Area residents report strange lights in sky

Posted 1/23/20

On Thursday, Jan. 16, around 7:20 p.m., some residents of Powell reported seeing a string of lights in the sky.

Among them was Powell High School sophomore Jace Bohlman. He lives 3 miles southwest …

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Area residents report strange lights in sky

Posted

On Thursday, Jan. 16, around 7:20 p.m., some residents of Powell reported seeing a string of lights in the sky.

Among them was Powell High School sophomore Jace Bohlman. He lives 3 miles southwest of town and says the lights appeared to be south of Heart Mountain from where he was standing.

“They were equally spaced and at first looked like bright stars. However, they were moving slowly up and to the north in their formation,” he said.

The display lasted for about 15 minutes before they were no longer visible, Bohlman said.

At first, Bohlman thought of the media reports of swarms of drones over Colorado and Nebraska earlier in January. The drones caused quite a stir, and no one is entirely sure who is operating them. Bohlman said he heard no sounds. 

People from Basin and Cody commented on a post on social media on the sighting in Powell, all describing similar patterns in the night sky. If true, it’s unlikely drones would be seen at the same time over such a large area, unless it was different sets of drones.

Another possiblity is that they are satellites. SpaceX, a private aerospace manafacturer, began launching satellites last year as part of its Starlink mission. Less than two weeks prior to the sightings in Powell, the company launched 60 satellites as part of the program.

The goal of the mission is to provide reliable, fast internet to locations where internet is unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.

SpaceX representatives declined to comment on the record as to whether or not the lights were related to the Starlink program.

“I don’t know how close the lights were, but they were seemingly brighter and moving faster than a satellite in orbit. I would suspect they were being launched into orbit if they were satellites,” Bohlman speculated.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office’s log didn’t list any reports related to the lights.

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