|Occurred : 8/22/2003 20:10 (Entered as : 08/22/03 20:10)
Reported: 8/23/2003 10:58:08 PM 22:58
Location: Antioch, TN
Duration:approx. 20 min.
|Four lights circling inside storm cloud
At about 20:00, while I was watching weather reports on TV of a big storm moving due south into the Nashville area, a very strong gust of wind hit my house and I decided to go outside and check out the approaching storm. It hadn't started raining yet, but the wind was very strong and the street's electricity flickered on and off several times. After several minutes something in the sky southwest of me caught my attention--- there were four lights circling inside or above the clouds. They were large and diffuse, much like those of an airplane coming in on approach above a low cloud ceiling, but there was no aircraft noise and they just kept circling. The path of the circle they made must have been at least a half mile in diameter, but it only took a second or so for each light to complete a rotation.
I had been watching for about a minute when my next door neighbor came out on her front porch, so I pointed it out to her as well. While we were watching, my wife arrived home from the store and all three of us stood in the front yard staring and trying to come up with a rational explanation while the storm got closer and closer. The only thing we could come up with was that it was a group of spotlights, though not once did we see a shaft of light from the ground, nor did it seem to be striking the underside of the clouds. Instead, it seemed to be coming from behind the clouds. Every so often one or two lights would break from the circle and swing very wide. I have no idea what kind of promotional spotlights are on the market now, but I can't imagine one that could spin a cluster of lights that fast, or why someone would be trying to promote their business in this manner just moments before a huge electrical storm moved into the area.
The rain began shortly thereafter and eventually obscured the lights from view, although we kept watching the storm from our porch. The storm itself was somewhat odd, but I don't want to take up space describing that here. My wife and I came outside again at about 23:00 and saw the lights again, this time almost directly above us. The storm had passed but it was still overcast above us. We watched and tried to determine a point of origin, but could not pinpoint one. Several times we noticed little clouds lighting up that must have been between the light we could see and its source, which reinforced our belief that the light source was above the clouds. We still never saw a beam of light from the ground. Also, if the light was coming from the ground, it seems like the spots of light in the cloud would have been elongated at their furthest point from the source and rounder at their closest point, especially after the whole thing moved from its point before the storm to its later point that was miles closer, meaning the the angle from the ground would have to have been much sharper, but the lights seemed to be pretty uniform throughout their rotation. At about 23:28, all the lights disappeared but one, which stopped moving and then disappeared also. I half expected to see them again tonight and discover that they were just regular spotlights being used for some sort of promotion, but there was nothing to see.