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 FlightRadar.24.com 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.