During a recent trip across southern Ohio my friend and mine’s phone batteries and camera died even though we had just fully charged our devices. I didn’t think anything was peculiar until later that night as I drove west from Wayne National Forest toward Dayton.
I parted ways with my friends, who were visiting from Arizona, in the Hocking Hills region, and soon after, I saw a total of eight unidentifiable flying objects in the southwest sky.
Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, and I’ve never watched the mystery UFO television shows that I’ve heard people talk about, so when I saw the eight objects, I told myself there are several plausible explanations for what I saw.
West of Athens, looking in the southwest sky, I saw an orange light turn on about a quarter of a mile away. Then a second orange light turned on, and then both turned off. The two lights turned on again, then abruptly off, and where the light had been, I could make out two dark elliptical shapes. Then two more orange lights appeared in another location, only to disappear again.
Those were definitely radio tower lights, I told myself, while at the same time realizing there were no radio towers or aircraft flying in that section of the sky.
I drove on slowly and then near Chillicothe saw two distant white lights streaking across the southwest sky. These objects were far enough away that they appeared to be outside of our atmosphere, so I told myself that these two objects were space satellites. One went across the sky, followed by a second one, and then the second object abruptly sped up, caught up with the first object, then both objects stopped in place. After a few seconds, the second object turned at a 90-degree angle and flew off, as if it was going further into outer space. They were satellites or distant aircraft, maybe it was a jet refueling in mid-air, I told myself.
I continued to drive along. It was past midnight when I was driving on a county highway through Clinton County and noticed two distinct orange lights hanging in the sky. I told myself that they were some sort of aircraft. As I drove, I observed the objects moving slowly, sometimes pausing to hover over the rural area southwest of Clarksville.
All of these strange moving lights, I told myself, must be different types of aircrafts. I even imagined that they were helicopters or some sort of night-time security surveillance to keep an eye out for local crime. The sky was very clear and I had opened the windows to listen but none of the objects made any noise, so I decided that they must be drones and not helicopters.
I decided to peek at one of the objects, which was closest to me at less than a quarter mile of distance. I saw that the object was brightly lit in the sky, and that the object was a round metallic disk-shape with a dome, and as it hovered in the sky an orange light seemed to come from around the object’s edges. I was driving very slowly, keeping my eyes on the road, but suddenly feeling spooked, I looked at the object again and could see squares that could have been small windows or doors.
Things definitely felt creepy at that hour, and as I drove past dark houses, it was just me and the orange lights in the sky, not even another car was on the highway. I told myself that I was tired, had been driving for several hours, and that it was probably someone’s hobby aircraft or drone. Or even poachers, perhaps, who were hunting from the sky. I had read once that it’s legal to hunt boars from hot air balloons in Texas.
I couldn’t identify the flying objects in the sky, although the disk-shaped object appeared to look like a classic alien UFO. When it was well within a quarter of a mile, I wondered if I should turn around and drive back the other way. I felt like I was too close to it and didn’t understand how an object could float in the sky for that long. A second orange object appeared to go in different directions and then pause near the disk-shaped object. I drove through a wooded area and on the other side the objects had disappeared.
After going through the plausible explanations: radio tower lights, satellites, military aircraft, drones, helicopters, balloons, I still couldn’t be sure of what I saw, so I did something dangerous. I turned to the internet. Now, as I said, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. For the most part, I don’t believe anything that I hear and only half of what I see. I only wanted to check to see if someone else had reported any of the mysterious orange lights that night.
The internet search results returned no recent sightings but it did come up with reported sightings of mysterious orange lights seen across southern Ohio at other times. One video shows orange lights that look similar to what I saw, except that I was much closer to the orange lights than the person who filmed the video, so I can’t be sure. There are reports about the orange lights from people in Hillsboro and Blanchester. It reminded me of my childhood neighbor in Blanchester, who told a story about driving on a country road in the 1960s and seeing a bright light come out of the sky and a UFO land on the road in front of her and her husband’s car. Her husband was a naval officer during World War II and they had no reason to make up the story.
I can’t find an explanation for the mysterious orange lights, though, as even the people who shared their accounts of seeing the lights have no explanation to go along with the reports. I began to wonder if people are playing a hoax with some sort of drone or balloon to give the illusion that there are UFOs floating across southern Ohio.
To figure it out, I decided to share my story in hopes of two things happening. Either the men and women in black will show up and erase my memory, or the public will send me letters explaining what it is that I saw. If you’ve seen the mysterious orange lights or if you can explain what it is, I’d like to know and hear your stories. Feel free to send me an email or connect on Twitter.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton
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