Three red lights create plenty of buzz -- and skeptics -- online

By Sarah Kuta
Boulder Daily Camera

Aliens are coming to a city near you.

Or, at least they’re surveying Boulder County as a future landing zone, according to several Lafayette residents.

Three red lights in a triangle were spotted hovering in the sky by several Lafayette residents Monday around 8:30 p.m. The sky was clear, but witnesses could not see anything connecting the lights.

Leroy Vandervegt, 50, has lived in Lafayette for the past 16 years. His 17-year-old son, Nick, spotted the lights on his way home from work and called his father. Leroy Vendervegt grabbed his camera, ran outside and looked up. He began filming. Sure enough, he too saw three red lights. Aliens? Maybe.

“I don’t know what they are,” Leroy Vandervegt said. “All I know is that I had no idea what it is. It wasn’t a satellite; it wasn’t an airplane; and it wasn’t a helicopter.”

The lights made no noise, Leroy Vandervegt said, and seemed to hover in the sky while moving slowly from southwest to southeast. They didn’t blink. The lights remained in a triangular shape, but the type of triangle changed from equilateral to isosceles to scalene.

Then, the triangle began moving toward the northeast sky when one light extinguished, or zoomed away. The remaining two lights “just turned off and were gone,” Leroy Vandervegt said.

Denver International Airport officials declined to comment on the sighting. But Allen Kenitzer, Federal Aviation Administration’s spokesman for Rocky Mountain region, said that his staff didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on Monday night.

“To the best of our knowledge, radar returns showed no abnormal unidentified activity within our airspace in references to the three triangular formation red lights as being reported,” Kenitzer said in an email.

Leroy Vandervegt posted his video on YouTube, and his since gotten more than 6,000 views and nearly 50 comments.

His brother, Alex Lankhorst, was visiting Lafayette from Salina, Kan. The video he posted of the lights has received more than 8,000 views. Lankhorst said the description of “unidentified flying object” made sense in this situation — no one could identify the object in the sky.

Doug Wilson is the Colorado state director for the Greeley-based Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an organization that strives to learn the origin of UFO phenomenon through the collection and analysis of UFO data. Wilson received four reports of the UFO sighting and is sending investigators to the scene.

“It’s unusual for us to have a single event with multiple reports,” Wilson said. “It’s not just somebody pulling our leg.”

Wilson said three red lights in a triangle is a common pattern for UFOs.

Joe Valadez, 47, also posted a video to YouTube of the lights in the sky. Some of the commenters on Valadez’s video were skeptical. One user, Lonnie Sexton, 33, wrote: “I want proof as bad as the next guy, but these are just hot air candle balloons folks.”

Sexton, of Broomfield, said he would like to believe that there are other life forms in the universe, but that nothing he has seen online has convinced him.

“It’s always kind of iffy,” he said during an interview. “With graphics these days, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet.”

Sexton slowed down the video and enhanced it to get a better look. A more plausible explanation, he said, are Japanese lanterns “like in the Karate Kid” — floating flags or plastic bags with small candles underneath.

“There’s always a better explanation,” Sexton said. “If alien species were to descend somewhere, why would they just hover? They would let us know they were here.”

Valadez said he too wanted a logical explanation for the sighting, but couldn’t come up with one. For now, he and other witnesses will have to settle on the unknown.

“It’s just weird,” he said. “I’m skeptical, but it’s unexplainable. I believe in certain stuff, but I’m not a UFO nerd or whatever. I’m not really for sure it was aliens, I just wonder what it was.”

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