Was it a UFO? A viewer sent us video of what appears to be a strange, round object in the sky above Kiawah during the night of Christmas Eve.
Debra Thomson, who lives on the water near the golf course, stepped outside to disconnect her outdoor Christmas tree when she looked up and saw the bright object in the sky.
“It’s not unusual to see strange things in the skies out here,” she said.
But this felt different. “For a second I thought it was Venus, but it was way too large and in the wrong place in the sky.” She said it was located in the northwest sky, moving at a rather fast clip, sometimes stopping as if it was observing.
“It was moving toward my direction and seemed intelligently in control,” she said. “I felt as if it knew I was filming it.”
“I don’t think it’s some kid’s toy, and I know it’s not an airplane,” she said in the video after joking about it being Santa Claus and his reindeer.
In fact, Thompson even called the airport to see if they knew of anything in the area. They told her they didn’t see anything on the radar.
She described the object as very bright, red in color with a bit of orange. “It seems to be getting smaller,” she said, perhaps because it was moving further into the night sky.
“It moved around a bit and disappeared into a pinhole, then it reappeared back to its same size in a few minutes,” she said. “With the naked eye, it was much more brilliant to see.”
She discovered the object at about 9:30 p.m. The sky was clear – no wind, no clouds – and the night was extraordinarily quiet.
In the video, the only thing you can hear is the curious commentary from Thomson as she watched the object move across the sky.
“I just wanted to know if anyone had any experiences in the last few days or the following days,” she said.
Researchers with the College of Charleston Observatory said Mars would have been almost directly west and close to the horizon around that time on Christmas Eve.
They say it’s definitely very red and the atmospheric distortion close to the horizon could appear to make it “jump” around and get fainter/brighter.
What do you think? Did Debra Thomson see a UFO in the sky above Kiawah?
— UPDATE —
After publishing our initial story, we have received several emails from people who believe they may have also seen the mysterious object.
A resident on Edisto Beach told us their room lit up brighter than the full moon at about 6:00 a.m.
“In the southeast, in the sky over my dock, was a huge bright orange ball,” said Pat Martin. “I watched it for a while and tried to take a picture. Thought it a Christmas Miracle.”
Martin also sent us pictures of what appears to be a large bright light against the black sky.
An email from Cam Troost in California said they also saw the odd light around 5:30 a.m.
While looking up information on UFO’s Friday morning, they came across our article and sent us pictures that show a bright, white and round light in the night sky.
“It was just as the lady said, very colorful too,” Troost said in the email. “I live on the central coast about 15 minutes from the beach and it was westward over towards the ocean.”
They went on to say, “I thought it was a star also but it would have been the only one in the sky … I felt the same, it did sort of a shimmy and then stopped. It was green, orange and had sort of a kaleidoscope effect. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Finally, Al Olieh in Illinois reached out to say they witnessed the same light, or “traveler” around the same time and same day.
“The light had a presence and I connected with it,” they said. “It was a great feeling and was brilliant.”
Olieh posted photos and a video of what they witnessed on Instagram. “This traveler was very peaceful. We all must love each other and love the earth,” they said.