UFO's Seen Over HawaiiJanuary 31, 2007
HONOLULU, HI - Surfers at Hawaii's Kewalo Bay got an unexpected light show Friday night. The unidentified lights in the sky caused one local man to pull his son out of the water as a precaution.
But an expert says there is a perfectly good explanation for the unusual sight. UFO's seen over the South Shore sky are raising questions.
It's hard to draw a surfer's attention away from the next wave, but whatever was in the northwest sky Friday evening around 6:20 p.m. drew a crowd along Kewalo Basin and Ala Moana Beach Park.
Honolulu resident Peter Hollingworth described as two lights circling in the sky, about 45 degrees above the horizon. Video of one of the lights was recorded from the KHON skycam.
"These two little fireballs with a stream behind it," said Hollingworth, "Looked kind of like a shooting start but it just kept going. They changed directions a few times, at first it was coming in then it turned, then it went out then it came back in again."
Hollingworth was surfing with his 12-year-old son when the unexpected show began.
"I was a little concerned. I told him 'come over and sit with me. This might be the last surf session we ever have together because this thing's coming straight for Honolulu.' It looked deadly to me. It was kind of spooky."
The National Weather Service says nothing showed up on their radar at the time of the sighting and the Federal Aviation Administration did not report anything unusual.
The U.S. Military conducted a missile defense test off of Kauai Friday evening, but the test didn't begin until 7:20 p.m.
"This in a sense is an unidentified flying object," said University of Hawaii Astronomy professor Gareth Wynn-Williams.
"It's something in the sky that's moving that we haven't identified," Wynn-Williams believes there's a simple explanation behind the UFO's. "It's probably a contrail of some kind," he said while watching video of one of the lights at his Kailua home.
The professor says contrails are caused by high-flying airplanes burning hydrogen-based fuels.
One of the byproducts of the fuel exhaust is water. "The air is very cold so the water condenses and forms like drops very quickly and then these drops stay behind the plane until eventually they warm up and they evaporate."
Wynn-Williams doubts little green men from Mars are behind the UFO's. "Some people just think differently than scientists and they like to look for the fanciest, most exciting explanation. Those people would like to think it's little green men, I think that's very unlikely."
According to published reports, this is not the first time a UFO has grabbed the attention of Hawaii residents.
In December of 2004, an unexplained streak of light was captured by a camera on Haleakala, moving southwest to northeast. No official explanation has been given for that UFO either.