On the night of January 22, a bizarre phenomenon appeared over Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. Witnesses observed a row of seven white lights directly over the base, beginning at approximately 9pm and lasting until they faded with the dawn. The lights became more faint when clouds passed, meaning that they originated in the sky rather than on the ground. According to weather forecaster Staff Sgt. Shawn Burke, who took the photograph accompanying this story, the passing clouds were at 20,000 feet that night.
At first, the lights were round, but later became elongated. Sgt. Burke took the picture when the lights were in the elongated mode. He also reports in the Feb. 6, 2004 Kaiserslautern American that the there were communications disruptions during the phenomenon. In his building, both his cellular phone and internet connection failed. The disruption seemed to become worse when the lights brightened.
According to Spaceweather.com, there was auroral activity that night, but auroras are not normally associated with stationary lights that persist for hours. Sgt. Burke writes in the Kaiserslautern American, "I have seen aurora borealis activity before--and what I saw was not that." Ramstein air traffic control stated that nothing unusual was observed on radar. US Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Burke.
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