A state police trooper in Raleigh County thought he was responding to a crank call early Thursday when he received a report of strange lights in the sky near the WV Turnpike. But Trooper John Ferda of the Beckley detachment discovered when he reached the scene in the Sand Branch area that the report was no hoax. Hovering in the sky over the turnpike was a cluster of bright lights.
"It looked like maybe two or three high-beam flashlights close together in a cluster. It was high enough to be above the horizon. It was not making any noise," Ferda said.
As Ferda and other police officers at the scene watched, the lights appeared to move from left to right, then dropped out of sight. Ferda said he observed the lights for nearly an hour before they disappeared. He and the other policemen went to an area near the WV Turnpike where the lights appeared to be coming from, but they could not find any source for the aerial show.
The lights had no distinct shape and did not appear to be attached to anything. "They were just there," Ferda said. Raleigh County airport officials said no aircraft was reported over the area at the time of the incident, which occurred around 2 a.m.
However, Ferda said he cannot accept the idea that the strange phenomenon may have been caused by extraterrestrial beings. "There's an explanation based in reality," he said.