By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman, Tri-City Herald
BURBANK, Wash. — Mike Klug is used to seeing lights in the night sky — every airplane that lands at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco flies over his Burbank Heights home.
But what the 52-year-old former Hanford technician saw last week has him scratching his head.
Just before midnight on March 24, Klug saw what he described as an orb with a bright light inside of it.
“It looked like a glass ball with an arc welder’s light inside of it,” said Klug, who grew up in Pasco and has lived in Burbank for 26 years.
Two nights earlier, just after midnight on March 23, Klug noticed some odd lights near his house and grabbed his videocamera. At first, he thought they were helicopters but realized they were several ultralights soaring over a nearby farm.
“That’s identifiable,” he said. “I knew what those were.”
What he saw on the 24th is a mystery, however. Klug described it as being no more than 500 feet off the ground and moving at 15 mph east toward Walla Walla.
“It dawned on me that nobody was going to believe this,” he said.
So he went inside to grab his videocamera, and he began to film. Klug captured about five minutes of video as the reddish-orange orb slowly moved away. Because his camera was still set on night vision from two nights prior, the orb shows as a bright white light on the video. The camera he used is about 25 years old, a Sony camcorder that uses “Hi8″ tapes.
“It was moving slower than an aircraft,” he said.
Krug should know, as his house is directly under the path every plane takes when it heads west into the Pasco airport, he said.
Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center outside of Spokane, said he had not received a recent report from Eastern Washington.
“We look at many, many, many photos and videos and 99.99999 percent of them are not UFOs,” he said from his home in the Palouse farming town of Harrington. “Most of them are photographic hogwash.”
The definition of a true UFO, according to Davenport, is “an alien spacecraft. Those are craft with flying characteristics that are not from the planet Earth.”
Davenport said he took a quick look at Klug’s video on Friday. The appearance of what seem to be aviation lights on wings led him to largely dismiss the initial recording.
“The first object I believe, and I’m not 100 percent, acts like an aircraft making a left-hand bank, and given how steep the bank is, my guess is that it is a military aircraft,” Davenport said, noting that only a skilled pilot would attempt such a nighttime maneuver because of the threat of vertigo.
Klug’s “glass orb,” Davenport said, could possibly be Sirius — also known as the Dog Star– based on the body’s position in the sky.
Davenport also cast doubt upon Klug’s estimated distance of the “orb.” He said it is physically impossible for the human eye to look into the sky at night and determine the elevation or distance of an object in the sky.
Most of the reports Davenport said he sifts through can be chalked up to a contrail behind a high-altitude jet, a helicopter with a “hush kit, the type that went into get Bin Laden” or a celestial body such as Venus.
“They report that planet to us all the time,” he said.
March 24 resulted in 23 reports to Davenport’s website, with alleged sightings from around the world, including Australia and the United Kingdom.
Two of those made to his site — http://www.nuforc.org — were generated from the Puget Sound cities of Burien and Lakewood.
We never had Rihanna pegged as a conspiracy theorist, but she’s clearly been watching a bit too much X Files seeing as she admitted to The Sun that she used to be a UFO hunter.
Well she kind of blamed her dad, but we reckon that’s the equivalent of saying the Oklahoma soundtrack you own belongs to your mum.
“My dad used to make me sit outside on the steps all night long looking for UFOs flying by, and I had to do that for years.
“I didn’t see any but I saw a falling star once and I was like, ‘Yessss, Dad! Come and see, it just darted’.”