Wes Snyder, a visual artist in North Carolina, posted a two-minute and 41-second time lapse video made up of thousands of still images on YouTube late last week showing the peculiar phenomenon.
Snyder told The Sun in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that he’s been taking pictures of the night sky five to six times a week every week for about five years.
With so many outdoor adventures and photos, Snyder became accustomed to seeing things like plane trails, which he said is nothing like the swirling red trails of light he saw.
“Typically, plane trails are a brighter white and straight. These were solid red lights that made a 180-degree turn. I don’t know any plane that can do that. Even acrobat planes can’t do it.”
Since he started his nighttime photography, Snyder said he saw similar red, circular lights twice, but “both times they were such a small, fleeting subset of one still image that it wasn’t worth publishing .
“This was the clearest image I’ve ever taken of it.”
What is seen in the video is a combination of photos taken with a 10-second exposure, with one second in between, he said.
They were taken at the end of September and posted on YouTube on January 27 because it takes lots of time to go through up to 10,000 still images from each night.
It’s important to note where Snyder took his photos.
He sets up multiple cameras off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which are barrier islands off the coast of the coast that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland.
Snyder said that’s where the sky is almost always clear, so it’s a good location to grab time-lapse photos during the night.
In the distance – a little more than 100 miles away – is Langley Air Force Base, so it’s not uncommon to see lights associated with an aircraft.
But these images stand out.
Because Snyder has been outside so often, he said he can tell the difference between what plane trails look like and helicopter trails look like. There were a couple of times, he photographed missile launch exercises in the distance.
But these swirling red lights were different than anything he’s ever seen and they couldn’t be seen with the naked eye.
The short answer is, Snyder doesn’t know what these lights are.
Comments on his video try to explain what the lights could be, but he said nothing really fits, which has sparked extraterrestrial visitor theories.
If he had to guess, Snyder, who told The Sun he’s a “skeptic” when it comes to UFOs and alien life, said he thinks it could be some kind of government experiment from the base.
“But I know when I got something different, and it’s nothing that I’ve seen this clearly before,” the visual artist said.
“I want to keep investigating and try to catch it again and figure out what it is.”