Picture shows strange lights over Battle Ground

UFO Reporting Center says such sightings are not uncommon

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter

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Nobody else seems to have noticed the strange lights that Nicole Keller's husband saw over Battle Ground late Monday night — but he does have his cellphone as a witness.

Keller's husband, who didn't want his name used in the paper, gave his wife a picture from his cellphone that shows two clusters of three red lights moving slowly over their home near the Best Western at 1419 W. Main St.

He told her the lights were traveling southward in the sky for about five minutes, close to midnight.

"He was standing outside and saw those strange lights," Keller said. "He said they were going really slow."

Curious about what the lights might be, she sent his image to The Columbian. He doesn't want to have anything to do with any UFO talk, she added.

A Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency dispatch operator said his agency had no reports of any strange activity throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, also said he didn't get any calls about them.

"I heard no reports proactively last night," Kenitzer said on Tuesday afternoon.

And neither did Peter Davenport, director of the UFO Reporting Center in Eastern Washington.

"I haven't heard anything from that area," Davenport said. "But we have received reports the likes of which you described continuously since last June."

Davenport's group keeps a record of UFO sightings from around the country and said reports of "clusters of red, orange and gold fireballs" around the country are not uncommon.

Even folks at the Battle Ground Best Western, who are awake at that time of night, didn't hear or see anything unusual, said manager Kenda Pollard.

"No one mentioned it, and I talked to all my staff that worked last night," Pollard said Tuesday. "Nothing has been written about it in the books."

Jim Todd, planetarium manager at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, said he isn't sure what the lights might be.

"Strange, not sure what to make of these," he said in an email to The Columbian. "The red objects are such formation, size and uniform brightness. Do not think these are necessarily sky lanterns."

He noted that the lights appear to be beneath the clouds. More information about noise and other things going on in Battle Ground at that time of night on Monday would be helpful in determining the source, he added.

The last major sighting of strange lights in Clark County, in November 2012, ended up coinciding with a celebration that used sky lanterns, which are like miniature hot-air balloons.

Another sighting of strange lights in Clark County from March 2011 turned out to be a man flying a kite that was lit up with LEDs.