Balls of Fire

‘Balls of fire over Rockford’ mystery solved

October 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA We know there are plenty of mysteries in the night skies of Rockford because we heard all about them last week from callers. The “balls of fire” in the sky over Rockford the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 15 no longer remain one of those mysteries, however. The calls started coming in quickly after the Squire went to press last week. One of the first callers, Verna, was walking near Krause Memorial Library and said she saw the lights in the sky. “They looked just like the running lights of an airplane, but they couldn’t be because there was no sound,” Verna stated. From her perspective, the lights appeared tiny, no bigger than the end of her finger, and they were white. Verna said she was “flabbergasted” by the sight. The first group of six or eight floated over the library toward the credit union on the corner of Bridge and Monroe streets. She said there were way too many to be hot air balloons and they were also too close together. Rockford Volunteer Police Unit member Larry has seen what looked like balls of fire over Lake Bella Vista. In the dark the balls appeared to be filled with fire, but with binoculars Larry saw the glowing orb was in fact a hot air balloon, complete with a Michigan State S on the side. Brian advised that the balls could be ball lightening, an effect he saw online by Googling “balls of fire.” Crystal of Rockford saw a similar phenomenon a year ago when driving north on US-131. She approached the Rockford overpass and saw hovering balls of fire in the sky over the road, all in a line. As she continued north, she saw two more just after the 14 Mile Road exit. Those two were moving southward, as though to join the others. She called the Rockford Police, who said no one else had reported the sighting. They connected her to the National Weather Service, who said there was nothing in the skies in that area. “It was the weirdest thing I ever saw,” she stated, saying the light in the balls didn’t flicker like flame, or shine down onto the ground. She said if you search “orange orbs” on […]

‘Balls of fire’ over Rockford a mystery

September 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

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 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 […]