FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Was it a rocket? A missile? A UFO?
Early risers who were out watching the New Year’s sunrise on the beach saw something.
“I knew what I was looking at was either a missile or a rocket,” says John Simard who was taking pictures of the sunrise in Fort Pierce.
“What I couldn’t understand was why was I seeing it in that area because there’s no launchpads out in the ocean.”
Several reported seeing the object with a fiery trail from Vero Beach to Jensen Beach in the moments before the sunrise.
“Looks like a rocket you know, could be aliens,” says Josh Plauche who looked at the photos from Fort Pierce.
“It’s very easy to speculate people think they see something,” said Sanford Manley, a former historian with the Strategic Air Command.
Manley says what people saw was actually the contrail of a plane being illuminated by the rising sun.
“The plane is very high catching the sunlight before the sun has come up therefore its glowing red,” Manley said.
He says the phenomenon typically occurs more often with planes during sunsets than sunrises.
This story was originally published by Matt Sczesny on WPTV in Palm Beach, Florida.