Around 10:45 p.m., Maria, who is vice president of the Suburban Essex Chamber of Commerce, and her husband, Eddie, pulled into the driveway of their Baldwin Avenue home. She noticed two girls running down the street, giggling, covering their heads with newspapers, as it started to rain.
All of a sudden, she noticed a bright orange light in the sky, like “fire.” Initially, she thought it was a plane. But there were at least a dozen of them, hovering, too low to be airplanes. She described them as “huge, orange discs in the sky… coming three seconds apart, effortlessly floating.”
Maria saw the objects move south, towards her home. They stopped in groups of two or three and turned east towards Newark. As they turned, the lights faded, she said. “You could just see their silhouettes.”
She yelled for Eddie to come back outside with a camera. She described him as a total skeptic, but he also witnessed the glowing orange orbs in the night sky. They woke their kids and called them outside to take a look. She said they took video, but it only caught images of white lights, not the glowing, orange orbs.
“I was so nervous. There are lots of things going through your mind,” said Maria, who wondered if the objects might attack.
She called the police immediately and asked if anyone else had reported the lights, and no one else had at the time. Maria also left three messages for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who directed her to the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Spaced Studies (BAASS). According to their website, persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact the reporting data collection center, BAASS.
While it sounds like something out of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Maria wasn’t the only local who noticed something in the sky Saturday night. Readers on Baristanet’s Facebook page left comments about it. Christopher John wrote, “I saw flashes of light that looked like fireworks or lightning but the weather was fine and their was no noise. It was by Brookdale park. Weird stuff.”
Nancy Laurencot said she saw it too, but thought it was lightening, and lost power from around 11:30 p.m. to 12:50 a.m.
People have offered Maria possible explanations for the event, other than paranormal activity. The site of the glowing orange orbs could have been sky lanterns. Or it’s possible that she and her husband witnessed a meteor shower, as there was one scheduled to happen around that time over North Jersey.
Maria said she wants to believe there is a rational, non-paranormal explanation for what she and her family saw, but is currently unconvinced. “How could it be that only our family saw this?” said Maria. “It was very mind blowing.”