UFOs spotted over Breckenridge, but no investigation underway locally

Alli Langley
The National UFO Reporting Center included this photo in a report about unknown objects seen above Breckenridge on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.
The National UFO Reporting Center / Special to the Daily |

If you saw some unknown objects in the sky above Breckenridge on Friday, Oct. 3, you weren’t imagining things. Employees at both the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Breckenridge Police Department saw them too.

“We have no idea what that was, no clue,” said Taneil Ilano, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, on Sunday.

She described the objects as three tiny dots that were tough to see.

“They looked white or shiny only because the sun was in that area,” she said. “They were there for a little while, and then they were gone.”

The dots disappeared by about 1 p.m. Friday, said Colleen Goettelman, spokeswoman for the police department, on Monday.

Contrary to previous reports, she said neither the police nor the sheriff’s office are investigating the unknown objects, unless investigating means they walked outside on Friday to look at the sky.

Goettelman said the police received more calls about the UFOs from the news media than from members of the general public.

At the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which jokingly tracks Santa’s around-the-world journey every Christmas Eve, Major Beth Smith said the military defense agency isn’t tracking any anomalies and generally doesn’t do that.

She’s sure the objects have a simple, boring explanation, she said, but she didn’t know what it was and told a reporter to contact the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said Monday he has been trying to point people away from the FAA and toward the National UFO Reporting Center.

“We’re an aviation safety agency not a UFO tracking agency,” he said.

The National UFO Reporting Center’s website includes a report of the Oct. 3, Breckenridge sighting: “We suspect that the objects may be high-altitude, helium-filled balloons, launched for scientific purposes, although some of the witnesses have reported that they have seen military fighter aircraft approaching the objects. Similar objects were also reported from Bluffdale, Utah, on Thursday morning, October 2nd.”

The center’s website also says it was updated on Oct. 3 “with the posting of 272 new, or amended, reports, received since September 25th.”

The Mutual UFO Network also tracks UFO sightings, and its online database shows a report from 8 a.m. on Oct. 3 that says three orbs of light were seen in Alma by hundreds of witnesses.

The report reads: “I came into my town of Alma Colorado this morning and several residents were at the community store looking up to the sky. They pointed out three Orb’s of light hovering in the Southeast sky. They were stationary and formed a triangle. The store owner told me they had been there since at least 7 in the morning. I went home and the lights never changed locations. I continued to watch the lights for two more hours! Then one light slowly broke from the triangle and formed a straight line. It moved very slowly. It took a good ten minutes to move from it’s original point in triangle to it’s point in the straight line. It then slowly moved off out of my view. I do have some pics. But they don’t show much.”

Some suspect the objects were Google Loons, giant balloons the company plans to use to bring Wi-Fi to rural parts of the world that lack Internet service. An attempt to contact Google Monday was not immediately returned.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.