Mystery Lights in North Carolina Spark Internet Speculation

At one point in the video, a second pair of lights appears prior to the first two fading away.  (Image credit: crlarkin/YouTube)

At one point in the video, a second pair of lights appears prior to the first two fading away. (Image credit: crlarkin/YouTube)

Video of a mysterious set of lights posted to YouTube on November 24th has sparked a wave of speculation regarding their origin.

The video was originally posted to the YouTube channel of poster ‘cslarkin,’ before being picked up and shared by popular viral channel ‘ViralHog.’

Dates given in the separate channels’ descriptions of the video contradict each other.

According to the video description on cslarkin’s channel, the phenomenon was witnessed “east off of Cape Lookout [North Carolina] on 11/13/18, roughly between 9-10PM Eastern,” but ViralHog claims the event took place “on the evening of Tuesday, November 20."

The addition of licensing information for ViralHog to cslarkin’s YouTube description indicates that the parties were in communication, and presumably the date was miscommunicated.

The full description on ViralHog reads:

I was fishing on the beach at Cape Lookout on the evening of Tuesday, November 20 around 8PM and was there about an hour with nothing unusual happening. Around 9PM I rebaited my hooks, cast them out into the surf, and walked back to my chair. When I turned back to the ocean, I saw a light in the sky. The light is very bright, stationary, and silent. Over the course of the next hour it faded in and out, as well as sometimes becoming multiple lights. Once it went away completely for about 20 minutes and then reappeared much closer to my position. This video is from that time range. Again, once it appeared, it would fade in and out and become up to four lights at once, but never changed its overall position.

The video prompted tens of thousands of views and many theories regarding the nature of the phenomenon; speculation included everything from oil rig lights to flares to alien spacecraft—although it was quickly pointed out that there are no oil rigs off the coast of North Carolina.

"Those are parachute flares," YouTube commenter Thomas Parsons said. "I have seen the same a hundreds of times in Afghanistan. The lower ones drift down and go out. Two more are launched and then do the same. We kept our perimeter lit all night with those things.”

Military parachute flares are sometimes mistaken for UFOs, with recent examples having occurred over Lake Ontario in 2017 and San Diego this past August.

They are known to be silent, and can appear to hover as they slowly descend before burning out.

Directly west across Onslow Bay from Cape Lookout is the 246-square-mile United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune training facility. The base encompasses 14 miles of coastal beaches used to train troops for amphibious assaults, and does make use of flares in military training exercises.

Tobias Wayland