Jan 04, 2019 I Brett Tingley

Multiple Witnesses Report Strange Glowing Orb Above South Carolina Coast

I’m not a nut. I just wanted to know if anyone has had any experiences in the last few days...It really is quite amazing when you see one that seems to ‘splat’ out of another dimension and change into a round shape.

That’s how Charleston, South Carolina resident Debra Thompson described her encounter with a strange object off the coast on Christmas Eve, 2018. Around 9:30 pm local time on the evening of December 24, Thompson stepped outside to unplug some Christmas lights when she saw the odd light in the sky and instinctively pulled out her camera to film it, eventually posting the footage to YouTube.

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Glowing orbs in the sky are among the most commonly reported UFOs, but due to their ambiguous appearance, it's difficult to determine what they may be.

According to the description of the incident she included with her footage on YouTube, Thompson says the object appeared to move “intelligently” through the night sky:

I noticed this beautiful red sphere in the sky. I knew it was not Venus, it was in the North West Sky. It was moving toward my direction and also seemed intelligently in control. I felt as if it knew I was [filming] it. It moved around a bit and disappeared into a pinhole, then it reappeared back to its same size in a few minutes. With the naked eye it was much more brilliant to see. I called the local airport and they saw nothing on radar.

Local news stations broadcast Thompson’s footage of the object and were soon after inundated with emails from other eastern South Carolina residents who witnessed similar phenomena. Facebook users throughout the coastal area of the state posted comments on local news stations’ coverage of the incident claiming they also saw unidentified, curious lights that night. While many feel that they witnessed something otherworldly, many others think they merely saw a drone lit up with LEDs, a Chinese lantern, or perhaps - you guessed it - a weather balloon.

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Chinese lanterns are often cited as possible explanations for strange lights in the sky. Are they really that common?

According to Charleston’s Post and Courier newspaper, the glowing orange orb is “a phenomenon that turns up in the sky here every so often.” The newspaper reports a similar orb was seen on New Year’s Day 2015 and again three weeks later. With so many witnesses and repeat incidents, this one seems like a credible UFO sighting - but it’s important to keep in mind that “unidentified” doesn’t necessarily mean “aliens.”

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It'd be a lot cooler if it did, though.

Given the area’s proximity to Charleston Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, and Naval Weapons Station Charleston, it’s likely these strange lights are related to military exercises or aircraft tests. Of course, there’s always the possibility, however small, that the lights could be something else entirely. What exactly is going on in the skies above South Carolina?

Brett Tingley
Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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