Nocturnal light UFOs are distant, anomalous lights seen in the night sky that cannot be explained in conventional terms. The lights appear most frequently as red, orange, white, or green. Some are described as making unusual zigzagging movements, high-speed turns, and abrupt reversals of direction, or exhibiting odd variations in color or intensity or an unusual shape. In some cases, they appear to interact with the observers. Because nocturnal light UFOs are similar in some ways to ball lightning and earthquake lights, they are the most likely category to have a natural, if somewhat mysterious, origin. There is a natural tendency to assume that nocturnal lights are merely distant nighttime observations of structured objects that would qualify as close encounters if the witness had been closer to the UFO. This is not necessarily so. Many cases in this category describe UFOs that are nothing more than light or energy sources, often small in size, that do not appear to be attached to solid objects.

Ramore, Ontario. At 11:45 p.m. on June 30, 1953, an orange-colored, oval object was seen for a period of 20 minutes in the northern sky moving to the southeast by at least 10 personnel of the US 912th Air Control and Warning Squadron stationed at Ramore Air Station radar site, 3 miles west of Ramore, Ontario. The first person to see it was A/2c Dean McDonald who came out of the maintenance room to inspect a power unit that had caused a minor breakdown of the search radar set. He called two other airmen to witness it. One of the two thought the object was the moon. The first airman got hysterical and called the Charge of Quarters at the Domestic Area three miles to the southwest. At least seven witnesses in that area saw the object, and two of them reported that the moon was visible and the UFO was distinct and separate. The object soon faded away slowly to the north.

Project Blue Book case file

San Angelo, Texas. An airman serving with the Air Force Security Service at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, was outside his barracks at 12:30 a.m. in July 1965, when he noticed a light moving toward the west. At first he thought it was a high-altitude aircraft, but after 4–5 seconds the light made a 90° turn to the south. After another 10–15 seconds it abruptly turned east, then after a similar interval it turned again to the west. Soon it seemed to be stationary, but he noticed the light was growing dimmer until after 10 seconds it was no longer visible. Throughout the sighting he could hear no engine noise and until the end the light maintained a consistent brightness.

Nocturnal Light cases, 1965

Police Sgt. Benjamin ThompsonWanaque Reservoir, New Jersey. Police Sgt. Benjamin Thompson (right) of the Wanaque (N.J.) Reservoir Police watched a bright light performing fantastic maneuvers over the reservoir at 9:15 p.m. on October 10, 1966. He noticed a slight mist in the wake of its movements. It descended to 150 feet above the water, then shot upward. Thompson had also seen UFOs at the reservoir in January and March. Some teenagers watched a UFO in the area 2 nights later.

Wanaque Reservoir sightings, 1966

Shreveport lights, 1967Shreveport, Louisiana. On one spring evening in 1967, Centenary College Instructor John O. Williams took his astronomy class to an open field on the Shreveport, Louisiana, campus to observe the sky. They saw a bright orange light precisely due west of them at an elevation of about 30° approaching at a modest angular rate of 1° per second. It remained silent even as it passed above them. A second light, much fainter and blue in color, was following it. The second light turned away and moved south into the distance. The orange light continued eastward, then performed a tight 180° turn and returned to the zenith. It accelerated west and disappeared from view. After about 20 minutes it disappeared, followed by a thread of rippling blue light. The thread broke into 7–8 individual blue lights, which exited in several directions.

John O. Williams, “Louisiana Lights in 1967,” IUR 22, no. 4 (Winter 1997–1998)

Near Lansing, Michigan. Four children and an adult are in a car driving north on Michigan Highway 52 about 15 miles east of Lansing, Michigan, at about 9:30 p.m. in early June 1967. The driver noticed an odd light moving west to east, so she pulled to the side of the road and they all got out to watch it as it passed overhead. It was a circular red light that appeared to pulsate. They could hear no sound, even though there was no road traffic at the time. As the light approached the eastern horizon it stopped and a smaller light like a bright star moved toward it from the south and seemed to enter the larger red light, which then disappeared.

Nocturnal Light cases, 1967