MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBS)
Strange, red, blinking lights could be seen across Morris County on Monday night, and officials thought they had figured out what caused them.
Now, they’re not so sure.
Between 8:30 and 9 p.m., the Hurley family in Whippany captured images of a bizarre object in the sky and contacted WCBSTV.com
“It was unsettling for sure,” said Cindy Hurley. “It was something you’ve never seen before, and a very strange pattern.”
Eleven-year-old Kristin was the first to spot them, a group of three lights together, and two lights together, seen in the horizon through the trees. “I looked up outside. I was really scared and saw five red lights,” she said.
The family all went out onto their deck to look at the strange sight. Paul Hurley, a pilot who works at Morristown Airport, said they weren’t planes.
“I’ve been in aviation for 20 years and never seen anything like it,” he told CBS 2.
Paul was one of several people who e-mailed WCBSTV.com after witnessing the lights.
“Red lights in the sky over the Morristown-Morris Township area, 5 red lights in a weird pattern over the area,” one viewer wrote.
“The formation of 5 lights were first noticed over Cedar Knolls and then as they approached the Madison/Morris Township border the rear half of the formation slowly faded and appeared to drop from the sky and then the front part of the formation went out one by one,” wrote another.
At 8:28, the Hanover Township police received the first of seven 911 calls.
“It looks like flares attached to balloons,” said a caller.
Paul Hurley, who called the Morristown Airport control tower, says the lights had also been spotted from there, and they caused no interference with flight operations. Between those officials and the Morristown Police, the best guess as to what the lights were: nothing more than a prank, roadside flares attached to helium balloons. Yet, they left rather quickly.
“It like, it took off, very strange,” said Paul.
There’s been no report of any recovered, and police don’t know who released them.
The Federal Aviation Administration tells CBS 2 news, with the exception of laser lights and weather balloons, there is no regulation on releasing balloons or lights into the sky.