NUFORC Home Page
Web Report Indexes : by Event Date | by Location | by Shape | by Posting Date

National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 6/8/2011 21:31 (Entered as : 06/08/11 21:31)
Reported: 6/15/2011 8:53:16 AM 08:53
Posted: 6/20/2011
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
Shape:
Duration:30 sec
4 evenly spaced hot orange lights 'switched on' and hung horizontally for 30-40 sec over Atlantic Ocean

I am a 53 year old law enforcement defense specialist, my brother-in-law is a 57 year old veteran International Airline Captain (Pilot) for a major airline, with Navy service as a helicopter pilot in the Mediterranean and later as an instructor at the "Top Gun" Navy flight school in Beeville, Texas.

We annually take 2 weeks vacation the first of June in an ocean-front house in the 'historic district' of Pawley's Island, SC.

On the night of June 8th, 2011, at approximately 9:30 pm, I was sitting on the front porch facing the ocean, talking with my 82 year old father-in-law. He was not facing the ocean.

Suddenly, above the horizon, 4 large, orange glowing fireballs appeared simultaneously, and in a perfect horizontal alignment. I do not startle easily, but the intensity and peculiarity of the apparently unnatural lights alarmed me. I instantly wondered if they were some new type of warning flare, which were signalling a ship in distress. However, I instantly dispelled that possibility because these were clearly pulsating lights, and not any type incendiary device whatsoever.

My brother-in-law is a seasoned International Flight Captain with a major airline, and has extensive military combat flight training and experience before that. As such, he has witnessed an inordinate share of ineplicable "object" or "light" events in the sky over the last 30 odd years, but none have ever raised his surprised reaction and disbelief as did his mutual witness of the intense lights we both saw.

These lights lasted approximately 30 sec and then suddenly and simultaneously 'zipped' below thw horizon. There had been neither any discernible ascending trail of vapor or accelerant when they first appeared, and as I happened to be looking over my father in law's head directly at the point in the sky where they appeared, they simply "turned on" as though someone had thrown a switch. Likewise, when they descended, they did not "fade and fall," but rather descended like the lights on a drag strip timed starter.

Incidentally, my father in law has advanced arthritis in his spine and neck, and even though I implored him repeatedl to turn and look at the lights, he unfortunately could not shift in his chair enough in 30 seconds or so to turn completely around to witness them too, before they descended. Also, although I had my iPhone 4 with video and camera with me, I was so startled, I didn't even think to try and capture the images in any format, which I now regret in light of their duration. I guess that "YouTube" reaction is substantially more prevalent in much younger generations than mine.

Regardless, knowing the distance to the horizon at near dead sea level is approximately 11.3 miles, and calculating that we were sitting on a porch roughly 15 feet above sea level, I later roughly calculated the lights appeared perhaps 10 or so miles from the shore (although I could discern no visible reflection at all anywhere in the water as they glowed), and using the same calculation relative to their apparent size, I estimated they were spaced in the sky perhaps as much as a mile or more apart from one another, in a perfectly symmetrical, horizontal formation on an exact level with the horizon of the ocean.

Still not ruling out the possibility these highly unusual lights were still only some form of new distress warning lights or flares, we watched the local and marine news reports carefully the next few days to see if any ship-in-distress call had been logged where flares or warning lights were deployed, but we never found any such reports or news blurbs.

Later that same night, although they had not witnessed the original lights we men had, 2 'night owl' women in the house were still up and talking on the beachside porch about midnight, and next morning reported that the lights appeared again in the night sky, although approximately 10 miles east from where we had pointed earlier to show them where they were when we first saw them. On the coastal map, they would then have been closer to Litchfield Beach, Surfside Beach, or Myrtle Beach.

Incidentally, they also said they heard what they believed were probably military aircraft moving at a high rate of speed in the general direction of where they saw the lights appear, and described their impression that the aircraft were seeming to be "racing for" or "chasing" the lights.


((NUFORC Note: We spoke twice via telephone with this witness, and we found him to be exceptionally eloquent, experienced, and sober-minded. We suspect that he is extremely reliable, and an excellent witness. At our request, the witness submitted another sighting report about a sighting, together with his father and younger brother, in Rogersville, AR, on December 25th, 1969. His father was a former USMC WWII fighter pilot, who telephoned the Pentagon, in order to report the sighting. PD))