STRANGE orange lights were seen over the skies of Tipperary this week. Five lights were observed speeding over east Tipperary, moving rapidly through the sky in a single line formation, dazzling onlookers as they whizzed passed.
One eyewitness said that it was a very eerie sight. “There was no sound just these lights racing across the sky”, he said. He was sure that there was something “other worldly” to these lights as they did not look natural.
On Monday, a man contacted the Seamus Martin show on Tipp FM in relation to the same sight, convinced he had seen UFOs in the Tipperary night sky. A lady from Holycross contacted the radio show to say that Chinese lanterns were released from the Holycross area that night. Is it possible this is what the man saw?
Chinese lanterns or sky lanterns, have become a common sight over Irish skies in recent times. They are large balloons, similar in size to a beach-ball, made of a light paper that are powered by a small flame inside. They were first used at the start of the 3rd Century as a type of signalling balloon. Recently they have been used in relation to suicide awareness.
According to Astronomy Ireland’s website, it is common to mistake these lanterns for fireballs due to their fiery appearance. Fireballs are small rocks and debris from space that will only last a few seconds as they fall through and burn up in the atmosphere. They flare up extremely brightly (some can be seen during the day) and will often leave a trail of smoke or sparks.
But the lights that were seen on Thursday night had no trail of smoke, did not burn up brightly and remained the same constant bright orange light as they sailed through the night sky.
So, Chinese lanterns or UFOs? Who knows for certain? .Just be sure to keep an eye on the sky at night. You never know what is going on out there, you may just see your neighbour ‘ s kid cycling across the moon with an alien on his bike trying to phone home. Or perhaps not!