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Glowing orbs: UFOs or Chinese lanterns?

Pretoria - The glowing orange orbs reportedly spotted over Centurion may have been Chinese lanterns launched to celebrate New Year’ Eve.

Pretoria News received a number of reports of UFOs but two women have come forward to claim responsibility for the phenomenon.

File Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee. Credit: INLSA

Driekie Van Wyk and Clare Le Roux, who were part of a group of people who launched these Chinese lanterns at midnight on New Year’s Eve, said the lanterns they launched glowed in orange, while others had a bluish tint.

But, said Van Wyk, they were not the only ones to have the idea; and she had seen other lanterns also being launched in the area.

The lanterns were bought at Oriental City where they were reportedly very popular. These Chinese lanterns are about a 1m high and are mounted on a thin steal base fitted with a burner. The burner is then ignited and the lantern rises.

The lanterns can also get “stuck in a current” which would explain people seeing some sort of formation from afar.

But while this may seem the most likely explanation for the UFOs reported, it isn’t completely proven.

A woman, who asked not to be named for fear or derision, told the Pretoria News of a bright orange orb that seemed bigger than a plane.

She spotted the orb around 8pm while driving on the N1 northbound just before the Atterbury off-ramp.

She said that the orb was travelling in a southerly direction, and after a while, the orange glow stopped and the object started flashing “like Christmas lights”. Chinese lanterns shimmer, but do not flash like lights as described by the woman.

So was the UFO buzz merely a bunch of Chinese lanterns being seen through “party eyes”, or was it?

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