UFOs are invading Las Vegas. That's right. Sin City has become the latest target of alien creatures always on the lookout for fun places in America to park -- or hover -- their ships.
Either that or some unusual formations of lights in the sky over the Egyptian-themed Luxor Hotel could simply turn out to be misidentified members of the B group -- birds, bats, bugs or balloons.
On March 21, a cluster of well-lit orbs was videotaped over the famous Las Vegas Strip by an Ohio visitor. The seven-minute video showed the objects dancing and darting and rotating around the sky in the vicinity of the Luxor's 30-story glass pyramid.
Watch as a group of unusual lights appear in the sky above Las Vegas. NOTE: the video is laced with profanity.
This video and at least one other taken from a different location that night have many people wondering if alien visitors are attracted to the 42.3-billion-candlepower beacon -- a.k.a. the Luxor Sky Beam -- that shoots from the top of the Luxor pyramid.
With 19 Emmy Awards and two prestigious Peabody Awards under his belt -- one given to him just this week for his KLAS-TV "Desert Underwater" series -- Las Vegas investigative reporter George Knapp says these recent Vegas UFOs are anything but unexplained.
"It's been greatly overblown, but perfectly understandable," he told The Huffington Post. "The people who live here are used to seeing that light and the birds and bugs and bats that fly in it. It's easily misinterpreted because it's weird.
"If you're at a certain angle, you don't actually see the Luxor light. What you do see are the objects floating in and out of it, and they look like they're illuminated under their own power."
In the second March 21 video, shot from a different location, there appear to be three separate groups of lights floating and rotating above the Luxor, almost moving as balloons might.
Check out these UFOs or strategically positioned balloons. What do you think?
"People who just want to play a prank on other people have put balloons into the air, tying them together into formations and floating them in the direction of that light," said Knapp.
"I think that pretty much explains it. I don't close the door entirely and want to try and keep an open mind, but I think [that] 99 percent explains it."
As it turns out, I was also in Vegas on the night of the UFO event -- in fact, I was directly underneath it while it was unfolding.
I was in town covering the opening of the new Area 51 exhibit at the National Atomic Testing Museum and happened to stay at the Luxor.
When I arrived back at the hotel around 8:45 p.m., I looked up to the top of the pyramid and saw many living things of various sizes flying around the beam of light, which was so bright that I could see no distinguishing features to help identify the individual creatures. But there was no doubt that they were alive.
Near the top of my video, where the light beam shoots skyward, you can see several things flying in from different directions, obviously attracted to the bright light. What the video didn't pick up were the many smaller objects -- most likely insects -- that swarmed around the beam, like the proverbial moth drawn to a flame, only much more dramatic in this case.
Here is my short video of objects flying around the Luxor Sky Beam.
To further clarify what you can see in my video, to the right and left of where the light beam shoots out are rows of decorative lights that move up and down the sides of the pyramid every night. Also, what appears to be a second light beam pointing down and to the right is actually the real beam reflected off the glass side of the pyramid.
What I didn't know when I was recording was that a short time later, the other videos in question would be shot, showing glowing objects maneuvering higher up in the Luxor Sky Beam. It wasn't until after I returned to New York and those videos hit the Internet that I realized I may have also captured some of this activity on my own camera.
I can't say with 100 percent certainty that everything videotaped or seen by people that night above the Las Vegas Strip involved the four B's of birds, bats, bugs or balloons. I only know that the objects I saw close-up and videotaped were, in fact, at least three of those B's.
But, like all UFO reports, it raises the ongoing question of what we should believe and what we should take a closer look at.
Knapp offers a word to the wise about believing in something just because it feels right or looks credible.
"It's important to be skeptical. If you're really interested in solving these mysteries and you want to convey to others that it needs to be taken seriously, that has to start with each individual," he said.
"Weed out prosaic explanations before you move on to something really exotic, like aliens. I think there's a legitimate mystery here, obviously, or I wouldn't have been chasing it for all these years. There are kernels of truth in there, but there's a whole bunch of nonsense surrounding it."
And congratulations to my fellow mystery chaser on his new Peabody Award.
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