‘Balls of fire’ over Rockford a mystery

A Rockford resident who prefered to identify herself only as Kelly called The Squire on Thursday, September 15, to ask if anyone else had reported mysterious balls of fire that she, her teenage son and another resident witnessed the evening before. Kelly said she was on Fremont Street near Ten Mile Road when she noticed her son looking up into the sky.

When she looked up, she saw what appeared to be two spheres filled with fire floating westward. As she watched, she said the fire dimmed from the balls, leaving a dark outline of the floating spheres.

“A man walked by and I asked him if he had seen them and he said no,” Kelly stated. As she was talking to the man, two more balls floated overhead and then more until a total of about ten to twelve had floated over.

“They looked like those large bouncy balls or balloons,” Kelly stated, “but I know they couldn’t be filled with fire. People driving on Ten Mile must have seen them.”

Kelly said it appeared the balls came from the woods up behind the Dollar General store or near the Rockford Cemetery. Kelly said after the incident was over, she drove up through the neighborhoods where the balls appeared to have originated, but saw nothing unusual.

Calls to the Rockford Police, the Michigan State Police and the Kent County Sheriff Department all reported no other sightings the evening of Wednesday, September 14.

According to Kelly, the incident happened just as it was getting quite dark, so she believes it must have been about 8:30 p.m.

A call to Pederson Funeral Home confirmed there have been no burial ceremonies that might have included the release of floating lanterns.

“I can’t believe no one else called this in,” stated Kelly. At the Squire we are very curious about the “balls of fire” floating over Rockford and hope anyone who can clear up this mystery will call Editor Beth Altena at (616) 866-4465. Anyone with photos is asked to email them to Squiremail@aol.com. We will keep names out of the story if requested.

While looking around on the Internet for any postings regarding balls of fire in the sky for Rockford Michigan, the following report was located the Northwest page of UFO Sightings.

The website had the following post from July 3 and July 4, 2009 at 9:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Rockford, Michigan:

“A very bright red light stayed stationary in the sky to the southwest of Bostwick Lake near Grand Rapids, Michigan. The light slowly moved toward us and passed slowly directly over us. We observed a central bright red light surrounded by a perfect circle of dimmer red lights.

The object began to move more quickly and then seemed to fade out. It did not disappear into the distance, but may have entered a cloud. I saw it again in the distance to the the south of Grand Haven the next night and again it faded out or entered a cloud. Both times fireworks shows were in progress.

Note: Were these lights related to fireworks? Fireworks were observed on both nights.”

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.