Mysterious blinking lights in the sky. That's what hundreds of people saw Tuesday night north of Bakersfield. Many thought it was a UFO. But as it turns out these lights were something a little less out of this world and illegal.
The Kern County Fire Department said the floating lights were sky lanterns.They're illegal to light in California but oh so entertaining for the people who spotted them Tuesday night.
"This is real stuff. This is not fake you can't see it but this is real," said a man's voice on a YouTube video of what looked like five balls of fire in the sky. "They were in a triangle formation."
But whatever triangle formation these spectators thought they saw, the Kern County Fire Department said the lights were not UFO's but rather aerial lanterns. They said they know because Firefighter Eric Coughran saw them take off.
"Aerial lanterns are basically a candle that's tied to a string and that candle heats up the bag causing the bag to lift up into the sky," said Coughran.
The Kern County Fire Department said they received several calls about the lanterns Tuesday night so they went out searching for the people who set them off because these sky lanterns are illegal in California.
"It is an uncontrolled fire because it goes up into the sky because there's no telling how long those strings will hold so it can cause a fire anywhere it lands," said Coughran.
Gail June saw them.
"I saw like a V and they were stationary they weren't moving and I went, 'oh my gosh UFO, yay!' So I went inside and got my camera," said June.
She isn't convinced they were lanterns.
"I wouldn't think so because lanterns go slowly up and these were staying in formation," said June.
Beth Leinieke had no idea what they were.
"I thought that it was beautiful," said Leinieke. "I loved it. It was beautiful and something unique almost like a message but there was no writing of any kind."
A message or just remnants of a celebration, whatever they were they became the root of much excitement and speculation for those who saw them.
If you see someone letting off these sky lantern you are asked to call the Kern County Fire Department.