Case File Status: Likely Identifiable. See Below.


The following case was submitted to The Black Vault / TBV Investigations. The reporting witness, who wished to remain anonymous, submitted videos on behalf of a family member. In addition, a corroborating video was also submitted.

TBV Investigations’ researcher Jim Kerr and The Black Vault’s John Greenewald, Jr. worked together on the below investigation.

Witness Testimony

The original testimony submitted to The Black Vault was the following:

I am reaching out to you because I do not know who else to turn to regarding a recent UFO sighting in San Diego, CA. I know you are all leading experts in the fields of astrophysics and UFO tracking, so I’m hopeful you can finally provide some answers, other than that they are flares.

At around 8:30 PM in the UTC area of San Diego, CA, my brother and his girlfriend observed 7 strange orbs floating in a horizontal line roughly three hundred feet above the ground. You can see the videos for yourself below. (See “The Evidence” below)

After my brother showed me the videos, I immediately knew they were the same orbs we had seen earlier in 2004, except that time they had moved very quickly, stopped on a dime, and were constantly changing formation. 

That night, I posted the fourth video to Twitter and tagged the accounts of nearby Miramar Air Station, San Diego County, San Diego Police Department, our local FOX / NBC news stations, and several UFO tracking accounts, hoping for a response, but nothing. I also emailed the videos to local news stations, but have received no response to date.

My burning question is this: Are these orbs advanced military technology or actual UFOs? 

Since posting my brother’s video to Twitter, several accounts have posted their own videos from that night. What’s odd is that all they appear to all be the same orbs, but the locations are in some cases many miles apart. One video was from Bonita, CA while another was from Rosarito, Mexico. Some other users reported sightings in Laguna Beach and Ocean Beach as well. 

Here is the video from Bonita, CA, which has the same number of orbs:

Also interesting to note, at around 10 PM, roughly 1.5 hours after my brother and his girlfriend spotted these orbs, they and many others on Twitter noted that jets were being scrambled from Miramar Air Station, which is very unusual for that time of night. 

My brother later found this footage from the same night in Laguna, CA, which also shows seven orbs:


Here is another article describing the phenomenon, with footage from :

Honestly, what are these? I would really appreciate your insight!

The Evidence

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4

Tom DeLonge’s UFO Sighting Video

After The Black Vault was contacted regarding the above videos, it was learned that Tom DeLonge, rock star and CEO of To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA), posted a UFO video and story on Instagram from the same evening and general vicinity.


View this post on Instagram


So last night I get a text from somebody that there was a UAP right off of the beach where I live. I ran to my balcony and saw it split into two pieces and raise vertically. I grabbed Marie, jumped in my truck and went straight down to the beach. We were the only ones on the beach last night as this light disappeared, reappeared, broke into three pieces and stacked vertically with one little red dot flying around the top and then disappeared for the rest of the evening. This video doesn’t show much, but we were up quite late watching the light dance about a half a mile to a mile off of the beach. It was huge, and it was fiery orange. Of course I called up Lue Elizondo as I was there, and he was telling me all of these things I was supposed to do with location, geographic details, weather, altitude and distance etc. Of course, I was completely worthless when it came to those details. But yes, big deal last night in Encinitas, CA. Lue checked immediately, there were no flights in the area except one that I had my eyes on the entire time. No military, no boats, and a bunch of hovering lights that were stacking on top of each other… wild. Who knows…

A post shared by Official Tom DeLonge (@tomdelonge) on

Being the same night as the other submission, it was noted during our investigation, and worthy of mention here. However, it appears to solve Tom DeLonge’s UFO video, a different explanation may be needed than solving the other ‘multiple orb’ videos.

The Analysis & Investigation

The following video was put together by Jim Kerr to analyze the evidence within this case file.

“Multiple Orb Videos”

First, we tackled the aspect of this which had the best, and most, visual evidence. This involved the numerous videos outlined above, and the mainstream media reporting.

2018 Identical Case – Aircraft Flares

In August of 2018, another nearly identical incident occurred in the exact same area. The event, which resulted in multiple videos of the objects, was quickly explained by the military as aircraft flares. Here is a screenshot from one of those videos, clearly showing the many similarities between the 2018 aircraft flares, and the 2020 “UFOs.”


Air Traffic Control for the night of March 31, 2020, puts the nail in the coffin regarding the explanation of aircraft flares. Special thanks to Twitter user, and private pilot Darkstar IE, for finding recordings that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt aircraft flares were being dropped.

ATC traffic from KSAN, (San Diego) at 8:00-8:30 PM on March 31, 2020, captured the following audio clip:

The evidence is clear.

“Raider 28” Calls “So-Cal” operating in the area while doing a “Battlefield Illumination Drop” wherein they stated that, “heavy flares out here, so if you get called about it, its us.”

With the evidence above, we believe these videos and this case, can be determined as “solved” with the culprit being aircraft flares.

That leads us to Tom DeLonge’s UFO video as that is not explained as easily with the same explanation.

Tom DeLonge’s UFO Video

Juxtaposing Tom DeLonge’s UFO video posted to Instagram, to those submitted to The Black Vault above, it only contained one orb/object. Although his written post/comment contained other details not depicted in the video; we had to go by what we could prove — not what was said in the post.

We began by exporting some of the frames from the video.

Still Frame Captures

Contrary to what some observers may think about DeLonge’s UFO video, the object is not pulsating nor is it changing shapes/sizes. The effect you see is a result of the cell phone camera’s auto-focus feature, which in the extreme dark setting that DeLonge was in, the camera is having trouble finding an object to focus on due to the low light. So, it goes in and out of focus, in order to try and get something into focus.

There were very few frames that came into focus, however, this one, nearly did:


It is this frame that likely will help the most in determining the identity of DeLonge’s UFO.

We know by his testimony, that DeLonge went to the beach and looked outwards, which would be West given his position in Encinitas / Southern California. In the sky above him, at the approximate time frame of DeLonge’s UFO video, would be Venus. Below, you will find the night sky, with a closeup of what Venus would look like, courtesy of Stellarium.

Although this may sound like a classic Project Blue Book debunking explanation, it may actually be the most likely explanation for DeLonge’s video.

Not only do we know Venus would be in that direction that DeLonge was looking; the video’s single frame that was nearly ‘in focus,’ captures an image that has striking similarities to a photo that we do know is Venus, taken by TBV Investigations researcher, and amateur astronomer, Jim Kerr, on May 21, 2017 at 11:33 pm:


There are a few things to note. First off, the oblong shaping of the object in DeLonge’s UFO video and the photograph of Venus. As indicated above with the Stellarium screen shots, Venus has “phasing” just like the moon, wherein you don’t always see the full, round shape, of the planet. Both DeLonge’s UFO and the photograph of Venus indicate that is the case here: phasing. This would cause the oblong shaping of the objects in both images above.

Second, the coloring. Both DeLonge’s UFO photograph and Kerr’s Venus photograph have a similar orange tint. Kerr’s photo was taken with a much higher resolution camera, a D300, which you can clearly see a resolution difference when comparing the two images. However, the color tint is similar. This color tint is caused by “Chromatic Aberration.” As explained by Nikon, chromatic aberration is:
“Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different points, depending on their wavelength. There are two types of chromatic aberration: axial chromatic aberration and lateral chromatic aberration.

Axial chromatic aberration is a variation in the length of each wavelength of light and lateral chromatic aberration is a variation in the magnification of the different colors of light; becoming more visible at the image periphery. Axial chromatic aberration results in blurred colors in front of and behind the focus position due to the differences in each color’s focal point. It can be noticeable at the peripheries of extremely bright portions of an image. Lateral Chromatic Aberration is the cause of color fringing. It is only seen at the edges of an image.

Lateral chromatic aberration is reduced to some degree by combining different lens elements with different refractive indexes, but optically speaking, it cannot be completely eliminated. In addition to red and its complimentary color cyan, and blue and its complimentary color yellow, some lenses may exhibit complex color fringing that combines these two primary types. It is greatly reduced by low-dispersion ED glass.”

When taking all of that into account, putting together side-by-side DeLonge’s UFO video, and a known photograph of Venus, the similarities are striking. Despite the clear resolution difference (ie: pixelation), the color: matches. The phasing: matches.


It is believed that although at some point, based on DeLonge’s description, that he may have witnessed what is believed to be the aircraft flares (see above), upon deeper investigation, the video itself is believed to be Venus.

An attempt was made to contact DeLonge for follow ups, but the attempts went unanswered.


Due to the overwhelming evidence, many of the videos (including those submitted directly to The Black Vault) can be explained as aircraft flares being dropped on the night of March 31, 2020.

The secondary piece of evidence analyzed, the video by Tom DeLonge along with his sighting report, is likely connected to the flares being dropped. It is plausible that based on DeLonge’s description, he witnessed the flares as well. However, the video posted to his Instagram account is likely the Planet Venus. The evidence is very convincing when comparing a still frame from his video, which was the closest moment his camera’s auto-focus feature came into focus, and putting it next to a confirmed photograph of Venus in the night sky. The color and phasing of the planet in the image are nearly identical.

For this reason, all of the events explored that occurred on the night of March 31, 2020, can be adequately explained.

Update April 14, 2020

After this original case was posted, some have pointed to a post by Sean Cahill / @mintyhyperspace on Twitter to disassociate Tom DeLonge’s UFO video with the flares being dropped. It insinuated DeLonge was too far away to see the flares, therefore he feels it did not play a role. This post said the following:

“For those linking the now debunked 31Mar20 training flares off Tijuana with the @tomdelonge sighting off Encinitas, they were separated by nearly 40 miles, are not on the same vector and appear to be different events. The Encinitas investigation remains open and unidentified.”
However, although this sounds plausible, the math and assumption when stating this is likely incorrect.
blankThis tweet operates off the assumption that the flares were dropped off the coast of Tijuana, and only one time. More likely than that, they were dropped off the coast of San Diego, further North, as indicated by the SAN DIEGO ATC recordings that can be listened to above.
In these recordings, it was noted that the drop of flares would occur in the Whiskey area, likely referencing Whiskey 291, where the VMGR-352 squadron out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. Hence, their “Raider” call sign.
The Whiskey 291 area, is defined as the following:
Jim Kerr did some calculations and math. He adds the following to explain the fact that sightings occurred from Tijuana, Mexico, to Laguna Beach, California:

“VMGR-352’s aircraft is the Lockheed Martin C-130J that has a cruising altitude of 27,000 feet. Flares are deployed at cruising altitude, then ignited after they fall 1000 feet. If the above data is applicable on March 31st, ( I believe it was), this means the flares were ignited at approx 26,000 feet.

This would make the flares visible from Tijuana, Mexico to Laguna Beach, California. At a distance of 108 miles, the earths curvature at 100 miles away would drop 6668.41 feet, meaning the flares would be visible the full 108 miles along the coast.”

Also heard in the ATC recordings, the military activity in Whiskey 291 would be occurring for 1 – 1 1/2 hours which indicates it likely was not a single drop, and more likely, was more than one. 
Extra Information – Venus

About The Investigators On This Case

blankJim Kerr
[email protected]

Jim Kerr joins TBV Investigations from Antelope Valley, California. A former California Highway Patrolman, Jim runs his successful business, while maintaining an active interest in the UFO phenomenon. He had his first two sightings in 1973 which sparked his interest as a UFO researcher. Jim is also an amateur astronomer, photographer, and videographer with experience in photographing and taking video of celestial objects. He is also an avid UFO Hunter.

Jim wants to offer his law enforcement training as an investigator to the team, and I know he will definitely be an asset.

blankJohn Greenewald, Jr. (CALIFORNIA)
The Black Vault / TBV Investigations Founder

[email protected]

John Greenewald, Jr. began researching government conspiracies at the age of 15. For more than two decades, he has turned his popular website,, into one of the internet’s premiere resources for officially declassified U.S. Government documents, totaling more than 2,000,000 pages. Greenewald is also a television producer, having helped create a variety of programs for outlets such as the History Channel, National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs throughout the globe.

In December of 2017, he began the TBV Investigations project to bring together and help coordinate the research and investigation of cases throughout the globe.

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