Astronomy/Holden beach Nc


You responded to a question way back in 2009 to a lady who saw orange/red lights off the Atlantic coast, Holden Beach NC. Last night 6/12/13. All the same, they came on one by one (about 5 or 6)
then went out after a couple of seconds like a light bulb. This was between 9 and 10pm just as she said. Then 10 minutes later in a second event one appeared and like a smaller ball of red came off of it then both clicked off like light bulbs. I called the coast guard station there on oak island and reported them as flares. He asked me to tell him exactly what I saw. I told him I know what flares look like but these had no movement at all, very stationary holding exact position. He said there were many reports coming in but there was no vessel in distress.

Be advised, there is no question here.
Most logical answer is that some humans are lighting off... something in the twilit sky.
Most illogical answer... Plutonians are flying in from former planet Pluto and scaring us because they are mad at us for... downgrading their "planet" to asteroid status. (Which it always was in the first place, simply a member of the Kuiper Asteroid Belt.)
Still more illogical answer... Whales and dolphins, or maybe brown pelicans, have learned to operate flares and other lighting devices.

No vessel need be in distress... flares, balloon lanterns, and other lighted devices... can be 'set off' just for the fun of it, too.
That's my best guess, assuming you wanted some sort of an answer.

(I don't believe "space aliens" would spend some 40 years at 0.5c, expend all that time, energy, fuel and effort, just to scare some of us for a few minutes with a... bunch of lights... or any other reasonable, but as yet un-explainable... phenomena. )
Clear Skies,
Tom Whiting
Erie, PA USA  


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Tom Whiting


Astronomy has been my hobby/pasttime for over 50 years.  Currently own 3 telescopes, the largest of which is a 30 inch Newtonian truss Dob that is portable.I taught Astronomy/Meteorology at the University Level for 13 years before retiring in 1995. Being retired and home most of the time, I am able to answer all questions relatively quickly, unless it's a new moon weekend with good observing conditions.  No astrology questions please, or questions about alleged UFO picture identifications.


Experience: Astronomy has been my hobby and study for over 50 years. We currently now own a 30 inch portable telescope (Updated - Pennsylvania`s largest portable telescope). It can be seen on our website at: and also attend several regional starparties during the year, and have been on 5 total solar eclipse expeditions.

Organizations: President, Erie County Mobile Observers Group for over 15 years.

Publications: Wrote the "Over Erie Skies" newspaper article in our local newspaper for 11 years (1975-86).

Education: Masters Degree- Taught at the University level for 13 years. Retired 20 years -USAF Pilot - KC-135 with 180 combat missions;  Also Eagle Scout, Philmont staff 2 Yrs, Order of Arrow Lodge Chief, Ham Radio (inactive).

Awards: two discoveries: The mini-coathanger asterism in Ursa Minor (the little dipper) And the mini-ladle- another asterism in the bowl of Ursa Minor. Clients: Currently President of the ECMOG as mentioned above.

BS  Metallurgical Engineering Grove City College, PAMaster's Degree, Gannon University, Erie, PA Also retired USAF pilot, 20 years.

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