Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mendocino County: Help Us Determine the Source of the Unexplained Light Formation Seen Above the Ukiah Valley Last Night


A Mendocino County resident was returning home from Santa Rosa along Highway 101 last night around 7:00 p.m. and was struck when they saw three orange lights, in a triangular formation, floating above the Ukiah Valley. 

The sight was so strange and perplexing, this resident (who preferred to remain unnamed), pulled over on the Burke Hill Road exit to watch the lights. The lights were “not moving fast” and were moving underneath the clouds associated with the recent storm the region is experiencing. The lights made no noise and drifted silently and slowly southward until “one by one they also raised higher and disappeared into the clouds.”

This Mendocino County resident said the “strange part is that I cannot come up with any logical explanation” of what they saw. The lights’ speed and lack of noise told the resident the lights were not “airplanes or helicopters.” 

We reviewed the air traffic on above the Ukiah Valley from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and saw no records of any aircraft in the area. It should be noted, this is not definitive evidence there were none due to the fact objects closer to the ground can not be picked up on radar. 

The Mendocino County resident posted some images of the lights on a local social media page and a commenter offered the lights could be Sky Lanterns, a product easily accessible that give off a warm glow and drift silently into the sky. The resident who witnessed the lights last night found Sky Lanterns to be the most likely source of the lights she saw.

Did Mendocino County have a close encounter last night? Not likely. Are these lights a product of other earthbound aircraft? Also not likely considering their slow, silent drift. The Sky Lantern hypothesis seems plausible, but at this juncture, no party has emerged to provide first-hand knowledge of the lanterns being released.

Mendocino County residents, we ask you, to put your collective noggins together, and help us figure out once and for all what that triangular formation of lights was yesterday evening floating silently above the Ukiah Valley.



  1. I imagine that releasing “sky lanterns” in winter wet conditions would be the only safe time to send an incendiary device into the atmosphere.

    • Sky lanterns???? It’s a cover up!!! 😂🤣😂
      I have always found this UFO stuff to be very intriguing I myself have seen a few things. I appreciate the video and photographs this kind of stuff is great. Ask for the sky lanterns comment he must be employed by the government UFO cover-up team.

      • Exactly or he doesn’t believe satin exists. Ether way denial stands hand in hand with guilt. Or affiliation representing conspiracy cover up agent working for the CIA or the pentagon. Or just a scared to death person,hideing behind denial. Or a religious person..permanently set in there beliefs,or just a dumb dumb dummy. But let’s get real your phone camera would not pick up tiny floating candles from 10 miles away that brightly. Maybe even 20 miles away +,or minus a few miles. Still go figure without night vision, getting images (one candle light bright), this profound, would be a majic trick with standard basic cell phone camera.

  2. Sky lanterns would make the most sense. Someone in Willits, for several years actually, would release them from the Pine Mountain area. Was always cool to see, but too, not the wisest thing.

  3. Not sky lanterns….they last 8 to 10 minutes and go as high only as 700 to 1600 feet and:
    Questions About Sky Lanterns Relating to Weather Conditions
    Optimal weather conditions for launching your sky lanterns include wind speeds of less than 5mph. It is advised to release them on a clear, still night. Do not launch sky lanterns when wind speeds are above 5mph, as the sky lantern may fly off course into an unpredictable area.

    Do not use sky lanterns when it is raining. The rain will make the sky lantern very heavy, affecting the way it will fly. Heavy raining will eventually tear through the biodegradable material, causing the sky lantern to extinguish and fall prematurely to earth.

  4. I too saw this when I went out in the evening to walk my dog in Napa. The best way I could describe the lights was the lanterns mentioned in the article. I returning to my house and proceeded to explain to my roommate with the hair on my arms raised. I searched the internet and Next door app then Napa airport for info….to no avail.

  5. “We reviewed the air traffic on above the Ukiah Valley from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and saw no records of any aircraft in the area. It should be noted, this is not definitive evidence there were none due to the fact objects closer to the ground can not be picked up on radar. ”

    Flightradar24 does not report radar contacts to report aircraft.

    It reports ADS-B GPS beacons from the aircraft themselves.
    If an aircraft has their beacon off then no report.

    Anyone can setup a radio receiver to gather that same raw data from aircraft in your area. Search “SDR”

    Fligtradar24 built a worldwide database to handle data reported from localities all over the world.
    Air traffic control in the US does not live share radar data publicly on a second to second basis.

  6. We saw lights driving the 20 to blue lakes Halloween night. Started at 5, then it went down slowly to 1, then it was gone. It was the craziest thing!

    “I’m not saying it was the aliens, but it was the aliens”. They’ve had enough.

  7. I saw something similar in San Francisco in 2018. The lights were very high up when we noticed them. They descended down to a height we could see them very clearly and the way they moved, straight down upon us was very startling. They were very still, for about 20 minutes, then they went straight back up until they were no longer visible. It creeped me out in my gut and my skin was crawling and hairs were standing straight up, my human reaction was that this was not “normal” or anything that I’ve ever experienced before…

  8. Did anyone bother calling the FAA? At least you can get an “official” denial. LOL

    But seriously, we might not get the truth, but perhaps ATC can confirm or deny (most likely the latter) of any traffic over Ukiah at the relevant time.

  9. Meh – It’s probably just the Arcturians again. Sure – they claim they wanna help heal Earth, but I think it’s really about gentrification 🙄

  10. It is DRONES.
    They’ve been flying for the last several years. Property owner uses it to gather data; from hunting, to trespassers, to weather. Did you think aliens were messin with you?👽 🤔
    Good night lantern lovers and conspiracy theorists.

    • These are either ET’s or the re-engineering of ET aircraft by our Navy. Our government likes to call then UAP’s now. I believe that they are preparing us for a future event involving ETs. I can’t wait to see all the faces of the non believers. I have witnessed this light phenomenon in Death Valley and I saw something over 101 in Healdsburg last Wednesday night. More will be revealed….

    • No, not StarLink satellites,, the movement is nothing like that. These things, whatever they are, changed speed & direction, no satellite can do that.

  11. I saw something similar in Hopland the week before. I was facing South and one seemed to sit above Duncan’s and the other South of the school- but way high up.

  12. One can only guess. It would be interesting to see how long those lights actually held that formation before disappearing. I doubt sky lanterns would hold a steady position for very long. Especially a triangular formation such as the one displayed here. It is however possible. Also sky lanterns do not give off a steady light source. They flicker. I think there is more to the light source than one can explain……… Hence UFO earthly or not.

  13. My husband and I saw these too!!! We live in Windsor and we’re driving NE on Shiloh. I couldn’t get a picture. By the time we pulled over they had disappeared. I came home and posted on the Windsor families FB page. Someone just posted this article on my post. Sky lanterns? Just not sure 🤔

  14. It could be a religious, cult, gang, movement, some kind of an organization signal. Or it’s friends or family remembering someone who has passed. I recently saw a similar video on YouTube the other day. Who knows. I need diffinitave proof. I’m open minded. But I am tired of the pump fakes.

  15. Myself and another witnessed lights very similar to these in 2011 in Willits facing NW. There were 4+ groups of 3. The lights, redish-orange if my memory serves me. They would slowly move together, apart, made triangles and straight lines. It went on for some time. Then, one by one, they quickly shot upwards and disappeared. We caught on film. Sadly, it’s lost on an old device.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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