Lufkin UFO Scare Ends With Warning from Fire Marshal

Chinese lanterns tied to balloons befuddle residents

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 8:00 AM CDT
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Lufkin UFO Scare Ends With Warning from Fire Marshal

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BEIJING - JANUARY 06: Red lanterns are hung at a village on January 6, 2009 on the outskirt of Beijing, China. Chinese People are preparing for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of ox on the lunar calendar which falls on the 26th of January, 2009. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)

Lanterns apparently were part of love in the air that prompted calls about unusual lights above Lufkin.

Some residents on Saturday night reported seeing "strange orange lights" floating over a park and headed toward Nacogdoches.

Now some participants in a wedding say the ceremony included the release of several dozen lit Chinese lanterns attached to balloons.

Gail Cummings, who reported the foreign lights, told the Lufkin Daily News that she hopes this is the explanation, to "put things to rest."

Fire Marshal Lee Fran Skelton said it's a dangerous idea to send anything burning into the air because "you have no idea where the lanterns will drop."  Words well worth remembering.

Lufkin is 115 miles northeast of Houston.

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