Cathy Fazio

‘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 […]