A glowing light hovered in the early-morning sky over Franklin.
Large and bright, the object seemed to pulsate and give off colored waves from the edges. Suddenly, the object ascended rapidly as an airplane passed by.
Other reports from throughout the county include strange lights in a dipper formation over Greenwood, bouncing orbs over Whiteland and orange triangular aircraft that make otherworldly whooshing sounds.
When local residents see something in the sky that they can’t explain, they call the Mutual UFO Network. The nationwide organization receives dozens of similar reports every year of unusual lights in the night sky.
The group is dedicated to tracking sightings of unidentified flying objects and investigating the causes, whether those are from nearby aircraft or something potentially extraterrestrial.
“It’s too much to say, ‘Where is this from?’ The best that we can do is thoroughly research it to the end,” said David MacDonald, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network. “You rule out a satellite. You rule out a comet. You rule out a shooting star. Then all you have left is ‘What could this be?’”
Representatives from the network will be at the White River branch of the Johnson County Public Library on Saturday to discuss the evidence they’ve found and how to be an investigator.
“There’s all of these reality shows about ghost hunters and UFO hunters. That’s something that people are interested in, but I thought we could take what they see on these shows and give them a little bit more meat-and-potatoes background on what these groups do,” said David Allen, adult services librarian at the White River branch.
The Mutual UFO Network has collected more than 30,000 reports of unidentified flying objects since it was founded in 1969. Almost all are strange lights that have shown up in the sky, Although plane crashes, weather balloons and completely unexplainable occurrences have been recorded, as well.
Since 2006, Johnson County has been named in 20 such reports. Bright lights, orange fireballs and bouncing orbs are common. On one occasion, a person in Greenwood reported a thin, blue line of light traveling quickly just above the horizon.