Ordinarily we think of the New Year as a time that will come and go without incident – with any luck. Crowds gather and then disperse, people make resolutions, and we all collectively move into a new chapter of our lives sharing the moment with friends and loved ones as this event brings us some perspective and puts us all temporarily in the shoes of who we were in previous years as we watched the ball drop in New York and how much has changed in the past year.
It would seem the nights events for thousands were interrupted when suddenly a swarm of unidentified flying objects appeared – particularly in New Zealand where hundreds of objects were reported – and one weather analyst weighed in with his findings. Philip Duncan suggested the lights for the most part may have been related to New Year’s eve celebrations which often include Chinese Lanterns – an often cited possible explanation among skeptics for the UFO phenomenon. And many of the reports did seem to mimic the characteristics of Chinese lanterns. Still others seemed entirely unique, and even possessed some degree of what appeared to be intelligent control.
A few sightings that stood out included one family in North America that reported seeing a line of unidentified lights moving in formation across the sky, stopping in mid-air, and then continuing their journey after accelerating once again. As with any mass sighting, attention is often given to the ones that are most easily explained in the mainstream while many more remain a complete mystery. Of course New Years UFOs are not a new thing by any means. In fact, the UK does have a history of spotting unidentified flying objects that seem to defy all conventional laws around that time of year.
Of course one of the explanations offered doesn’t necessarily touch on what precisely the objects are, but rather why so many of them (whatever they may be) are seen on nights like New Year’s eve. The explanation suggests that more people are outside celebrating and a great many of them have their attention turned to the sky either by fireworks or other things. While it’s difficult to imagine anyone could confuse a hovering and speeding sphere of light traveling quickly across the night sky with conventional fireworks this explanation is more than often proffered by those unwilling or unable to accept an explanation that diverges considerably from known convention. Chinese lanterns, which use a candle to both illuminate and provide heated lift to the objects do appear eerie on the horizon as they are seen unexpectedly, but they are fairly easy for most to identify.
One website receiving UFO reports – some of which appeared as spherical balls of light larger than most conventional aircraft was Weather Watch, New Zealand which suggested that a large number of the sightings were either meteors or conventional air craft. Still, with some of the reports venturing well into the realm of the fantastic it’s difficult to imagine all of the sightings can be explained so simply.