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New Jersey Lights
On July 15, 2001, the weather in Carteret, New Jersey was perfectly clear and calm. There were no clouds in the sky and all stars were clearly discernible. Around 12:30 AM on that Sunday morning, phones at the Carteret Police Station began ringing off the hook. Witnesses, and there were hundreds of them, were reporting a extraordinary array of lights in the sky.
The object was spotted above the New Jersey Turnpike in the vicinity of the Newark Airport. Traffic was snarled up as hundreds of drivers pulled to the shoulder of the Turnpike to observe the unknown object. About 15 to 30 golden lights, in a triangular configuration, were hovering, silently about 3000 feet above the city. The lights were spaced about 400-500 yards apart making it apparent that the mysterious object was colossal in size. Many witnesses claimed to have seen the triangular structure that the lights were attached to. The object moved slowly to the Southeast.
The FAA, NASA, and the meteorological society were all contacted. The FAA confirmed that there were no aircraft in the area. NASA indicated it was not space debris. The meteorological society confirmed there was no meteor activity that night.
Almost immediately, reports went out, first over the local New York City TV station WNBC and then were quickly picked up by CNN. The Carteret Police Department filmed the object. The Mayor and other prominent citizens witnessed the event. There was no doubt that something strange was observed that night. NASA analyzed the video and established that the object was some sort of aircraft. The film, of exceptional quality, showed bright white lights attached to each corner of the triangular object. The object moved slowly as the lights pulsated in a coordinated manner. Witnessed reported that the object "dropped" a new light from it as the original light faded away. Finally, the lights began to "drop" out one by one until the entire array was gone.
No official explanation of the object has been released. Some speculated that it was a hoax with the lights possibly being placed in helium balloons suspended by some sort of lightweight wire frame. This theory would explain the "fading out" of the lights one-by-one but does not explain how the lights pulsated in a synchronized manner. The event remains unexplained.
(1) CNN, July 16, 2001