Could UFO’s (Unidentified Flying Objects) be visiting Belize? That’s what some residents of Belmopan and the surrounding areas are wondering after a strange sighting of a mass of bright, circular lights south of the capital city and over the uninhabited mountains, exactly a week ago.
The lights, we were told, repeatedly appeared and disappeared between 8:15 p.m. and 10:50 p.m., and there was no strange noise, as an aircraft would make, accompanying the event.
The objects were approximately 150 feet off the ground, and about 14 feet in diameter, appearing to be consistent in shape and size, said Cadet Henderson, chief executive officer in the Ministry of Works. Henderson, who first reported the sightings to us today, told us that the lights were either stationary or moving eastward, contrary to the prevailing nighttime winds. In one instance, he said, he saw a trail of smoke associated with one of the lights.
Henderson told us that shortly after 8:00 last Tuesday night, he saw as many as 12 of those lights south of Belmopan City. His father-in-law, Lindsey Wade, told us the same, and so did Cedric Borland, Commander of the Belize Coast Guard.
“It is very likely that they are UFO’s, especially since they were repeatedly seen in the same area and also seen about a mile away, west of Belmopan, and four miles away, near the Springfield community,” Henderson documents. “Similarly lit objects were also seen about two years ago in the same area of Belmopan.”
Henderson described the lights as “circular disks” that appeared in groups ranging from four to twelve for a period of over two hours that night. He said that he called General Borland, who said at first that he did not see anything, but later confirmed the observations. At first, he said, Borland thought the lights were flares. He said that he had called Belize Defence Force Commander, Colonel Dario Tapia, to research whether there was any military activity in that area that night, and Tapia said that there wasn’t.
Based on his computations, Henderson estimates that the disks of light were about 14 feet in diameter.
Wade, Henderson’s father-in-law, described what he observed to us: He said that the lights appeared to be due south of University Heights, a new community development in Belmopan, and over the hills, the same place where, he said, he observed the same thing happen about two years ago, and the lights showed the same pattern of movement.
Wade likened the lights to extremely bright headlights, or a big ball of light as bright as the moon, which, he said, came on at 10-minute intervals.
He went on to say that when he viewed some of the magnified images Henderson took, it appeared to him that there was someone sitting inside at least two of the lights. At the time of the sightings, he said, two Jehovah’s Witnesses were studying with him at his home, and they were “very alarmed” at what they saw.
“I know they are not fire rocket displays or flares from guns,” said Wade.
Henderson told us that he held on to some snapshots he took that night, using his tripod and magnifying lens, because he wanted to be sure whether it was something out of the ordinary. He told us that when he visited the Mennonite community of Springfield, about six miles from Belmopan, on Sunday, residents in that settlement corroborated what he and his relatives had seen, indicating that they, too, saw the lights the prior Tuesday.
Then on Monday, he checked with the Belize Defence Force to see if maybe the military was shooting flares in the area. Henderson said that when he found out that they were not, he decided to come public with the information.
Commander Borland said that indeed, there were some lights observed southwest of Belmopan. He told us that he saw four bright lights glowing in the distance, equally spaced from each other, about 40 to 50 meters apart, and they all lit up and extinguished at the same time. He said that he noticed the lights fall a little before they disappeared. According to Borland, the same phenomenon was observed in the same area, showing the same pattern about a year and a half ago.
Not so believing that the lights were UFO’s, however, Commander Borland told us that the area where the lights were seen is often used for military operations, and he advised us to check with the BDF for their views.
But when we checked today with BDF Commander, Colonel Dario Tapia, he told us that they know of no military operations in the area last Tuesday, either by officers of the Belize Defence Force or of BATSUB - British Army Training Support Unit Belize. Col. Tapia said that the BDF intends to do a fly-over inspection of the area with Henderson.
Henderson told us that he wants to fly over the area where the sightings were made to see if there are any telltale signs of what the strange lights could have been.