Mike in Long Beach 2010

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Mysterious Lights over LA
A dozen of them just sitting there doing nothing, what the hell could they be?

Aug 3, 2010
Mysterious Lights over LA

Since I've been here I've noticed lights in the sky off to the east right around sunset, hovering near the horizon and not really going anywhere. At first I assumed they were airplanes in the landing pattern for the L.A. Airport. I was assuming they were heading straight toward me so they don't show any reletive motion and that they're very far off so they stay motionless for a long time.

But I'm not so sure about that. Yesterday I was out on my balcony at 11PM, taking in the cool breeze and I saw the lights again. So I got out the binoculars to study them a little closer but it didn't help much. Two bright lights near each other were just pinpoints without the blinking wing lights of an aircraft, but they were above the mountains and were not land based lights of some kind. Then while I was watching, another light popped into view between the first two! It didn't zoom into view, it just popped right in the center of my view while I was watching with the binoculars. Airplanes don't do that, so I started listing alternative theories in my head: police helicoptors, military flares, mirage of LA lights, Mars and Jupiter, Marfa Lights, UFO's, it could be anything.

So now I had three lights in the binoculars at the same time and they were just sitting there hovering in the sky. I studied them for a few minutes looking for some kind of detail, but there was nothing, just three bright lights, the left one brighter than the others. Then I noticed that they were moving very slowly. They were just above a nearby tree, skirting across the top were I could compare the tiny motion to the tree. Moving from south to north, they were taking about 15 minutes to move the width of my hand at arm's length. If they were 20 miles away, that would translate to a speed of 13 mph!

As they moved slowly to the north they were getting dimmer, until I was able to see a dim second light on each one, red and blinking. So that's looking like an airplane - a bright headlight until it curves away from me and then I see the blinking red wing light. But that doesn't explain how one light just popped into view. It must have been moving at an angle, too far away to see, then turned toward me, shining the headlight at me. But it popped too quick. The light went from zero to 100% in under a second and planes can't turn that fast, and what are the odds that all of these planes just happen to be aimed right at me.

So I got out the map and plotted their direction. The alley across the street is north-east and the telephone pole is east, so the lights are between that. If I follow that direction on a larger map I run into the Santa Ana Mountains at about 25 miles then a Marine base at about 100 miles. I was wondering if they were flares from a military base but there's no way I could see flares from 100 miles away.

Looking closer at the map I noticed that fifteen miles away in that exact direction is Disneyland. So maybe these lights are helicoptors circling the park for sightseers. That's sure possible, this town is crawling with helicoptors and I'm sure Anaheim is no different. I need to get a high power telescope to see if I can resolve any detail on these things, but until then, they could be anything - airplanes, helicoptors, UFO's, who knows.

Then a month later I solved the mystery. One of the lights was sitting there like usual, then began moving to the left. When it dimmed, two red lights appeared behind it and a green light appeared farther in front. If that was an airplane moving from right to left then the green light (right wing) should not have been visible. The only aircraft I know of that's lit up in that configuration is a Klingon Battle Cruiser.
So there you have it.
Prove me wrong if you don't believe it.


Click these thumbnails to popup the big pictures

Four lights in the sky including one real bright one looking east from my balcony.

A close up of three lights in the evening sky. The tree helps show their motion.

This mysterious light is clearly not an airplane.

When I zoomed in on this light it looked like a spiderman mask.

Hiding in the trashcans won't save you from the Klingons.

Where is Captain Kirk when you need him.

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