CARTERET, N.J., July 17, 2001 -- -- Something dazzled the people of New Jersey this weekend. Something bright, high in the sky.
"It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen," said eyewitness Joe Malvasio. "They were just hovering, and then they just disappeared. One at a time, each one started to fade until they were gone."
Some witnesses thought the phenomenon may have been a sign of an alien presence. Others called it a miracle. But no one knows just what it was — all they can do is attempt to describe it.
"I saw 16 golden-orange colored lights, several in a V-type formation," said Lt. Daniel Tarrant of the Carteret Police Department. "Others were scattered around the V."
See Chris Wallace's Internet Exposé on the UFO phenomenon.
At least 15 people contacted Tarrant's department to report the strange lights. But Tarrant and other police officials are at a loss to explain just what it was hovering in their skies.
Most callers described the same scenario: golden-orange lights moving quietly, some say beautifully, across the night sky over the Arthur Kill river. They described how the lights flickered and how they seemed to vanish into the night, one by one.
Some drivers even pulled off the New Jersey Turnpike for a better look.
But even more amazing is the explanation: there is none, not as of yet. According to The Associated Press, nearby Newark Airport reported no unusual flight patterns, and a National Weather Service meteorologist could find nothing in the weather to explain the lights.
"It's really amazing," said Veronica Bagley, whose family captured the lights on video.
Paulette Holmes said whatever it was, she was unafraid.
"I wasn't alarmed because it was peaceful," she said.
Patty Ercallino, another witness, took it a step further.
"Very peaceful, very serene, very beautiful," she said. "I think we witnessed some type of miracle."
ABC station WABC in New York contributed to this report.