Is covert technology used to create balls of light in the sky?

William C. Treurniet, December, 2011

Summary. Luminous orbs seen moving across the sky sometimes behave as if they are under intelligent control. This article discusses evidence that some orbs are made with covert technology which can create balls of glowing plasma in the atmosphere from a distance. The orbs appear also to be used as pixels for drawing three-dimensional objects in the sky. Plasma ball formations in the sky as well as some crop formations on the ground may be the result of clandestine research on control systems for creating and positioning the plasma balls.


For many years, mysterious luminous spherical objects, or orbs, have been seen in the sky. The orbs are usually white or orange in colour, but red, yellow and green orbs have been seen as well. Some have been explained as meteors entering the earth's atmosphere, while others have been attributed to mundane human activity such as the release of chinese lanterns. But many orbs are said to behave as if they are controlled by an intelligent agent. For example, they sometimes change direction like an aircraft, or several appear to cooperate to form patterns in the sky. The number of orbs in a sighting have ranged from a single orb to hundreds forming large "flotillas". The latter may contain subgroups that appear to drift in different directions across the sky.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) acknowledged in a summary report written in 2000, that unexplained luminous objects in the sky have occasionally been seen. However, "the conditions for the initial formation and sustaining of what are apparently buoyant charged masses, which can form, separate, merge, hover, climb, dive and accelerate are not completely understood". The report suggests that such objects are likely glowing plasmas resulting from particular natural configurations of electromagnetic fields. The authors recommend an investigation into the use of such plasmas for novel military applications. For example, since such charged masses can appear as visual, infra-red and radar targets, they could be useful as decoy targets, or as passive electromagnetic spectrum energy-absorbers. Also mentioned is Russia's interest in plasma technologies related to "very high power energy generation, RF weapons, impulse radars, and air vehicle drag and radar signature reduction or control".

It is not obvious how to create plasma balls remotely with the science and technology in the public domain. But covert military research often has the resources needed to put it well ahead of academic research in certain areas. Given Britain and Russia's interest in plasma-related technologies, and given the huge defence budget of the USA, we should not be surprised to see the results of such research in the sky. However, differentiating between plasmas generated by military technology and the natural plasmas acknowledged in the MoD report may be difficult. Since the presumed research remains covert, we may be able to discriminate only on the basis of circumstantial evidence.

Some orbs are man-made plasma balls

Recently, such evidence has come to light in several videos of the sky over Reading, England. The video camera mounted on a tripod was aimed at the sky and allowed to record unattended for as long as 20 minutes. In the first video, truncated to show only the relevant segment, an orb suddenly appears in a cloud and moves very rapidly in a random pattern for about nine sec before it disappears. During this time it briefly enters a cloud (Figure 1), thus allowing an estimate of its altitude. The speed of the orb during this particular frame was so great that it created a streak in the image.

Figure 1. Left panel: Cloud without orb; Right panel: Cloud with orb streak 

A calculation using the cloud ceiling and the camera's field of view gave an enormous estimated velocity of 48 km/sec, and the orb's diameter was calculated to be about 5-10 m (Treurniet, 2011a). The video shows that the orb behaved much like a moving spot of light on a wall from a rotating flashlight, including almost instantaneous reversals in direction of movement. Assuming the dynamics of the flashlight, the measured speed of the orb in the video could be produced by a ground-based projector rotating at a more manageable rate of 6-7 revolutions per sec. To achieve the calculated tangential velocity without leaving a trail, the plasma decay time after excitation had ceased must have been almost instantaneous.

The ball of light was capable of sudden changes in direction among the clouds while travelling at more than 100 times the speed of sound. This kind of performance is impossible for a self-propelled heavy object unless its mass or inertia were negated. Since that cannot yet be done with current physics, it is much more likely that a plasma ball was remotely created and manipulated by a device on the ground. How this might have been done is not in the public domain, but it is at least within the realm of possibility.

A second video showed a spot of light in the sky dancing randomly around a mean position for about six minutes (Treurniet, 2011b). This behaviour is consistent with a projector on the ground vibrating slightly during its operation and causing jitter in the plasma ball's position. Perhaps the vibration was caused by an idling vehicle carrying the device. Again, the rapid small movements would be possible only if the plasma decayed almost instantaneously after excitation ceased.

Drawing with orbs

A number of reports also mention luminous non-spherical shapes. In some cases, more complex objects appear to be constructed out of luminous balls of light. For example, a photograph of a fireball passing over Reading, England, shows what appear to be three connected orange-yellow orbs arranged in a triangular pattern (Figure 2). The colors are typical of plasmas made of nitrogen and oxygen found in abundance in the atmosphere. The shape of the object suggests that the technology enables plasma balls to be created relatively close to each other.

Figure 2. Enlarged 'fireball' object. 

This ability to arrange multiple orbs in close proximity was also seen in a third video of the sky over Reading. The daytime video shows an initial arrangement of three white orbs at the vertices of a small triangle (see Figure 3 take from Treurniet, 2011d). The triangle is transformed into a square following the rapid arrival of a fourth orb. The triangle and square arrangements are shown in the left and right panels of the figure, respectively.

Figure 3. A fourth orb joining an arrangements of three orbs (left to right). 

A video taken by a family on vacation in London, England, shows a larger object which at times took the appearance of a parachute. The frames in Figure 4 were taken from the video and show that the object appears solid from a distance. However, under magnification it seems to be made of a string of adjacent balls of light. Such an arrangement does not seem to be a natural phenomenon and is more likely an aggregation of man-made plasma balls.

Figure 4. Video frames showing a structure over London. 

Such structures have also been photographed in Italy. Figure 5 shows a curved shape similar to the one observed over London, as well as degraded versions that show the presence of individual orbs. These images were taken from the video documentary, The Urzi UFO Case - a UFOTV production that tells the story of multiple UFO sightings photographed by Antonio Urzi near Milan, Italy.

Figure 5. Video frames showing a similar structure over Italy. 

Also from Italy, the left panel of Figure 6 shows a shape like an insect larva, while the right panel shows a magnified view of the same object. The witness reported that "The object changes shape continuously, from edgy to smooth and seemed liquid". Again, the object seems to be constructed of smaller elements, some of which appear to be orbs.

Figure 6. Image of another structure over Italy. 

We can infer from these observations that a technology has been developed for drawing complex objects in three-dimensional space using balls of plasma as pixels. We know that images on a 2D computer screen improve in quality as the pixel size decreases and display resolution increases. The quality of a 3D drawing in the sky would also improve as the size of the plasma ball decreases. Therefore, we might expect to see even more realistic objects drawn in the sky when the technology is able to create smaller plasma balls in closer proximity.

Recently reported sightings of complex shapes suggest that a higher resolution is already possible. The objects in Figure 7 were seen in the USA. These appear more like solid objects than those seen in the UK and Italy.

Hoboken, NJ Hoboken, NJ Mesa, AZ
Figure 7. Images of higher-resolution structures seen in the USA. 

Many variations of these shapes (found here) have been photographed in Mesa, Arizona. A number of these images reproduced in Figure 8 show objects that often have a complex organic shape, yet maintain an appearance of cohesiveness and solidity. A YouTube video showing the individual objects may be seen here.

Figure 8. More shapes seen near Mesa, AZ. 

The video is accompanied by a written description of a daylight sighting of one small, nearby object "about 15 feet away from my location and about 8 feet up in altitude". The observations are consistent with what one might expect from a tightly controlled volume of plasma. "...the oval-like shape object appeared almost fluorescent bright white with a hint of gray, yet it also appeared to be almost translucent with a frosty white color and possible yellow. The object was randomly jutting slightly outwards from it's oval-like surface and different random parts of its surface small bumps that sporadically went outwards slightly then quickly back to its original surface shape. It almost seemed like something was squirming within the almost transparent yet luminous jello-like mass that was slightly changing shape with protrusion occurring randomly and disappearing." The sighting was preceded nine minutes earlier by a flyover of an unmarked helicopter at a "typical" altitude.


A pattern is emerging which suggests that covert technology is now being used to paint three-dimensional digital images in the sky by creating small balls of plasma as pixels. However, the science in the public domain does not easily explain how this might be done. Visible emissions from plasma in the upper atmosphere have been achieved using a large array of antennae built to stimulate the ionosphere (e.g., Kosch et al., 2004), but such an apparatus is unlikely to create the low altitude plasma balls often reported.

The expected properties of plasmas are not typically associated with most observations of lights in the sky. Condon and Sullivan (1968, p. 750) discuss views expressed at a plasma UFO conference. Participants with backgrounds in theoretical or experimental plasma physics agreed that containment of plasmas by magnetic fields under atmospheric conditions would likely not last more than a second or two. A large plasma would be expected to be hot, produce ozone and the smell of nitrous oxide, create convective air currents, cause electrical and acoustic noise, and be accompanied by unusual meteorological conditions. This suggests that balls of light are now created and maintained by a new technology which may even be based on a new physics. The observed effects are generated near populated areas using seemingly inconspicuous equipment.

The locations of just the sightings discussed above tell us where some of this development may be taking place. One site is likely near Reading, England, another near Milan, Italy, and others in the northeastern and southwestern USA. These might be independent activities, since the quality of the "paintings" in the USA are different from those in the other two countries.

Balls of light have also been associated with the appearance of some crop formations. In one such case, Haselhoff (2001) analyzed a simple crop circle and found that the elongation of the flattened plant nodes varied monotonically from the center of the circle to the edge. He found that the pattern of node elongations was fit very well by a model of a source of electromagnetic radiation suspended 4.1 m above the center of the circle. The model implies that the plants fell over because of local heating of the moisture in the plant nodes by the radiation. A similar conclusion was reached earlier by Levingood and Talbot (1999).

Such an effect on plants would have offered an opportunity to plasma researchers to practice control over positioning the ball of plasma. To maintain secrecy, they would have needed an application where the plasma ball had freedom of movement in the atmosphere, yet did not attract attention to who was responsible. Creation of crop formations offers a way to clandestinely measure the accuracy of positioning a plasma ball. Attribution of the formations to aliens or to crop artists with stomping boards would provide the necessary misdirection. Flyovers of new crop formations by military helicopters have been observed, and these would have obtained photographs for assessing the accuracy of the plasma ball control system.

The MoD report suggested that orbs prior to 2000 may have been caused by particular configurations of naturally occurring electromagnetic fields. But there is considerable evidence that we are being visited by a nonhuman intelligence (Dolan, 2009; Kean, 2010), and perhaps some orbs appear because of their activities. If so, researchers may be working to understand and replicate that capability. The appearance of plasma balls and plasma ball formations in the sky as well as some crop formations on the ground may have resulted from a military research program, perhaps designed to understand extraterrestrial technology.


Condon, E.U. and Sullivan, W., 1968, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, Bantam Books, NY. See also an online electronic edition published by National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS), 1999.

Defence Intelligence Analysis Staff, UK Ministry of Defence, 2000, Unidentified aerial phenomena in the UK air defence region: Executive summary, Scientific & Technical Memorandum, No. 55/2/00.

Dolan, R.M., 2009, UFOs & the National Security State: The Cover-up Exposed, 1973-1991. Keyhole Publishing Co., Rochester, NY.

Haselhoff, E.H., 2001, The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles, Frog Ltd.

Kean, L., 2010, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, Harmony Books, NY.

Levingood, W.C. and Talbot, N.P., 1999, Dispersion of energies in worldwide crop formations, Physiologia Plantarum, 105, 615-624.