SOLVED: UFO expert explains mysterious lights

MYSTERIOUS lights seen floating over Caloundra have been discounted as simple Chinese lanterns.

The pair of lights seen over Caloundra and Bellvista last Thursday night had got the Coast talking.

But after viewing a video of the lights, Barry Taylor, a researcher and video analyst for UFO Research Queensland, put the lights down to simply hoax garbage bag devices or Chinese lanterns.

"I have filmed and witnessed over 50 of these object events, especially during the 1990s when they were prolific," Mr Taylor said.

The lights over Caloundra were filmed by witness Brett Anderson in a video he posted on YouTube (above). 

His video was not unlike that published on YouTube on August 18, 2012, of lights over Caloundra. 

Mr Taylor said the lantern devices were made from a wax light suspended beneath a garbage bag and worked similar to a hot air balloon, with the heat from the light generating the lift.


He said burning wax was sometimes seen falling from the lights, which would explain why a witness filmed something falling or being "shot" out of one of the lights above Caloundra.

Burn-out seems to cause one of the lights to lose altitude.

Chinese lantern - often mistaken for UFO.
A Chinese lantern, somtimes mistaken for a UFO. Contributed

"The falling device seen in the video has lost the ability to have lift due to the wax depletion or a hole burnt into the bag, allowing the heated air to escape therefore unable to give lift so gravity takes over and it falls to the ground," Mr Taylor said.

Mr Taylor said the lights usually burned for eight to 10 minutes, but people ought not to let them off because of the potential fire risk of them starting a fire upon landing.