Sunday, May 25, 2008
Red lights in Tinley Park skies - UFO Hunters to land...
'UFO Hunters' to land in Tinley'
Red lights in the sky - Investigators to search for evidence, witnesses...
By Kristen Schorsch, Staff writer
When a trio of red lights shaped like a triangle appeared a few years ago in Tinley Park skies, they stopped drivers in their tracks, strained the necks of neighbors at barbecues and drew workers outside to gawk at the clouds.
One resident nicknamed the trio of lights the "Cleanup Crew." Some people said the lights moved, others said they were still. They were spotted three times in 2004 and 2005.
Tinley Park residents Wally Bekta and Diane and Dave Palagi witnessed the Tinley Park lights two years ago. The three were sitting in Bekta's back yard and say the lights were flares tied to helium balloons. "We could see the strings," Bekta said.
Were they helium balloons and flares suspended by a string of rope? A spacecraft, perhaps, from a galaxy far, far away?
The sightings have garnered Tinley Park - population nearly 60,000 - national attention from those who believe we are not alone in this universe, and skeptics who poke fun.
They were the topic of a daylong panel at the Tinley Park Convention Center in March. Now they'll be the subject of an episode of The History Channel's "UFO Hunters," in which a team of investigators tries to separate fact and fiction when it comes to unidentified flying objects landing in your back yard.
Since its debut in 2005, the show has examined cases including a deadly dispute between Mexican and U.S. authorities about a collision between an unknown object and a civilian aircraft and whether the U.S. government is competing with extraterrestrials by using their downed spacecrafts to come up with modern technology, such as fiber optics and night vision, among other topics, according to the show's Web site at www.history.com.
But the "UFO Hunters" crew's visit to Tinley Park is top secret. So much so, the filmmakers won't divulge any details, not even when the team will scour this south suburb looking for evidence and witnesses.
Tinley Park resident Wally Bekta laughed when he was asked about what he saw in 2005 and voiced the eerie sounds, "do do do do do do." Then he realized he might get on TV.
"They were flares on balloons," said Bekta, 48, who was hosting some friends at a firepit in his back yard in the 8200 block of Queen Victoria Lane. "I spotted them. They just came across the house next to us over the peak of the roof, no more than 50 feet over the peak of the house. They were climbing and rising. We got a very good look at them."
Does he believes in UFOs? "No."
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