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In February, there were reports of an unidentified flying object in the sky near Vancouver, Washington. But, the mystery has been solved for now. According to the owner, a Chinese-made kite was in the sky that night.
During the UFO sightings last month, people reported seeing something high in the night sky. Reports stated that the object danced strangely back and forth and emitted vivid blasts of flowing colors, sort of like large fireworks displays.
The Chinese kite, with parachute fabric in a triangle shape, stands 7 1/2 feet tall and has a wingspan of 13 feet. It is decorated with hundreds of LED lights in every bright color imaginable. The battery powered lights display many different flashing light patterns while the kite floats quietly in the sky. According to the kite’s owner, the first minute of the patterns depict the rising sun, and then there are four more minutes of other patterns and it repeats the cycle.
After seeing a news story about the sightings, kite owner and operator Mike—he did not want to give his last name for privacy purposes– realized that many people thought his kite could be from outer space. He invited a news team to demonstrate the kite. Shortly after nightfall, Mike carried his kite to the center of a park for a news crew.
Kites this large are different than the kites that kids fly on windy days. The reel to Mike’s kite is the size of a small child’s bicycle wheel. He’s harnessed with it, over his shoulders and around his back, to anchor against the wind’s pull. The reel has a big hand crank and two brakes and is wound with 300-pound-test braided string, enough to fly it to 5,000 feet, nearly a mile high. When it is windy, the kite also has a 60 foot tail, also covered with lights, to weigh it down. With the tail attached, the kite has 480 LED lights.
Federal Aviation Administration regulations for kites mandate that they stay lower than 500 feet from the ground within a controlled airspace, or in the close vicinity of an airport. Mike isn’t breaking any rules by flying his kite. He certainly is causing a buzz though.