Mysterious lights that appeared in the sky over San Diego on Monday have been identified as flares being used for military exercises, according to authorities.
A group of strange objects exhibiting strong light was spotted over the Pacific Ocean late on June 27, leaving residents baffled with questions and causing quite a stir on social media.
“It’s still happening, going on about an hour now. Multiple floating lights over the ocean. Very still, very bright. Orange, reddish light. Patterns of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6,” Gabe Gunlock, an eyewitness living in Mission Hills, wrote on Twitter, adding a video of the phenomenon that had sparked speculation online about UFOs.
Gunlock told ABC News that he lives near the airport and he’s familiar with seeing lights from aircraft, but he added that there was something unusual about the objects he saw that night floating off of the coast.
The social media post quickly gained attention among San Diego locals and has since been watched over 235,000 times.
It’s still happening, going on about an hour now. Multiple floating lights over the ocean. Very still, very bright. Orange, reddish light. Patterns of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. #ufosandiego #SanDiego #UFO #ufotwitter #UFOSightings #ufosighting pic.twitter.com/JAuIjcvs32
— gabegunlock (@gabegunlock) June 28, 2022
On Tuesday, the San Diego Police Department told the network that the floating lights were actually flares being used for military exercises.
The U.S. Coast Guard also said that they believe the flares were launched by the U.S. Navy as a training exercise, KGTV reported. A spokesperson for the maritime security agency explained that the reason for the flares to remain in the sky for a prolonged period of time is so that distress signals can be seen.
Although officials described the floating lights, some people have remained skeptical, speculating the flashing lights that stayed in the sky for roughly 20 minutes were not flares.
“Realistically if they were flares you would see them flickering,” Jan Brown told KGTV. “These were not flickering. They were not moving, and there was a light breeze.”
The orange lights were spotted from multiple neighborhoods over San Diego, and were reportedly also seen as far away as Tijuana, Mexico.
“It had to be miles and miles off of the coast, it was burning extremely bright,” Gunlock said.