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Expert: Canadian UFO likely a lantern

Sept. 7, 2010 at 3:24 PM

STEEP ROCK, Manitoba, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A Canadian UFO expert said a mysterious object photographed in the sky over rural Manitoba was likely a Chinese flying lantern.

Chris Rutkowski, an astronomer and expert on UFO sightings, said the picture taken by Brad Korponay just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday in Steep Rock, Manitoba, marked the first reported UFO sighting in the area in a long time, the Winnipeg Free Press reported Tuesday.

"It's certainly not a bolide (meteor), because it was seen for too long," Rutkowski said. "It doesn't appear to be an aircraft. If I had to make a guess, it looks like a Chinese lantern. I've seen something like this before ... although what someone would have been doing with a Chinese lantern out at Steep Rock, I don't know."

Chinese flying lanterns are comprised of candles filling rice paper like a tiny hot air balloon.

The UFO expert said the chances of the object having alien origins are "very close to nil."

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