DID RELEASE OF BALLOONS SPARK HUGE DEBATE? THE apparent mystery of whether Drogheda was visited by extraterrestrials on New Year's Eve deepens! A local man has seven minutes of video taken in the town on the date in question which he says is 'the clearest footage of Unidentified Flying Objects taken in Irish skies'.
John Smith, who lives off Marley's Lane, Drogheda, took the footage outside his house shortly before midnight, and it shows six very bright lights flying in sequence over the town.
'I have been an aviation enthusiast for over 20 years, and I know these weren't any kind of plane or helicopter, as there was no noise and no wings or other flashing lights,' he says.
'I am not saying they are any kind of space ship or anything like that, but it is very clear footage of something that can't be immediately explained, and I challenge the authorities to say what exactly they are.'
Independent has seen this footage and it makes for quite compelling, if not exactly conclusive, viewing.
The lights are extremely bright, and ovoid in shape, and the first two seemed to have a beam of light out the front, almost like headlights.
They are at a similar altitude to a 'conventional' aircraft, and moving at a slow but steady pace, but travelling in close formation, closer than you would see two commercial aircraft.
'It was a very quiet night and there were no fireworks, but there was definitely no sound from these lights,' says John, who is dad to Aoife and Erin, who can be clearly heard in the video.
'When I saw the first two flying over the sky, I knew it was something strange, so that's when I grabbed the camera.'
The footage, which is seven uninterrupted minutes in length, is very clear and shows the surrounding estate a number of times as perspective.
'I know people have been saying they could be balloons or helicopters, but when you see how they were all flying steadily along the same route, and so many of them, they couldn't be either,' adds John.
'I would like the relevant authorities to see it and for them to tell us what they are.'
Commandant Neil Nolan, Defence Forces Press Officer responded to an enquiry from the
Drogheda Independent thus;
'I have made inquiries through the Air Corps, and I can confirm that there were no Defence Forces flights in the Drogheda area on the night of December 31st 2009.
De rm o t McConneron, who has been with the Drogheda Coastguard service for many years, says they can also be ruled out of the mystery flying objects.
' There were no late night call outs in the Drogheda area on that date, and the coastguard only has six helicopters in the whole of Ireland, and they were not scrambled and used in this manner on New Year's Eve,' he said.
Retired aeronautical engineer John Kirke says he is keeping an open mind on what could have caused the 'lights over Drogheda'.