Santa Cruz, CA -- Stringy, spiderweb-like strands drifted throughout the skies of Santa Cruz County [central coast of California] on September 21. Authorities were baffled as speculation varied wildly on the source of the unidentified floating objects spotted from Felton to Watsonville.
"From a meteorological perspective, I can't explain it," National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said.
It was too warm for sleet, snow or hail. No major fires were reported that could spread debris in such a widespread area.
Robert Franklin, airport operator at the Watsonville Airport, said a woman in Aptos called him asking what the translucent airborne substance was. He said the strands were about three feet long and faced every which way.
"It's like if you took a piece of wet chewing gum and stretched it with your fingers. It had strands," Franklin said. "Then it went straight up into the sky like a hot air balloon."
Santa Cruz sheriff's Sergeant Craig Wilson saw a few strands near downtown Santa Cruz and identified them as seed pods. "I'm not a botanist. But that's what they look like," Wilson said.
[This isn't the first time seed pods have provided a handy explanation for unidentified things in the sky. CNI News is reminded that, when former astronaut Gordon Cooper reported dozens of silver metallic-looking objects moving swiftly through the high atmosphere over Germany in the 1950s, his military superiors told him he had seen seed pods. He didn't agree (as he would later tell the United Nations), but he accepted the Air Force explanation at that time because, he said, "I wanted to keep flying."]
Original file name: CNI - "Stringy" UFOs.final
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