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Dropping the New Year's ball with UFOs?

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Jan 02 2014 10:54:07 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 03 2014 01:11:46 AM CST

Sightings of weird, flying objects across Central Oregon, Oregon and California spark reaction on the High Desert.

BEND, Ore. -

Millions greeted the New Year with the usual: Fireworks.

Others say they saw something very unusual.

"It would stop,  and hover, and be all shimmery like a forest-fire color," Bend resident Pam Stewart recalled Thursday.

Stewart said she saw something on New Year's Eve that she'd never seen before.

She describes a floating, zipping and flashing light she saw outside her home, off in the distance -- a flying object she said couldn't be a lantern or fireworks.

"It was moving horizontal, and then it would just be off," Stewart said. "I was amazed."

Hundreds of miles away in California, others say they also saw something odd in the night sky around the New Year's holiday.

"They were almost like in a diamond or triangle shape," said Stockton resident Kaye Pinlac. "It was weird."

More people in Northern California reported similar sightings.

“No sound, no blinking lights, just this big illuminated form,” said Terry Mauth of Auburn.

"We saw it right through the trees,”  said Steven Brown of Sacramento.

“It was bright enough to shine directly through the trees without any problem seeing it,” he said. “Whatever it was moved up and to the left… It hovered there for probably about 60 seconds, then it took off at a high rate of speed.”

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said there were no reports of UFOs in the area.

And back in Oregon, Eric Whitford took a photo from his Medford home and shared it with NewsChannel 21 on Facebook.

It shows a bright, shiny and round object in the sky.

"No this is not fireworks," he wrote on his Facebook post.  "This object came in from the left of us and then just stopped, another appeared and both disappeared.
This was really amazing to watch."

Could it be a UFO? A drone? A trick of the light?

Even aerial experts said that's up in the air.

"Very hard to determine what it could or couldn't be," said Central Oregon Community College Aviation Program Director Karl Baldessari. "Probably could eliminate meteorites. The concept of some sort of a formation of flying vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons -- any of those are possible."

A practical explanation -- but what was actually up in the sky will likely remain a mystery.

And many can't help but to think the extraordinary.

"Unidentified flying object," Stewart said. "You just don't know what it is. I would think there is other life out there, not just us."

They weren't quite as bright as the fireworks -- but to those who saw them, just as spectacular.

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