Islanders and tourists report UFO sighting near beachside wedding

Mitch MacDonald
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Chinese lanterns

STANHOPE — A handful of Islanders and tourists thought they witnessed their first UFO sighting last week.

Well, almost.

It turns out the UFOs were actually special fireworks associated with a wedding ceremony in Stanhope.

Reports began swirling to The Guardian after a number of individuals on the province’s north shore believed they had seen little green men’s ships in the sky on Saturday, July 16.

“There’s nothing I’ve ever seen that comes close to this,” remarked one individual who witnessed the unidentified flying object. “It goes to show that we are not in charge.”

Many close to the Stanhope area reported seeing groups of three or four round spherical globes lifting above the trees and into the calm night’s horizon.

One person inspected the globes with binoculars and said they looked to be on fire. Others tried to take pictures of the unknown objects.

About 40 of the globes lifted into the sky, in what some described as a “procession,” resembling a religious ceremony.

The globes would hover for a few moments before floating towards the direction of Charlottetown and gradually fading from the sky. While no one who witnessed the near-phenomenon could tell how high up the objects were, all agreed they weren’t any type of plane or aircraft.

“Anything we (humans) have that flies makes noise,” said one individual.

“There were no UFOs that any of us saw, just fireworks,” said Audrey Firth, general manager of the Stanhope Beach Resort and Conference Centre, with a chuckle. “They were quite lovely, but someone on staff said there’s a type of firework that does look like a UFO.”

While technically not a type of fireworks, it turned out that a certain sky lantern, or “Chinese lantern,” is a tradition at many weddings.

Candles are placed in the paper lanterns, which lift into the air once heated to a certain temperature. The balloons eventually burn out and dissolve in the air.

Indeed, there was a wedding at the resort Saturday.

The last reported UFO sighting on P.E.I. was in March during the East Coast Music Awards in Charlottetown.

Many had phoned RCMP about seeing large glowing lights in the sky. Those lights turned out to be caused by the massive ECMA spotlights shining outside the Delta Prince Edward.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: STANHOPE, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Josh from Away
    July 27, 2011 - 17:25

    There are definitely some inaccuracies in this article. How do I know. Well, I'm the guy responsible. First of all, they're not fireworks. they're not any kind of firework. They're not illegal. They're not a fire hazard. They are essentially hot air balloons that drift nearly 1000 feet in the air and burn up in the sky. Also, they were not realeased from the stanhope resort, or associated with the wedding there that night. My wife and I had our wedding ceremony at the stanhope Friday night (the 15th), and had intended to realease them then, however the windy conditions made it impossible, so a small group of friends and family released the paper lanterns (again, not fireworks) from bayshore road Saturday evening, on the bay side of the road, so they would travel out over the water. They were absolutely beautiful and amazing to watch take off and drift up into the night sky. Sorry to all the UFOligists out there who thought they'd proven that "we are not in charge" or who believe that anything man made that flies must make noise.

  • get out of my jello tree
    July 26, 2011 - 14:24

    Holy smokes DAVID... you'd be fun at a party.

  • Sue
    July 26, 2011 - 13:04

    Quite a coincidence but Saturday evening near Charlottetown, there was a huge black wall of cloud ,high winds,and rain that only lasted a short time.but as my son was taking cover...he said OMG I saw a UFO...lol. Along with Sundays funnel cloud..there was a lot of action in the sky this weekend

  • THE OPEN WINDOW
    July 26, 2011 - 12:12

    Ya BOB FROM ONTARIO...gimmie Bampton or Bramalea or Oshawa or London or Toronto any old day...WAIT what was I thinking...2.5 million people in T.O. alone ,can't breathe/see the Tower cause ' of the smog,42 celsius with beautiful Toronto Island & Lake Ontario to cool of off in(mind the floating body parts),gangs,hookers, junkies.There is of course "cottage country" a pleasant little 3 hour jaunt one way on the 401... ya,what WAS I thinking.

  • Jimmy
    July 26, 2011 - 11:51

    Lighten up David...they are just fireworks. I'm sure your nieghbours love you!

  • bob from ontario
    July 26, 2011 - 10:48

    WHAT if it caused a forest fire ............WAIT what was i thinking all the trees are clear cut in P E I

    • Resident Kane
      July 26, 2011 - 11:36

      That is a huge misconception. There is plenty of woods that can burn and burn fast, the problem is the size of the Island cannot sustain a large forestry industry due to the time it takes to grow them back..40+ years..The size of some of the forest fires in ON (back in 04/05 i thing) were the size of PEI. Or a more recent one to compare to would be Slave Lake..and yeah you better bet there are a lot of clear cut areas there..

    • LA
      July 26, 2011 - 13:58

      That's weird I'm totally surrounded as we speak.

    • Dudette From P.E.I.
      July 28, 2011 - 09:12

      Um Bob, obviously you haven't been following P.E.I.'s weather very carefully this summer. We have had probably a handful of sunny days this summer. The rest have been rain. Not a chance these paper lanterns would have caused a forest fire with this weather. You just keep on enjoying your +35 and over temps up there - sure hope no one lights paper lanterns in your area. And to you David, be thankful your neighbor hasn't shot one of those fireworks right through one of your windows "by accident". You sound like a joy to have as a neighbor!

  • gathering of the minds
    July 26, 2011 - 10:44

    A handful of folks couldn't figure this one out on their own...just wondering how many,if any of the handful tied up 911...and to " it goes to show we are not in charge"....pleeeeeeze,they're kites with candles without strings !

  • David
    July 26, 2011 - 10:35

    I like how people reacted they saw something they couldn't recognize in a few seconds so obviously it must be aliens from another world!!! By the way aren't fireworks illegal? I'm guessing not since a neighbour near me has been shooting them off almost nightly for almost two years and this after many calls to the Charlottetown City Police about it. I even know which house it is but still it goes on year after year.