So it’s unidentified, and it flies, and it’s an object – that simply means it’s inexplicable, not that it’s a UFO filled with little green women.
In the past two weeks, Marshfield-area residents have reported unusual lights and objects in the night sky, some accompanied by what looked like fighter jets.
On the night of Sept. 23, Eric Dickmann sat at a bonfire with friends and family at his home in the town of Day. Three lights in a triangle burned bright in the sky for about four seconds and then they disappeared, he said last week.
Ten minutes later, the bright lights reappeared and moved the same way, Dickmann said. He said that what the eight people at the bonfire saw that night was the same as what his son saw the Thursday before, while driving south from Spencer. That sighting was accompanied by what looked like a fighter jet, he said.
Dan Young of the town of Cary, chief photographer at the Marshfield News-Herald, said Thursday that he had seen similar lights on several occasions, as recently as Tuesday.
The lights moved close together, then went away, he said.
“Tuesday night, the white lights came close together, and I could see aircraft lights, kind of like warning lights,” he said. “I thought this was probably something that most likely could be easily explained after the second time. It looked like, my guess is, helicopters that came together in the sky and went their separate ways.”
About 95 percent of all Americans have heard or read something about unidentified flying objects, and 57 percent believe alien craft are real, according to a Central Intelligence Agency report in 1997.
Former President Jimmy Carter and the late President Ronald Reagan said they had seen UFOs, according to the CIA.
But the lights in the night sky in the Marshfield area are most likely military aircraft on regular training missions, said Sgt. Katie Dahlke, an airfield manager at Volk Field.
The direction Dickmann and Young were looking when they saw lights in the sky are consistent with two military operations areas, Falls 2 MOA and Volk West MOA.
“Throughout the month we’ve had various aircraft in various training,” she said. “We have had night flying going on with F-16s. It’s happened a lot in the month of September.”
During these missions, six F-16s are flying, which could explain the three aircraft in formation area residents have reported, she said. Other craft have included cargo planes, C-130s, and helicopters, UH-60s.
Though some area residents have reported seeing something the size of a hospital in the sky, Dahlke said they were probably seeing formations of aircraft. Even the C-130 cargo plane is “certainly not as big as a hospital,” she said.
She said nothing out of the ordinary had been sighted in the night sky by the highly trained aviators. Nothing unusual was spotted on radar in the last month, but she added that it has been a time of heavy military flight training.
Matt Conn, Daily Tribunef