© Surrey NOW
This isn't the UFO a White Rock woman said she saw while walking on the pier.
The truth is out there - possibly over White Rock.
A resident of the seaside city claims she saw a series of UFOs over the area on Sunday, Aug. 26. Audrey Strong was walking along the pier with her brother-in-law between 8:30 and 9 p.m. when they saw what she described as a bright orange globes in the night sky.
"When I first spotted it, there was only one and it really caught my attention," she said. "And then, all of a sudden, boom, there's another one."
They didn't think to photograph the lights, but Strong provided a detailed description. She counted 10 lights, evenly spaced apart in a row over the city, and said a man on the pier claimed to have seen the same sequence previously over Terrace, B.C.
"They stayed at the same level in sequence, like they were on a highway," she said. "It was just too weird. How do you explain what that is?"
The National UFO Reporting Center lists only two reports of UFOs in White Rock in the last 12 years, with one earlier this month and another in December 2007. However, UFO*BC, a local group that tracks out-of-this-world activity, has at least a dozen accounts from White Rock and Surrey between 1990 and 2012.
At first, Strong and several other people on the pier thought the unexplained lights might be from helicopters or border patrol aircrafts. But Michael Milne, a public affairs officer with the Homeland Security in Seattle, said in an email that there were no border patrol aircrafts operating in the area that evening.
Representatives at White Rock City Hall and White Rock RCMP said they had not received any reports of UFO sightings in the area. The Coast Guard did not respond by press time.
Gavin McLeod, a member of the Mutual UFO Network, said he is often skeptical of reported UFO sightings. He said a sequence of lights is referred to by ufologists as "Chinese lanterns," a common phenomenon caused by such items as wedding balloons that are mistaken for UFOs.
"The fact that they were just floating there and then disappeared one at a time causes me to be somewhat suspicious," he said. "We get a lot of reports and most of them are misinterpretations. An actual, really good sighting is extremely rare."
Based on the description, McLeod said it's more likely that what Strong saw were hot air balloons that night. Strong did say the shade of orange resembled that of fire, but McLeod hasn't ruled out the possibility of it being a legitimate sighting.
"The field is wide open," he said. "Anything is possible."
Strong said she believes in beings from other planets and wonders if anyone else saw the same pattern of lights she did Aug. 26.
"I don't believe we're alone," she said. "Why wouldn't it be possible?"