Was it a UFO? Just exactly what was it?

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Was it a UFO? Just exactly what was it?
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History is rife with sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects. Now add Hollin Hall to the list.

UFOs, defined as any flying object or phenomenon that cannot be identified by the observer, have been reported in tens of thousands of incidents over the decades, and studies show that after investigation, the majority of UFOs are usually identified and are relabeled Identified Flying Objects, or IFOs.

According to the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, only about five to ten percent of cases are never identified or explainable. In an earlier study by the U.S. Air Forces Condon Committee, that number was higher, or about 20 to 30 percent being UFOs.

So what was it that awoke residents in the tranquil cul-de-sac of McAdams Place in the Hollin Hall area last Friday morning, May 22? Two residents we spoke to said they where awoken by a levitating flying object with rectangular green and red lights.

I woke up at about 1 am Friday morning because I heard the sound of something right above my yard, said Janet Kimmel, the owner of Janets Java on Telegraph Road. It had four different triangular shapes with green and red lights. It was levitating about 100 feet off the ground. It was just sitting in the air with four different colored lights shining on my yard, making a whoosh sound.

The skeptical journalists in us put the it-must-be-explainable theory to a test.

Was it a UFO? Or just a middle-of-the-night training exercise initiated by the nearby Fort Belvoir military base? Was it Fairfax County spraying for gypsy moths? Perhaps a helicopter mapping the area for Google Earth or Zillow.com? Or most obviously, the Park Police or Fairfax Police looking for a fleeing suspect?

A likely candidate was the Armys Fort Belvoir base, just two miles away, which reads like a Whos Who of the Department of Defense. Fort Belvoir is home to one Army major command headquarters and elements of 10 others; 19 different agencies and direct reporting units of the Department of Army; eight elements of the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, as well as 26 DoD agencies.

So we rang them up, and got Don Dees, Fort Belvoirs spokesman on the phone. Fort Rucker, Alabama is the training center of new aircraft for the military, not here, Dees explained. Besides, I checked with Airfield Operations and the last record of a flight checked in that night was 9:30 pm. We have no record of anything being in the sky after that point. The Tower closed that evening at 10:30 pm.

No luck there, so we checked with Fairfax County Police and the Park Service, no luck there either. We almost always have helicopters in the sky, but we have no record of any of our choppers being in that area that night, a public information officer said.

As for Kimmel, she swears by her sighting, and at least one other neighbor who asked not to be identified witnessed something in the air which was out of the ordinary and unexplainable. I dont think it was a UFO. But I dont know what it was, Kimmel said.

Send your explanation to
johna@alextimes.com.

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