BANGOR, Maine — A city official driving home with his daughter Thursday night saw strange orange-colored balls of light in the night sky over Waterville and called the Bangor Daily News to find out what it was.
Shawn Yardley, director of the city’s Department of Health and Community Services, described what the two saw as “bright orange dots at cloud level.”
“They looked like Christmas lights, but they were orange,” he said Friday, still looking for answers to what he witnessed. “They took up about a quarter-mile of sky and they stayed in place. It wasn’t fireworks, because they stayed in place.”
Yardley was on Interstate 95 near Waterville and said the fire-colored orbs could be seen on the Oakland side of the highway.
“People were pulling off the road to look at them,” he said. “If my daughter hadn’t been there to witness the same thing, I would not have called. I’ve never reported anything like this.”
Police and fire officials in Waterville, Winslow and Oakland, as well as the Maine State Police, said they took no reports of balls of light in the night sky, and the National Weather Service reported no unusual weather that could account for the lights.
“A string of lights [in the sky] is a very common UFO report,” Alan Davenport, director of the University of Maine’s Jordan Planetarium, said Friday.
Some prior UFO reports have proved to be aircraft flying away, he said. They appear to be stationary because they are so far away.
“That is what their taillights would look like,” Davenport said.
Yardley’s wife, Rita, asked him why he didn’t take a picture of the balls of light with his cellphone, and he said he couldn’t because “I was on the phone.”
The National UFO Reporting Center, which has nine postings on its website from Maine for October, has taken reports of orange “fireballs” from all over the world. There were no postings on the website for Thursday night.
There also are a couple of YouTube videos posted of people filming orange lights in the sky.
Yardley said he’s not sure what he and his daughter saw, but he did expect others in the area to file reports.
“I got up this morning and assumed it would be in the newspaper and on TV,” he said.