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Cluster of Mysterious Lights Observed Across Maui

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    By Wendy Osher

    Update: 

    There’s still no consensus on what caused the mysterious lights in the night sky on Saturday.

    The Chief Flight Instructor at Maui Flight Academy tells Maui Now that the lights were most likely drones from a military technology exercise and not meteors.

    Meantime, at least one scientist atop Maunakea tells us he believes the lights were from the Venesat-1 satellite rocket body.  “It was the first Venezuelan satellite, but it died on March 20, 2020.  The Aerospace corp (see link attached) predicts re-entry on Oct. 25 2020… flight path shows it going right over Hawaiʻi,” the astronomer told us in an email communication.

    Maui Now received multiple reports of a cluster of mysterious lights seen from various parts of the island from Kahului in Central Maui to Pukalani, Olowalu and Nāpili on the West side just after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. 2020.

    Video sent to us across our various media platforms showed a streak of 15-20 twinkling lights slowly passing overhead from the north, traveling southeast, and leaving a trail of smoke or debris behind.

    Laurence Balter said members of the academy were on their way to Hawaii Island from Maui when they captured an image aboard their moving map display aboard the academy’s Cirrus SR22 aircraft. (see image below)

    “The yellow X’s normally are electrostatic discharges from lightning to help pilots identify thunderstorms.  Normally they are isolated X’s or a very  tiny cluster.  Never have I seen a clump together like this.  I asked air traffic control about it and they said they did not have anything on radar,” said Balter.

    “All the local military bases are conducting exercises. In aviation terminology they are called “hot” when active and “cold” when not.  The cluster sits in the middle of the military warning area about 75-100 miles to the north of Maui and most of the islands. Clearly this is some sort of military technology exercise.  Most likely drones,” said Balter.

    Many who witnessed the event tell Maui Now that the lights left a trail of smoke or heat that stretched across the sky that is inconsistent with drone activity.

    Maui Now also reached out to military officials at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauaʻi for comment and are awaiting a response. We will continue to update as further information becomes available.

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    Maui Now received multiple reports of a cluster of mysterious lights seen from various parts of the island from Kahului in Central Maui to Pukalani, Olowalu and Nāpili on the West side just after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. 2020.

    Video sent to us across our various media platforms showed a streak of 15-20 twinkling lights slowly passing overhead from the north, traveling southeast.

    An individual who sent a photo to us at around 10:02 p.m. from Mile 14 at Olowalu described the lights saying, “It looked like fireworks with a mixture of shooting stars.  It was amazing.”

    Another witness in Nāpili reported seeing “a huge plume of debris fall from the sky very slowly with a defined smoke trail behind it.”  They reported also observing the phenomenon at around 10 p.m.

    Go Fly Maui Helicopters captured the smoke trail and reported that those who saw it described it as “a meteor that broke into multiple pieces.”

    Others who were caught off guard by the lights said they did not hear anything but say the trail of lights slowly moved across the sky.

    We do not have an official description of the phenomenon or if it is associated with any other astronomical events occurring at this time.

    The Bishop Museum’s Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium reports that the Orionid Meteor shower is active between Sept. 23 to Nov. 27; though the peak, producing about 20–25 meteors an hour, was expected to occur on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 20 and 21. “Like the Eta Aquarids in May, the Orionid Meteor Shower is caused by debris from Halley’s Comet,” the planetarium reports.

    Later this month on Halloween, Oct. 31, 2020, there will be a Blue Moon.  It’s the “second full moon of October, so it is called a Blue Moon. It is also a micro full moon because it occurs as the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth in its monthly orbit, called apogee,” according to the planetarium.

    Olowalu near Mile 14 at 10:02 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. PC: @FaThMah.

    Trail in sky after the lights had passed. PC: Go Fly Maui Helicopters

    Trail in sky after the lights had passed. PC: Go Fly Maui Helicopters

    Lights as seen from Pukalani after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. PC: Tim Cleland.

    Lights as seen from Pukalani after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. PC: Tim Cleland.

    Lights as seen from Pukalani after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. PC: Tim Cleland.

    Original source: https://mauinow.com/2020/10/25/cluster-of-mysterious-lights-observed-across-maui/

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