Christmas lights: they’re beautiful, flashy, a bit overwhelming, and can sometimes be confused for proof of alien life. Or so some people want us to think!
After multiple reports of UFO sightings over Wisconsin this week, one reporter is attempting to explain the mysterious happenings by pointing to something a little more mundane: Christmas lights. People in rural Wisconsin were alarmed this week after spotting bright lights appearing in a formation not dissimilar to flying saucer. Videos and photos quickly circulated on Twitter, sparking debates over the source of the lights.
According to Mick West, an investigator and columnist, the lights weren’t so much extraterrestrial in nature as they were spiritual. West tweeted that he had followed up on some of the strange sightings, and believed he identified the source: extremely bright Christmas light displaces. For example, one video clip appears to show an unnaturally bright light coming from beyond an empty road. West explained in a series of tweets that this appeared to be coming from the Flanders Family Christmas Light Show. As for the beams of light spotted moving over rural Wisconsin, those, too, appear to have originated from the Flanders Family Christmas Light Show. West tweeted that he had obtained confirmation from the Flanders family, and that they told him, “Yes I have 6 moving beam light part of my Christmas show [sic].”
The Flanders family have been putting on elaborate light shows for Christmas since 2016, and their 2022 show does use beam lights that move in formation, which, according to West’s YouTube video detailing his investigation, were a “perfect match” to the videos captured by witnesses. “Not UFOs, just some spotlights,” he said on his YouTube chanel, per People. “But the real puzzle here is why people thought it might have been anything else.” (Given that the FBI investigates hundreds of UFO sightings, it seems pretty reasonable that some people would jump to that conclusion, but okay.)
Meanwhile, Ben Hansen, identified by People as a former FBI agent and host of Discovery+’s UFO Witness, had a different interpretation of the facts. He retweeted West’s investigation, adding, “this doesn’t add up.” According to Hansen, the lights used by the Flanders family would not have been visible to one of the witnesses, who claimed to have been 12.5 miles away from the family’s home when they saw the lights. Hansen further claimed that the mysterious lights seen by witnesses appeared more random than a pre-programmed light display, and that the sightings took place after the Flanders Family Christmas Light Show ends at 10:30pm. “The pattern does not resemble what was captured on camera, nor are beams visible whatsoever in the witness videos,” Hansen wrote, adding, “You may feel the case is solved, but we still have work to do.”
So, was it aliens or Christmas lights? We may never know, but as any X-Files fan can tell you, the truth is out there. We just have to find it.