NOMA — Santa Monica is known around the world as a popular tourist destination, but has its reputation reached outer space?

Residents in Santa Monica and the Westside have reported seeing strange lights in the night sky on at least two occasions this month, the unidentified flying objects disappearing over the Santa Monica Bay after appearing for only a few seconds.

North of Montana resident Jeremy Corbell captured the objects on his iPhone and has since posted video footage on YouTube. The footage, which can be found by searching “Silver Surfer UFO-Santa Monica,” had been viewed more than 6,700 times as of Thursday.

The video shows two bright white objects that resemble meteors falling towards the earth. The objects appear to make sharp turns before disappearing into the sunset. Corbell, who named the footage “Silver Surfer” because he said the objects looked like the famous comic book character, captured the footage on Dec. 1, around 5 p.m. He also shot more footage of similar-looking objects on Dec. 8.

“It’s weird,” Corbell, an artist, said. “I have no idea what they are. They could be anything. It seems like some falling debris of some sort with a long contrail behind it. It’s hard to tell because of the sunset. It’s definitely huge and there were definitely two of them moving in erratic patterns.”

Bob Kirk, a resident of Brentwood told the Daily Press Thursday that he also saw similar objects on Dec. 8 at around the same time of day. Others have posted comments on Corbell’s YouTube page saying they too saw the objects.

And even superstars are questioning the source of the strange lights. San Antonio Spurs forward Manu Ginobili caught the lights on camera on Dec. 1 while in Santa Monica near Casa del Mar. The Spurs were in town getting ready to play the Los Angeles Clippers.

Ginobili thought the lights could have been an unmanned spacecraft launched by the U.S. Air Force, however, a spokesman from Vandenberg Air Force Base, located north of Santa Barbara, said no launches took place on Dec. 1. He did say that on Dec. 3 the X-37B spacecraft did land, but nowhere near Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Airport Manager Bob Trimborn took a look at Corbell’s footage and said the lights captured could simply be reflections from the bottom of aircraft given that the footage on Dec. 1 was shot during sunset. He said that an object traveling away from someone could look as if it was descending.

“There are so many lights in this town at night that it could be anything, a blimp, a helicopter or an aircraft,” Trimborn said. “I don’t think the ‘War of the Worlds’ has started.

“If these are fighter type aircraft … the aircraft could make sudden and quick turns, but I really can’t tell what type of aircraft they are from the video, and the shakiness of the image makes it difficult to determine.”

Trimborn said about every two or three years he receives an e-mail from a City Council member with a video from a resident attached showing some contrails that they believe are chemicals being sprayed over the city.

“In general, people don’t understand that what they are seeing are short contrails coming from the exhaust of the engine,” Trimborn said.

Trimborn said that if the objects captured by Corbell were unusual, the FAA and other agencies would have “been on top of it.”

Corbell doesn’t believe the lights are coming from alien spacecraft. He thinks it could be debris from several different sources. He would like some answers, but in the meantime he is enjoying the conversation he and his videos have created.

“I think this fascinates people because it is a mystery,” Corbell said. “This has been going on since ancient times. There are descriptions in ancient texts of fires in the sky, things falling to the earth and it is in all sorts of mythology. This one is particularly interesting because it looks like these things are falling to the ground.

“I know if it would have been a plane, there would have been a big crash.”

There have been a rash of UFO sightings recently across the country. A mysterious missile launch off the Southern California coast was captured by news cameras in November. And in New York City earlier this month several people reported seeing a silvery vision of a dozen balloon-like dots hovering over Manhattan. In both cases, authorities could not confirm the source of the images.

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