DATE OF ARTICLE: November 4, 1988 SOURCE OF ARTICLE: Daily Quill LOCATION: West Plains, Mi
DATE OF ARTICLE: November 4, 1988
SOURCE OF ARTICLE: Daily Quill
LOCATION: West Plains, Missouri
BYLINE: Julie Warner
THOSE STRANGE LIGHTS WERE...
By Julie Warner
Quill Staff Writer
If you were one of the several area residents who spied
unidentified bright yellow lights hovering in the sky at night in
the past couple of weeks, the Missouri Air National Guard has the
answer to what you saw.
Last Tuesday evening about a dozen West Plains, Mtn. View
and Peace Valley residents reported sightings of bright yellow
lights in the night sky. Some witnesses said the lights were in
a straight line and others saw them in formations. The number of
lights varied from two to as many as eight. The witnesses all
said the lights didn't seem connected to any objects and that
they would flash on and off, sometimes all at once or a few at a
time, and then would just disappear.
Howell County Sheriff Hubert Holman told the Quill today a
report came into his office Tuesday evening that bright orange
lights were spotted above Fair View Elementary School on K
Highway. A deputy was dispatched to the area, but the lights had
disappeared, Holman said.
Among some of the witnesses who spotted these lights Tuesday
were a West Plains Policeman and Mtn. View Policemen Ron Pruett.
According to Capt. Ken MacNevin, a public affairs officer
for the Missouri Air National Guard in Jefferson City, the lights
were probably not UFOs but glows from maneuvers being undertaken
by members of the 131st tactical flight wing flying out of St.
Louis and practicing weapon-deceiving techniques.
MacNevin explained that one of the standard defense
techniques used by the military in avoiding or deceiving
missiles, some of which are heat-seeking, is to spit out hot
flares. He said that if a heat-seeking missile was to be shot at
one of the U.S. fighter jets, the pilot would shoot off one of
these flares and the missile should be deceived and veer towards
the flare instead of the jet.
In recent weeks this unit acquired some of these flares and
has been practicing some of these flight maneuvers with Phantom
F-4 fighter jets in what is called the Meramec Military
Operations Region, which covers a large portion of south central
MacNevin said the practice maneuvers have been taking place
on Tuesdays and some Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8, and they
will continue for the next several weeks.
He said that sightings outside of this time frame can
probably also be attributed to military operations. MacNevin
said that this air space is dedicated to all and any military
units in the United States, and units from Missouri and
surrounding states have probably all used this area for practice
maneuvers at some point in time.
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