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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/31/2013 19:30 (Entered as : 12/31/13 19:30)
Reported: 1/2/2014 3:25:15 PM 15:25
Posted: 1/10/2014
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Shape: Fireball
Duration:5 minutes
Reddish/Orange ball of light seen over Monterey Bay.

My wife, three friends and I were leaving the Crow’s Nest restaurant adjacent the harbor in Santa Cruz, CA after having New Year’s Eve dinner. We’d started about 5:00 and enjoyed a good meal and conversation. None of us had had anything to drink, and we wanted to get home relatively early. We’re not big revelers… While we walked through the parking lot to our cars, I looked to the southwest, out over Monterey Bay, and noticed a reddish-orange, round ball of light in the sky. I initially took it to be aircraft headlights, as there is a flight path that crosses the bay heading to SFO and planes’ lights can often be seen. I reconsidered almost immediately though and mentioned it to my wife and friends, joking that there was a UFO in the sky. They all looked and saw it as well.

What made me reconsider my observation was, first, its color. Plane headlights are white. This was definitely a reddish orange. Secondly, there was no apparent movement. Planes usually have at least some offset of their flight path relative to the viewer that causes some appearance of lateral movement. This had none. It stood still in the air. Third, it appeared wider than the aircraft lights one normally sees in the sky at night. I’d guess that it looked nearly as wide as a pencil eraser held at arm’s length. It was about 30 degrees about the horizon.

The object stayed fixed in place for several minutes while we chatted and readied to leave. This enhanced its oddness to us, so we were all watching it when, in the course of a few seconds, it grew brighter and larger, then disappeared. I thought I recalled it moving slightly to the right as it brightened, but my wife doesn’t remember that.

After it disappeared, I suggested that it must have been a Chinese lantern. I’ve heard of such being floated in the night sky before, and being mistaken for UFO’s, but I’ve never knowingly seen one. It seemed plausible at the time though.

I’d of left it at that but for catching you on C2C yesterday (1/1/14) describing multiple reports of what sounds remarkably like what we witnessed. We were startled to hear you talk of many reddish orange balls of light being reported in the last day, because this is exactly what we saw.

I knew then that I needed to write this, my first ever UFO sighting report.