ROCKLAND — Life is stranger than fiction and local author Neal Parker, who published The Lobsterman and The UFO in 2007 will probably see a boost in book sales after we covered Rockland lobsterman’s strange encounter with a triangle of mysterious lights on July 14.
Ty Pendleton, 23, lives close to the Rockland ferry terminal. He was just getting home from work when he spotted a formation of lights in the sky moving in an easterly direction. “It might have been 9:00, 9:15. I was walking up to my doorstep when those bright lights caught my attention. So, I took out my phone really quick, but it only had about five percent battery life so I captured a photo and about 20 seconds of video. As I’m recording it I’m thinking, wow this is not an airplane, it’s got no sound. I can see right through it. It’s not like a stealth bomber. I even called local airport at Owls Head and Bangor asked if they had any record of anything flying in that formation and they said they didn’t.”
His sister posted the video to her YouTube account, which went viral. Soon after, Portland news station WCSH6 interviewed Pendleton and reposted the video, before someone uploaded the video to Reddit.
“From there it’s exploded,” he said. “I’ve been getting all sorts of messages left and right from people on my Facebook account,” he said. “I was up to 1 in the morning answering people’s messages. Some ask what I really think it is or tell me what they think it is.”
Asked what he now thinks it is, Pendleton takes a laconic view of the situation.
“I honestly don’t know, because I don’t even pay attention to that kind of stuff,” he said. “That’s why they call it an unidentified flying object. My sister and brother in law are kind of into it though and they found an article of a man in Orrington who had a sighting exactly what I saw, only he didn’t have a camera to record it at the time, so he drew a picture.”
As of yet, he’s only gotten messages from UFO enthusiasts, but has not heard from anyone in the government or military.
“A couple of UFO fan pages have shared my video as well. It’s everywhere.”
Pendleton added that now that the initial interest of this video has passed, he would prefer to maintain his privacy and not have to answer more Facebook queries.
Critics of the sighting have posted on Facebook that they think it’s a trick of the camera capturing streetlights.
To that, Pendleton answered: “As you can see in my video, those three lights were moving in an east direction. There’s one light yes, a fourth tiny light moving around and that was a reflection from my camera, but the other three lights in the video, are clearly separate.”
Scott Mitchell, the director of UMaine’s Astronomy Center, said in the WCSH6 article that he believed the lights were a weather phenomenon to which Pendleton responded: “I totally disagree with that. He didn’t have a simple explanation for it either.
“I don’t think it’s alien related, but I don’t know what it was.It was definitely a flying object, but it’s a mystery,” said Pendleton
Pendleton said he thinks it’s strange that he is the only person in Rockland who saw the lights and recorded them. He thought more people would have seen it as well.
“I always like to look up at the sky,” he said. “I think I’ll be looking up a lot more from now on.”
However, before he leaves the house, he’ll be making sure his phone is fully charged.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org