Bright Light UFO Over Illinois: Five Orbs Break Away, Recombine In The Sky For Hours

An intriguing UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) report out of Illinois finds a witness taking photos of a bright light object in the night sky that not only presented as a single object but would at times break apart into five distinct objects before reassembling. To add to the witness’ strange sighting, one of the smaller objects detached itself and simply disappeared.

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a nonprofit UFO investigative organization, posted a report (Case 81037) out of Illinois where a witness claimed to have seen a “big orb” glowing in the sky over Lake County. According to the witness, the orb was a simple “bright light” that she initially thought “was a star or planet, but then it started flashing and then started moving more to my right. Thought it was a satellite, but thought it was too large to be one.”

But what happened next convinced the witness she was observing no simple light or satellite. She had at first attempted to capture the moving orb on video but couldn’t get the object zoomed in, so she continued to watch it through a cell phone, which allowed her to zoom closer for a better view of the object.

Which soon became five separate objects.

The MUFON report states the following.

“I saw a big orb with five little orbs inside. I tried to take a video, but it was too far out there to zoom in on for a video. I kept looking at it through a zoomed picture and it kept breaking up into five smaller orbs, then three, then two, and then reassembled itself into one big orb. I then noticed an orb by it detach itself and then sporadically went left of the orb and then vanished. The object was in my sight for about two hours and then slowly vanished behind the treeline of my house.”

The UFO witness later uploaded her report on December 18. She also posted five photos of what she observed.

The case was investigated by Illinois MUFON State Section Director James Wolford, who closed the case as an Unknown — Other.

“The complex structure and behavior of the object rules out natural phenomena,” Wolford wrote in the investigative report, according to

“This was something artificial with technology that may be beyond man-made construction. My disposition for this case is Unknown — Other.”

bright light glowing ufo

The designation is not a common one, because, as the disclaimer notes at the end of all stories about UFOs on OpenMinds, a “hub for news relating to the alien/UFO phenomena,” readers are urged to “remember that most UFO sightings can be explained as something natural or man-made.” So, when they cannot, they are closed as Unknowns.

Drones are a go-to explanation for many UFO sightings these days, and a new video released from the Department of Defense will likely only add to the attributions.

As Digital Trends reported this week, the Pentagon has been testing Swarming Intelligence technology, “an artificial-intelligence approach to problem solving using algorithms based on the self-organized collective behaviour of social insects [like ants and bees]” (per, and has made tremendous headway. In fact, their latest test efforts were documented and shown on CBS’ 60 Minutes last week.

drones take to the air

Three F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped 103 Perdix drones over a test site in California, a Department of Defense press release noted, and demonstrated sophisticated swarming behaviors, including collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing. Known as micro-drones (wingspan in less than 12 inches), the craft are relatively inexpensive and can be equipped with military capabilities that in the past were exclusive to larger and more expensive flying machines. The drones are programmed for synchronization and adapt to the presence and absence of its fellow craft, just like swarming insects.

This is not to say that the Illinois UFO was a night test of a small set of drones equipped with bright lights, but the existence of the technology does give UFO investigators another man-made explanation to look into while looking for answers.

[Featured Image by Michael Travers/Thinkstock/Getty Images]