Web Xtra: UFO Part I

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Florida’s large population and rich history of high strangeness has led to its distinction as the state with the second-most UFO sightings in the nation. Here are a few of our favorites from the 1990s and 2000s, as compiled by Greg Jenkins in his book Chronicles of the Strange and Uncanny in Florida.

Nov. 17, 1991: At least 20 beachgoers, a park ranger and a policeman witnessed an object hovering over Boca’s South Beach Pavilion—a craft they described as comparable to the moon in size. The same night, an apparently separate craft sprinkled Boca beachgoers with what they described as “hot rain.” The liquid was never tested, and the case remains unexplained.

Oct. 20, 1995: A witness in Miami-Dade County captured, with his camcorder, a brightly lit, disc-shaped object cruising above his neighborhood. He followed the craft in his car as it continued its path toward Miami International Airport, and his footage includes two examples of the UFO dematerializing and rematerializing, ending with a shot of two helicopters rendezvousing with the craft over the airport’s furthest runway lights. Though some insist the video is a forgery, the footage has been broadcast on TLC and Syfy.

June 24, 2001: As he walked to his car shortly after midnight, a Deerfield Beach man noticed that the clouds were illuminated by an object other than the moon. It turned out to be an iridescent sphere flying eastward toward the beaches. He told the National UFO Reporting Center that the object weaved in and out of the clouds in a manner he described as “playful,” alternating between accelerations and decelerations as it zigzagged the night sky for approximately half an hour. It then disappeared, but not before a big finish, dousing the man’s field of vision with a spurt of bright light.

Feb. 12, 2005: A local skeptic captured compelling video of an unknown craft at 11:35 this February morning, leaving him rattled and convinced of the phenomenon’s existence. A Coconut Creek man and his girlfriend, shooting with a Mini DV camcorder, captured a silver disc-shaped object “about the diameter of two mid-sized cars” hovering over his house. The craft appeared to be soundless, windowless and seamless in design. Three other witnesses corroborated his account, and his video was deemed authentic by an expert in image analysis.

Jan. 3, 2009: While most claims of “red fireballs” in the sky can be explained by the popularity of Chinese lanterns, this Davie sighting remains a mystery for UFO researchers. Witnesses spotted three dark objects they described as “flaming fireballs” moving in a consistent triangular pattern, not drifting apart from each other as is often the case with paper lanterns. The witnesses trailed the objects as they traveled toward Weston. Around the same time, the radio tower of a private airport in Hollywood captured three unidentified blips in the Davie area.

To read the full story, pick up the December issue of Boca Raton magazine.