UFOs seen over Fort Smith, N.W.T., may have been birthday lanterns

Strange lights over Fort Smith, N.W.T., this weekend have some residents suggesting life from another planet, but one resident says Chinese lanterns were the cause.

Resident says lights were Chinese lanterns lit for 40th birthday, others not convinced

Strange lights over Fort Smith, NWT 1:35

Strange lights lit up the sky in Fort Smith, N.W.T, this weekend, leading some residents to question whether or not they'd seen something out of this world.

Taxi driver Gabrielle Landrie first spotted the lights at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

"They were spread out like a huge fan," she said. "Some were coming from the left, some from the right, and they were all lining up as they were flying over Fort Smith."

Landrie, who was carrying passengers at the time, pulled over for a better look.

"The way the lights were flashing... red lights were flashing on the bottom, a little bit of white light on top. And the direction they were moving, how they were moving."

Landrie, who says she believes in extraterrestrial life, says others reported seeing the lights over the weekend through Facebook and Twitter. One sighting came as far away as Enterprise, which is 300 kilometres away by road.

Nicola O'Keefe says UFO sightings that caused a stir last weekend in Fort Smith, N.W.T., were Chinese lanterns lit for her 40th birthday, a throwback to when she and her husband lit them last year in India. (Submitted by Nicola O'Keefe)

But Nicola O'Keefe says the strange lights weren't extraterrestrials. They were a birthday present.

O'Keefe's husband surprised her for her birthday by releasing 40 Chinese lanterns into the sky, as an homage to something the couple had done a year earlier on a beach in India.

"I would never in a million years think they would cause such a kerfuffle," she said. "Basically, on Facebook, people thought it was aliens, but it was not."

But birthday celebrations aside, Landrie is sticking to her story.

"It wasn't a plane, it wasn't a helicopter, and it sure the heck wasn't Chinese lanterns," she said. "I know what Chinese lanterns are. You can see how these things move, separately. The lights are flashing. 

"These aren't Chinese Lanterns with fireworks. There's no possible way."

Landrie is planning to send the video she took of the lights to the Mutual UFO Network, an organization that investigates sightings such as these. 


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