A unique UFO sighting has turned a skeptic from Illinois into a true believer.

The incident occurred earlier last month in Lake County, IL and was recently reported to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the authority that deals with reports of UFO sightings and encounters. On December 18, at approximately 5:30 PM, the witness was in her back yard when she noticed a peculiar light in the sky. Although it appeared too bright to be a star or planet, the observer ignored it until it began exhibiting a strange behavior.

Thought it was a star or planet, but then it started flashing and then started moving more to my right,” she told MUFON investigators. “Thought it was a satellite, but thought it was too large to be one.”

Intrigued by the movement, flashes and pulses the UFO emitted, the witness took out her phone and zoomed in on the object. This allowed her to see the UFO was actually made up of five smaller orbs rotating around a common center. These orbs then merged to form a single object which then separated into five smaller objects and so on.

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Photo submitted by the witness shows the UFO is made up of smaller orbs.

The witness claims the orb UFO kept disintegrating and reassembling itself for the better part of two hours before slowly vanishing behind a treeline. Shaken by the experience she could not explain, the witness contacted MUFON and filed a report the following day. She also submitted five photos she managed to take.

The case was examined by MUFON examiner and State Section Director James Wolford, who classified the case as “unknown.” This qualification is given to any incident that cannot be explained through natural phenomena or known technology.

“The complex structure and behavior of the object rules out natural phenomena,” Wolford’s report states. “This was something artificial with technology that may be beyond man-made construction. My disposition for this case is Unknown – Other.”

Skeptics will claim this was just a drone or group of drones with powerful lights but several aspects of the sighting could dismantle this explanation. First of all, the autonomy of commercial drones is still low. Adding powerful lights to a drone would drain the battery life even more and the witness said she was a spectator for two hours and the object was already in the sky by then. Not many drones can stay up in the sky for 3 hours and that still leaves the assemble/reassemble issue open.

No man-made drone can split itself into multiple fragments while flying and still be able to function, let alone reassemble itself. In this particular case, five drones would have been needed to perform the synchronized aerial maneuvers the witness reported. We are now talking about five skilled operators flying the drones during nighttime without crashing into each other, for a long period of time. Seems too hard to pull off.

Another scenario would do away with the human operators in favor of a group of autonomous drones exhibiting swarm behavior. But this would go beyond what the average consumer is able to afford and into research/military territory. And this begs the question: why would the military deploy a flock of drones in the backwoods of Lake County? If panic is their aim, they would have tested them over densely-populated areas. If secrecy be their game, there would have been numerous other places where absolutely no witnesses would have been present.

So the drone hypothesis has shaky knees, it would seem.

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Zoomed photo shows the 5 orbs have coalesced into one.

However, this playful behavior is usually reported in sightings involving orb UFO. These spheric enigmas routinely act as if guided by intelligence and curiosity, often interacting with one another or the surrounding environment. Most witnesses in orb sightings claim they felt the objects were trying to communicate with them. What message would they convey? Do they choose to appear or are encounters random?

While many are looking for answers to these questions, very few can say whether orb UFOs are living entities or artificial machines. The way they behave and function could support both theories. Since the only blueprint for life that we know involves Earthly organic matter, it would be unwise to think life cannot manifest itself through other mediums. Orbs could very well be living, energetic beings with a will of their own.

Or they could be probes deployed from larger UFOs to investigate the terrain and oversee human activity. No one’s ever caught one so, until somebody does, we are left wondering whether we’re really alone or not.