|Occurred : 2/7/2008 18:30 (Entered as : 02/07/2008 18:30)
Reported: 2/7/2008 7:39:34 PM 19:39
Location: Palmyra (near Hershey/Harrisburg), PA
|flame-colored lights splitting, descending, disappearing and reappearing
On my way home from an evening walk I suddenly noticed the clouds above the neighborhood houses light up as if something large was burning behind the clouds with multiple cores of light, estimated four or more, roughly 30 degrees above the horizon in the northern sky. It then happened a second time less than a minute later, so I began to run toward where I might have a better vantage point, during which time the phenomenon occurred a third time, then did not reappear for approximately fifteen minutes. By this time I was standing between two fields and I could clearly see the horizon in the direction the objects appeared.
Unfortunately, the objects began appearing much farther away, no more than ten degrees above the horizon NNW of my location in Palmyra. The lights would appear as if from a single source, then divide, forming a horizontal line of two to five distinct lights then descending a few degrees and vanishing. They were candle-flame in color, and appeared in this manner at least fourteen times in eight minutes, randomly covering an horizontal area of five or ten degrees. I was able to take a camera phone picture of thirteen of these incidents.
There was a lot of air traffic at the time, and there is a small airport nearby, but these were not planes for obvious reasons. I was thinking perhaps they were come kind of emergency flare, however flares don't split like that, at least to my knowledge, and I should have seen the lights of the aircraft dropping them if they were flares. Also, as I said, the lights did not emerge from the sky in such a pattern indicating that they were being dropped by an aircraft; they would appear randomly within at most ten degrees of horizon. If they were being dropped, it would have been, in my opinion, a very fast moving aircraft following an erratic flight pattern at exceptionally high speed.
I did notice several other observers in the Harrisburg area reporting similar phenomena on this site. Perhaps the incidents are related.