomy,anyone who thinks i may have seen flares or lanterns is im afraid mistaken!,unless four of them have been made the size of a house and covered with individual jets of flame.They also were playing catch up with each other which without any wind or intelligence would be impossible.It is difficult to prove i got the perspective right and it was night time,but one of these things went out of its way and deviated towards me,if it werent for this i wouldnt be bothering anyone to believe me as i would have passed it off as being hot air balloons.Because each of the individual flames were flickering from soft orange flame to blue jets i could just make out a dark spherical shape in the middle this was only visible when it was closest to me.Judging by the size of the thing as a whole id say each flame would have been 6 to 10 feet long for the jets and half that for the orange flame,the jets were randomly firing in a haphazard fashion which i found unusual as whatever it was i was looking at moved the same as a hot air balloon gracefully.I know where i first seen them to where they vanished was a fair distance away and they got there in a few minutes,i also estimate from what i saw at least 100 jets on the part i was looking at,it was also motionless in the sky not wobbling or spinning just moving along at a steady pace.Another thing that puzzles me is that i heard nothing! no jet bursts just silence and by the size of it and how close it came to me i should have heard them at least,i seen them first over barton area near the trafford centre and they eventually disappeared one by one in exactly the same spot over trafford park close to mufc.I know im not the only person to have seen them because i could weed out similarities from a few witnesses on the ukufo site around the same time and some from as long back as a few years if you were to look them up youd find most of them know the difference between what should or could be up there or what should not or could not.Ive racked my brains trying to come up with a logical or physical explanation but i cannot work out what it was i seen,the only conclusion if it was alien that i can think of is the jets or heat of the fire was to protect them from viruses or similar,anyway thank you for giving me the opportunity for getting it off my chest and talking about it!, hope someone reads this thats seen the same and can verify it or even verify it as a massive hoax though like i said i doubt it because there was no point to it and everything i seen was beyond hoaxers.Believe me these things were Huge and totally unlike lanterns or flares ive ruled out everything i can think of that they could have been,i mean fire on the outside would mean disaster for air balloons or even massive lanterns,its all mind boggling to me so most days i choose not to think about it but i do want it to be known because what i saw could be important one day.