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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 6/22/2007 12:30 (Entered as : 06/22/07 12:30)
Reported: 6/22/2007 5:53:48 PM 17:53
Posted: 8/7/2007
Location: Torrance, CA
Shape: Light
Duration:20 Minutes
Los Angeles - Bright lights seen by 4 witnesses during shuttle reentry. 12-15 bright lights moved around the sky for 20 minutes.

From approximately 12:30pm-1pm on Friday, June 22, two of us left lunch to try to hear the sonic boom the space shuttle was to create as it entered the atmosphere. The shuttle was set to land at 12:49pm at Edward’s Airforce Base, northeast of our location in Torrance, California. We trained our eyes to the north in hopes of catching a glimpse of the shuttle (however improbable that might have been). At 12:45 we hadn’t heard the boom so we went into the restaurant and turned on CNN. The shuttle had yet to land so we went back outside. When we looked to the north we saw what appeared to be 3 very bright lights following a dark object. We assumed that we were looking at escort planes following the shuttle. For about 2 minutes the lights followed the dark object in a triangle formation. Suddenly 3 more lights appeared. Several seconds later 3 more lights appeared and so on. At one point there were about 15 very bright lights in the sky. Two other people walked over and watched in amazement as these lights moved. Most of them were moving from north to south but some appeared to alter their course, moving east and west. After several minutes all but 3 lights disappeared, as did the dark object. One light stayed fixed in the same position while two others passed overhead (at what appeared to be a very high altitude). We thought that maybe something terrible had happened to the shuttle and we were looking at pieces of debris. We rushed back inside to see that the shuttle had safely landed. When we went back outside the lights were gone.

Possible Explanations: 1) The lights could have been shiny balloons. However: -Some of the lights changed direction moving west and east. Most were moving southeast.

-It was a sunny day and these objects were very bright in the sky. The two that passed overhead were still bright as they passed near the sun.

-Some appeared to be moving in a triangle formation. They split apart then came back together.

-They did not appear to be rising nor losing their intensity over time.

-The lights did not flicker like balloons would as they rotate in the sky.

2) The lights could have been airplanes. However: -They were all the same size the whole time we observed them. Even the lights that went overhead appeared to be the same size as the ones further away.

-They did not move like airplanes. One stayed completely stationary throughout the 10-15 minutes we watched them. Some moved quickly, others slowly.

-Two groups of 3 appeared and disappeared in unison.

-They were not reflective like airplanes. Other planes going to and from LAX flew by and would only reflect light for several seconds at a time. The two strange lights that passed between us and the sun stayed illuminated the whole time. All of them were much brighter than you would expect from normal airplane reflections.

3) It could have been debris/fuel/waste from the shuttle. However: -The lights did not fade over time like you would expect to see from debris burning up.

-They did not leave a trail.

-Some lights were moving quickly while the single one remained stationary. Some also appeared to fly in formation.

There were four of us that witnessed the event. The only rational explanation we could come up with is that they were shiny, helium filled balloons. I’ve seen balloons in the sky before and, because of the reasons I outlined earlier, I truly don’t believe in this hypothesis. It is also a very strange coincidence that this would have happened at the same time and place the shuttle would have been reentering the atmosphere.

Did anyone else see anything like this?