My Orb Sighting

July 4th – I think the year was 2012. I was with my family shooting off some fireworks just outside our subdivision. It was fairly late, somewhere between 11 o’clock and midnight. Being slightly outside the city limits, there were quite a few others out shooting fireworks as well.

Off in the distance, I noticed a red light in the sky heading toward us. At first, I thought it was just a lingering ember from some of the fireworks going off around us, but it was lingering just a little too long.

As it continued to get closer, I could tell it was definitely not the remnants of a firework. I could also tell it was not an airplane, drone, or Chinese lantern.

It was a red, evenly illuminated sphere, about the size of a beach ball. It flew almost directly above us about 100 to 200 yards in altitude. The color was a deep red, almost like the red light you would see on top of a cell phone tower.

The orb’s illumination did not flicker or vary at all. Neither did its speed or direction, and it was completely silent.

The thing that really struck me was that the orb had this ‘solid’ feel to it. It was not wavering or gliding with the wind. It just seemed really dense and solid despite it’s small size.

The orb just continued on it’s path at a slow, steady speed until it was no longer visible. No fancy movements, no light speed acceleration, just slow, steady, solid movement off into the horizon.

Being interested in UFOs ever since I can remember, I was aware of the National UFO Reporting Center’s database (NUFORC). So I looked there over the next few days to see if anyone in the area reported something similar – and I was amazed. There seemed to be a greater-than-average number of orbs reported on July 4th all over the U.S.

Crunching the Orb Sighting Data for July 4th

Fast-forward to July 2016. I’m building this UFO database – maybe in part because of the strange orb sighting I had. The database is still very early in development, but I wanted to see what it could show concerning orb sightings on or around July 4th. So I loaded some additional data, derived from NUFORC, for UFO sightings occurring around July 4, 2015.

Here is a graph of the findings… (See the graph live in the interactive database)

UFO sightings by shape, filter for the dates between July 3rd and July 5th, 2015.

UFO sightings by shape, filtered for the dates between July 3rd and July 5th, 2015. Click the image to enlarge.


Orb shaped UFOs accounted for about 24% of all UFO sightings around July 4th in 2015. But notice that circular-shaped UFOs and fireballs fall in line right next to orbs at 21% and 19%, respectively.

Because there is not a standardized classification of UFO shapes, spherical-shaped UFOs are often tagged as circular, or fireballs, in various reporting systems. So, it’s within reason to consider that a large percentage UFOs reported as circular, or as fireballs, are referring to orbs as well.

This could mean that roughly 50% of all UFO sightings reported around July 4th, 2015 are orbs, which would make it a significantly higher percentage than the average.

The UFO Database

Of course this is just a simple analysis based on 2215 cases that are currently in the database. As I stated above, the database is still in the early stages of construction and I hope to have significantly more sightings cataloged in the near future.

There are plans to break the data down further as well. It seems that most of the orb sightings are orange, although my sighting was red. I would love to be able to query orbs by color, and by smaller regional areas, such as at the county level. And that will be possible in the future as development on the database continues.

Well, thanks for reading, and as always, I welcome any suggestions or comments.