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UFOs in the daily Press:

Strange lights in the sky in Ohio, USA, 2003:

This article was published in the daily newspaper The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, West Virginia, USA on Thursday, September 4, 2003.

Ohio Residents Report Strange Lights in the Sky

By TIM STEPHENS - The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, WVA)

ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Maybe it is something for the X-Files.

Residents in the Rome Township, Proctorville and Chesapeake areas were not necessarily concerned, but were curious about the source of odd lights in the sky Sunday and Monday nights. Two lights appeared to circle as if chasing one another each night over Rome Township, prompting residents to peer skyward. Occasional blips or flashes also appeared at random, sometimes over Ohio 7 and sometimes over Ohio 243 or to the south, toward the Ohio River.

"They were just kind of circling around," said Roger Lambert, of Rome Township.

Lambert by no means had thoughts of alien invasion. He was, however, curious as to what the lights were and from where they originated.

"I'd just like to know what they are," Lambert said.

Lambert wasn't the only one interested in the lights that appeared, at times, to resemble spotlights reflecting off clouds. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department received phone calls inquiring about the lights, as did television stations WOWK and WSAZ.

Thunderstorms flashed both nights, but the circling lights certainly didn't appear to be lightning.

While the lights didn't incite panic, they made for conversation.

"I just assumed it was some spotlights or something from somewhere on the other side of the river," J.D Warden of Rome Township said. "I didn't think anything of it until I saw the little flashes. I don't think they were lightning, but they could have been. I'm not really worried about it. People see things all the time and they usually have a reasonable explanation."

Ohio traditionally has been a hotbed for UFO sightings, although the southeastern part of the state isn't particularly known for such things. The northeastern section of Ohio, particularly around Akron, has garnered much more attention for strange phenomena in the sky.

An event similar to this week's light show took place in the Greasy Ridge area of Union Township just north of Chesapeake in the early 1970s when residents reported seeing two white lights circling together over farmland on a warm summer night.

In the mid-1970s quite a stir was created when a green ball of fire streaked through the summer night sky over the Orchard Drive, Holiday Drive, Scott Drive portion of Rome Township. That fireball was explained away as an oddly colored meteor or a piece of burning "space junk" falling toward earth.

Warden said he wouldn't be surprised if a lot of what has been seen in the skies through the years is nothing more than aircraft from Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. In mid-August, residents of Rome Township twice had their windows rattled in separate incidents when fighter planes flying in formation roared over head and flew southeast.

Oddly enough, the Lawrence County light display wasn't the only recent unusual phenomena in the Buckeye State in recent days. On Friday, then again on Saturday, Heather Rice of Bainbridge, Ohio, spotted and filmed something she couldn't explain in the skies of central Ohio.

"It looked like a circular thing with windows with the red and green lights shining through," Rice said in a story distributed by the Associated Press. "It was spinning fast."

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This page was last updated on September 4, 2003.