SM BAY — Those strange bright lights residents saw in the night sky earlier this month turned out not to be UFOs after all, but rather two daredevils from the Red Bull Air Force who decided to jump out of an airplane with night flares.
Jon DeVore and Sean MacCormac performed two night skydive demonstrations over Santa Monica on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 around 5:30 p.m., landing on the beach near the Jonathan Club on Pacific Coast Highway, said Maddy Stephens with Red Bull, the energy drink manufacturer with headquarters in Santa Monica. (Video of one of the jumps can be seen on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/jondevore.)
One Santa Monica resident, Jeremy Corbell, filmed both jumps and posted the footage on YouTube, drawing considerable interest from other Westsiders who too saw the bright lights. Corbell told the Daily Press last week that he thought the bright lights falling to the earth were debris. He had no idea they were skydivers.
San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili also saw one of the jumps while his team was in town getting ready to play the Los Angeles Clippers. He posted footage on his blog, prompting TMZ.com to post a short story on its website last week. Ginobili thought the lights were from an experimental jet aircraft.
DeVore, manager of the Red Bull Air Force, said on his blog that he had no idea people thought he and his partner may have been alien aircraft.
“As soon as I saw the videos on the news I busted up laughing,” DeVore wrote on redbullairforce.com, which also includes footage of one of the jumps. “It was us jumping with our night flares.”
Stephens said Red Bull had no intention of fooling the public.
“We had no idea they’d be spotted as UFOs,” she said, “but glad we’re able to help solve the mystery!”