Trainingmaneuvers often mistaken for UFOs in SOUTHERN OHIO
Date of original press release: Thursday, October 25, 2001

On occasion, Ohio Air National Guard jets will conduct mock combatoperations over a vast portion of Southern Ohio in airspace known as theBuckeye M.O.A. (Military Operations Area). Because flares are sometimesused, these training maneuvers will frequently result in UFO complaintsby concerned citizens.

From various Air National Guard bases, including headquarters inSpringfield, Ohio, fighter jets will sometimes intentionally deploy bright,dazzling flares. These flares can be used for battlefield illuminationor as a countermeasure to divert heat-seeking missiles from targeting theirairplanes. These bright flares, people often report, are seen singularlyor grouped in a chain. Some even report the jets 'chasing' the dazzlingand multi-colored lights.

Previous Southern Ohio events happened in October of 1996 and Marchof 1997, resulting in police dispatchers and newspaper offices being swampedwith UFO calls from concerned citizens. In March of 1996, mass UFO sightingswere reported from Maysville, Kentucky to Wilmington, Ohio. During thisactivity, one Ross County resident videotaped a flare chain above AdamsCounty, Ohio in the vicinity of Peebles. This videotape was later featuredon the TV show "SIGHTINGS" and seemed to baffle photoanalyst Jeff Sainio.This video piece, accompanied by spooky music, was considered as a possibleindicator of "extraterrestrial visitation."

During independent investigation of the many Southern Ohio UFO complaints,an officer with the Ohio Air National Guard was contacted in late Octoberof 1996 and he confirmed their units' participation in combat trainingmaneuvers and flare deployments over the Buckeye M.O.A. These flares deployedduring the maneuvers, he explained, might be thought of as 'UFOs' due toclear sky conditions in the spring and fall. He offered his comments fora June, 1997 television program UFO UPDATE: LIVE! produced by Bob Leiboldof Natural Light Productions.

A Batavia, Ohio woman vacationing at Rocky Fork Lake near Hillsboro,Ohio observed this activity on October 17, 2001 after 9:00 p.m. She reportedseeing two low-flying jets in tight formation heading northeast and travelingfast. Within moments, she saw a green colored light followed by a stringof four bright white lights that, she said, "amazed" her. At least twoothers at Rocky Fork Lake also observed the sky display. Before consultationwith UFO researchers on this issue, the Batavia, Ohio resident had fearedan unknown situation might be afoot and sought to report the matter tothe Rocky Fork Park Rangers and also to NASA headquarters.

A common point of concern expressed by many witnesses is the lackmention in the news media after sighting an impressive and seemingly mysteriousaerial event. Interestingly, news media offices will receive many UFO complaintsfrom concerned citizenry, yet generally do not report the many complaintsto the public in the form of news reportage. It is often thought this hesitancyto advise of UFO sightings could be due to an ideological aversion to theUFO topic. This approach is complicated by a common lack of awareness regardingthe military flare explanation.

Now more than ever, it is necessary for our pilots to be properlytrained. While many are aware that certain airspace above Southern Ohiois set aside for training operations, others are not. The public shouldbe aware that certain events taking place in our skies can be misunderstoodand many reported UFO sightings are often explainable.

If you would like more information about UFOs or to report a UFOsighting, contact KENNY YOUNG by E-mail at ""or call the Cincinnati UFO Hotline at 513-588-4548. Please visit the UFORESEARCH website at