The Liberty County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher received a call from a concerned citizen at 8:27pm Saturday who reported seeing “red fire balls in the sky” traveling in a South-West direction from the area of the City of Daisetta, Texas in East Liberty County. Two Deputies responded to the call, arriving at 8:31pm and upon their arrival also observed four (4) orange colored lights traveling in the reported direction at an estimated altitude of approximately 3000 feet. There were at least ten to twelve other citizens on the scene that were observing the same sightings.
The Deputies reported the lights were in a “loose line” that appeared to be about ten (10) miles apart from the front light to the last light in the line and moving rather slowly. The Deputies utilized a spotting scope to observe these objects and they appeared to be balloons with a fire located beneath them similar to a hot air balloon although no gondola or basket could be seen below the balloon- shaped objects. This fire gave the objects a bright orange glow. After a few seconds, three of the objects disappeared and shortly thereafter the fourth one disappeared.
As quickly as the last of the four lights disappeared, eight (8) to ten (10) other orange objects appeared in approximately the same location and began traveling in the same direction and same “loose line” as did the former objects. The entire viewing by the Deputies and the other witnesses that were at the scene when the deputies arrived lasted for approximately a minute and a half when the remaining eight to ten objects also disappeared. It was the opinion of each Deputy that it is possible the objects went behind clouds and were no longer visible.
During the following hour, telephone calls were made from the Sheriff’s Department to agencies that may have picked these objects up on radar or had some other reports and/or knowledge of their existence. The Houston office of the FAA was contacted but they were unable to shed any light upon these reported sightings. However, they did refer the department spokesman to Houston Tracon who, in turn, also had no reports or information on these lights. The Regional Operations Center in Ft. Worth, Texas was contacted and their report was also negative. They suggested contacting the National Weather Bureau for any weather balloons they may have launched and this was done with negative results as well. The Houston Weather Bureau was then contacted and they reported they do, in fact, release two (2) weather balloons per day but the time, location and large number of balloons reported does not match up with anything they do. Inquiry was made as to the wind direction at 3000’ and it was reported to be from the north which would make any balloon type object drift in a South-West direction. The cloud level was reported to be at 1,600 feet over the Liberty County area at the time of evening these “fire balls” were reported which could, possibly, explain their disappearance.
It was recommended that if no local agency had information on these reported sightings that the Sheriff’s Department should contact the UFO National Reporting Center in Spokane, Washington which was done. Upon describing these sightings by several citizen witnesses and the two LCSO Deputies, the department was advised that similar sightings in Florida had been reported last week and could possibly be what is described as “sky lanterns” that are released during various celebrations. However, even these “sky lanterns” are usually not released in such large numbers as was reported in this incident.
The Sheriff’s Department ask that if anyone has any information as to the source of these objects ( lights ) or reported sightings of these same lights, that they contact the Sheriff’s Department at (936) 336-4500 and leave that information. Names of reporting individuals will be kept confidential.