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Fiery sight over Treasure Coast was sun reflecting off airplane's contrails, Defense Department says

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 11:17:13-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The U.S. Department of Defense confirms a strange and fiery sight in the sky on New Year's Day over the Treasure Coast was actually a commercial airplane.

A government spokesperson told WPTV on Thursday that sunlight reflecting off the plane's contrails created an illusion that the object was on fire.

In reality, it was not on fire and there was never any danger, the spokesperson said.


RAW VIDEO: Mysterious object spotted along the Treasure Coast New Year's Day

Social media was abuzz on Wednesday after several people from Vero Beach to Jensen Beach reported seeing the object ablaze in the sky just moments before sunrise.

Some witnesses speculated it was a missile, rocket, even a UFO.

But now, the mystery has been solved.

Sanford Manley, a former historian with the U.S. Strategic Air Command, told WPTV the airplane phenomenon typically occurs more often during sunsets, rather than sunrises.