On Monday, June 27, several hovering lights were spotted over the Pacific off the coast of San Diego. The lights, which were around long enough to be filmed by several people in the city, caused quite a lot of confusion when they were posted to social media.
You might be unsurprised to learn that many people's explanation for the fireballs was aliens from outer space, as though the first contact from extraterrestrial life would come in the form of hovering over a city for a few minutes, before going home.
"These were coming back and going, moving different directions, and all of a sudden coming as a cluster together," one witness told ABC 10 San Diego. "It was definitely not of this world."
Others guessed space junk burning up in the atmosphere or military tests of new types of flying machines. But the orange-red flare-like fireballs over the ocean had a more obvious explanation: they were ship flares.
The US Coast Guard confirmed to ABC 10 San Diego that the lights were flares, which they believe were expired flares launched by the US Navy as a training exercise.
This is good news for anyone in fear of an alien invasion, but bad news for anyone who might one day need to use a distress flare, who now knows a good proportion of potential rescuers will see the lights and instead of sending rescue will merely think it's E.T.