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 Case summary

The following report was found in the UFO Roundup section of the popular US web site It was sent to UFOINFO by Ben FIELD, who manages and edits his own UFO web site at


On Monday, March 22, 1999, at 7:05 p.m., salesman Robert H., age 40, and his wife and daughter were driving "just outside the city limits" of Macon (population 106,612), a large city on Interstate Highway I-75 approximately 81 miles (129 kilometers) south of Atlanta, when the daughter spied a strange gleam in the sky.

"It appeared in the northwest sky above a shopping center", Robert reported. "My daughter spoke of a light in the west-northwestern sky. I first thought she was looking at a vapor trail in the northern sky. She said that she saw that, but what she was talking about was off to the left. My wife saw it, too".

Looking in that direction, he added, "What I saw appeared to be a cylinder in shape positioned up/down like the letter I. It was in the west-northwestern sky brightly lit with the setting sun behind and below it. There did not appear to be any aircraft, stars or birds in that area. We watched it for approximately five to eight minutes and lost complete sight of it once we exited the interstate (highway)".

The likely solution to this case can be found in the final paragraph of the above quote, where it is indicated that the Sun was "behind and below" the brightly lit cylinder. Actually, this is a fair description of a sun pillar, caused by the light of the setting sun reflecting off ice-crystal plates in the atmosphere (see "Solar and lunar halos" in our picture galleries, and in particular images OP-HA-06 and OP-HA-07).

Vertically oriented columns of light are often transformed into "cylindrical objects", either by the witnesses themselves or by the ufologists who quote them. In this particular case, it is the misleading title that diverts the reader's attention away from the true identity of the UFO.

 Our opinion

There is no reason to believe that this "hovering UFO" was anything else but a sun pillar.