People in Missouri have been scratching their heads this month over a rash of UFO sightings that has them wondering if it's alien visitors, small plane experimental flying teams, the B-2 stealth bomber or all of the above.
So far, eyewitnesses in the "Show Me" state have been entertained by aerial displays of lights or orbs in the night sky, with the majority of sightings centered around the Kansas City area.
"With all the sightings, we've had a description of a triangle-shaped craft with multicolored lights surrounding it," said Debbie Ziegelmeyer, state director for Missouri MUFON, a chapter of the International Mutual UFO Network.
"We have information that the nearby Whiteman Air Force Base, 50 miles east of Kansas City, is under a yellow alert with training mission activities of the B-2 stealth bombers around the area."
But, according to Ziegelmeyer, it wasn't just the B-2 craft that may be responsible for many of the nearly 60 UFO sightings since the beginning of the month.
"We learned about an EAA flight team (Experimental Aircraft Association), based in Lee's Summit, Mo., that was doing some stunt flying on Oct. 4," Ziegelmeyer told The Huffington Post.
"They practiced for an audition to do a night aerial formation flight for the Kansas City Chiefs. Their team leader told me it was a group of six small planes that fly in groups, and they flew together in a delta or triangular formation, circling over Lee's Summit before heading to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Chiefs, where they circled the stadium and then returned to the Lee's Summit Municipal Airport."
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"If you look at the first 12 seconds [of the video], you can see them aligned with another smaller dot in the sky," Ziegelmeyer said. "Around half way through the video, the lights try to group up and you can make out a light strobing effect on one of them as they're turning.
"Then, near the end of the video, they start to form a triangle-shape formation."
Over in Independence, Mo., MUFON assistant state director Margie Kay is busy trying to unravel the mystery of several UFO reports that don't appear to be either the stealth bomber or a squadron of stunt flyers.
One video, taken from inside a car, appears to show two glowing spheres or orbs chasing each other around in the night sky.
"The strangest thing about this and other events that happened over several days are these spheres, some of which were reported very close to people -- as close as 30 feet away and in or behind their backyards," Kay told HuffPost. "We don't have an explanation for it yet."
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When the Missouri UFO reports started coming in, Kay contacted Whiteman Air Force Base.
"They can't tell us very much, but they did say that they're running B-2 training missions during October. So we think that some of the sightings that were from a distance may have been this," Kay explained.
She added that they're most interested in investigating the still-unexplained sightings, like the one of a large craft reported hovering 30 feet above a water tower in Raytown, Mo., on Oct. 4.
"It was round in shape with lights all over the entire bottom of it, and then it raised up a little bit, turned 90 degrees on its side, flew for a little while and then shot off at what the witness said was light speed -- it was instantly gone.
"There may be some experimental aircraft that can do this, but we're not being told about it. For them to do this in a metropolitan area is a little odd."
Clifford W. Clift Jr., MUFON's international director, told HuffPost he was surprised when their typical national monthly average of 500 UFO reports jumped to over 1,000 in August.
"We found there was no computer problem or duplication of reports. Then we discovered that over 50 percent of the number over the 500 average were old cases from the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s."
MUFON tried to evaluate why people were now reporting old cases and, according to Clift, "This past summer and into the fall, there were so many UFO documentary shows being run that included MUFON's name that people finally learned where they could report a UFO event.
"I think that's why we've had such a significant increase."
And as we've seen in Missouri, a variety of things could account for UFO sightings. The only thing left to say about that is "Show me!"
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