New Jersey UFO Case Likely a Copycat Hoax

January 7, 2009

It seems likely that a mysterious set of UFO lights that appeared over New Jersey on Monday night was a copycat hoax linked to the 2008 Phoenix Lights case. Strange lights appeared over Morris County on the evening of January. 5. The bright red lights were first noticed in the night sky by an eleven-year-old girl, who pointed out three lights grouped together, and another pair some distance away. The girl’s mother, Cindy Hurley, said it was "unsettling…something you’ve never seen before, and a very strange pattern." Paul Hurley, a pilot, said he was baffled: "I’ve been in aviation for 20 years and never seen anything like it." Clues about the identity of the New Jersey UFO can be found in a case of identical, mysterious lights seen over Phoenix last year.

On April 21, 2008, hundreds of Phoenix residents called police and local news media to report bright red lights hovering silently over the city. They changed shape after a while, moving from a triangular to rectangular configuration, then disappeared one by one. As in Morris County, the local airport reported that nothing appeared on radar scans of the area.

So what were they? The 2008 Phoenix Lights case was a hoax, created by road flares tied to helium balloons. The hoaxer admitted it, and eyewitnesses reported seeing him do it.  In both cases, all the evidence points to a hoax: The lights moved independently like floating objects, not fixed lights on an aircraft; they moved together in the same direction as the wind; they did not show up on radar; and the lights extinguished in exactly the pattern we would expect from flares, going out one by one.Confirmation of the hoax hypothesis came from another New Jersey eyewitness, one who got a closer look at the lights than the Hurley family. In a call to the police, the man reported "balloons with these five lights flying over right now." It’s not surprising that eyewitnesses, including a pilot, could not identify the objects, since most people have not seen road flares tied to balloons in the night sky. There’s no reason a pilot, or anyone else, would recognize it: The lights literally were nothing they had ever seen before—-but not necessarily anything extraterrestrial. 

I suspect that the same "UFO" will make more appearances in the future.



#1 r strle (Guest) on Thursday January 15, 2009 at 6:31am

Soon to be on an episode of UFO hunters I am sure.

I wonder if the producers will call you for an opinion or even an appearance.

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