On Saturday evening, September 1, 2018, observers saw two UFOs over Fort Collins, CO. Described as “two glowing lights in the sky,” they caused a stir, and responses from observers were forthcoming.
Residents in nearby Windsor, Wellington, and Bellvue also saw the pair of bright lights and speculated about their source. Theories included aliens, planets—even Balloon Boy. (See Balloon Boy Hoax—Wikipedia. Also see photo and caption.) One person wondered if the lights were Chinese sky lanterns.
Somewhat apologetically, reporter Saja Hindi of the Fort Collins Coloradoan soon had the answer, as the UFOs became IFOs (Identified Flying Objects)—mystery solved. Readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn the actual source of the strange lights. In my blog of April 5 of this year, “UFO Over Arizona Likely IFO,” a “Google balloon” was mentioned as a possible culprit in that case, from Project Loon, part of a network of balloons about eleven miles above Earth that are intended to provide Internet access to rural areas and improve network resilience in times of natural disasters.
In fact, reporter Hindi cited a live flight radar tracker (https://www.flightradar24.com/) which identified the two bright lights over Fort Collins as part of Project Loon.
Incidentally, the balloons would appear like bright lights for a reason. According to UFO expert James McGaha (major, USAF retired), who is both a pilot and astronomer, “Depending on the time of observation, the balloons would be lighted, most probably, by reflected sunlight, because the sun had not yet set relative to the balloons’ altitude.”
So once again a UFO becomes an IFO—invariably either of natural or manmade origin. Science has never identified a single craft as coming from an alien civilization and, whenever a UFO is spotted, that possibility remains the least likely explanation for it.