[A wave of UFO sightings that began in the Pensacola/Gulf Breeze area of Florida on January 30, 1998 has continued throughout the state for more than eight weeks. CNI News thanks Art Hufford (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carole Baker (email@example.com), Jean Brown (Eugenejean@aol.com) and Ellis Winterfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) for contributing information to this story.]
An unidentified caller contacted a UFO Hotline in Pensacola, Florida, on Monday night, March 16 at about 9 pm. Local researcher Art Hufford interviewed the caller. His report follows:
The man and a friend were driving east on Ariola Drive at the east end of Pensacola Beach. Looking to the northeast, they spotted a cluster of lights in a V-shape pattern, with the "V" laying on its side ( "<" ). The caller said there were at least 12 lights in the cluster, 6 or more on each leg of the "<". The lights were golden in color. He estimated the lights were 1 to 1.5 miles away and estimated their elevation at 3000 feet. He believed the cluster of lights was the size of a blimp and estimated it would take a quarter held at arm's length to cover the cluster of lights. He further stated that he stopped his car and rolled down the window, but could hear no sound coming from the UFO. The UFO appeared to be stationary or hovering in the sky.
The caller also noted that the lights were slowing strobing. He said the cluster of lights would appear in the V-shape, and then slowly collapse to a single point at the tip of the "<". It took about 3 to 5 seconds for the V-cluster to slowly collapse to a point, and then the full cluster would reappear.
Hufford said no other reports of that UFO were received at the hotline.
However, the next day near Orlando, Florida, nearly 400 miles east-southeast of Pensacola, an "L" or "boomerang-shaped" flying object was sighted in broad daylight. According to a television news report on Orlando's Channel 9 TV, the sighting occurred about 20 miles south of Orlando. According to area resident Ellis Winterfield, many witnesses to this sighting were shown on the news report. Among the strangest details was a report by one woman who said that eleven of her chickens suddenly died as the object flew right over her house.
Winterfield said this report aired only once on Channel 9 news, as far as he could determine. No other information has come to light.
Jean Brown, MUFON Assistant State Section Director in Tampa, Florida, reported on March 27 that crews of 5 to 10 people harvesting palms in the area of Lakeport, Florida, had reported seeing unusual lights in the sky every night for the previous week. These lights were seen to hover, line up, move around and blink out. Usually the lights appeared to be some 20 to 30 miles north of their position, at the north end of Lake Okeechobee (Lakeport is on the west shore of Lake Okeechobee, about 70 miles due west of West Palm Beach). However, on one occasion the lights appeared directly overhead. In most cases the sightings lasted for about three minutes.
Jean Brown says that on March 27 she learned from the Operations Manager at Avon Park Bombing Range that for the past two weeks the Air Force had been dropping flares attached to parachutes, two at a time, from A-10s at high altitude. This spokesman said the testing was to have ended as of March 26. He said his office had received many calls from people who had seen the flares at night.
However, Brown points out that this explanation does not account for the daylight sighting near Orlando on March 17.
Finally, Carole Baker reports in her Skywatch Diary that a daylight UFO was videotaped on Saturday, March 21 during the Project Awareness UFO Conference in Gulf Breeze. At about 3:30 that day, Jeff Ritzmann from Maryland shot approximately thirteen seconds of video of an unidentified object flying from east to west over the Sound between Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze. Carole says the video "shows a bright white/silver object traveling quite fast through the sky. Toward the end of the footage, the object seems to tilt or turn, causing a bright flash as it catches the sun's rays. After that it appears to fade, possibly turning away. It pursues an erratic course until it is out of sight."
Carole further notes that "this object does not appear to be an airplane approaching Pensacola Airport, since its speed and altitude are too high and fast at its position."
[Skywatch Diary by Carole Baker is published on-line by DELEREE.COM of San Luis Obispo, California. Further information on recent Florida sightings may also be found at http://www.projectawareness.com]
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Original file name: CNI - Florida UFOs
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