The National UFO Reporting Center received 90 UFO reports on July 4. Some were probably fireworks, others sky lanterns, but at least 50 of the descriptions provided by witnesses suggest possible unknowns. Descriptions such as "12 large bright red spheres line up low in the sky and travel slowly across the Midnight sky towards Canada," and "Huge bright red/orange oval craft moved straight across the sky on July 4, 2013 at 11:15pm Long Island, NY" do not suggest either fireworks or sky lanterns.

The video provided here shows two characteristics that suggest that it is not a sky lantern: the first is that it changes color from orange to red a number of times. The second is that it winks out abruptly rather than flickering off as a sky lantern does. One prosaic possibility is that it is a LED device attached to a balloon that is timed to turn off after a few seconds. But since so many of the objects revealed similar characteristics, that would mean a country-wide effort to draw attention to UFOs.

On July 5, sightings appeared to taper off. July 4 usually brings an uptick in UFO reports as people confuse fireworks with UFOs, but this year seems to have been an unusual one, with a large number of unknowns reported along with the identifiable objects.

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