Reporting on 2014 UFO activity at a time when military drone technology is coming of age is tough business - as referenced in this February 21, 2014, testimony in Case 54192 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.
The latest wave of smaller, even insect-sized drones is now being studied when witnesses report small hovering objects.
MUFON Case 54192 sites an Elizabethtown, KY, witness who recalls watching a hovering red ball that performed some extraordinary maneuvers about 10 p.m. on April 1, 2013.
The military veteran witness was standing outside talking on a cell phone when a "glowing red ball" was spotted to his northwest just hovering in the air.
"This was like nothing I had ever seen before," the witness stated. "It made no noise, but seemed to agitate the dogs in my neighborhood as many of them started barking."
And then the unusual-looking object did something even more unusual.
"The red ball/light object hovered for about 30 seconds and then abruptly broke into two identical red ball/light objects. Immediately after they separated both objects started to fly around erratically for approximately 15-20 seconds and then came back together forming one single object."
The witness soon realized he was not alone.
"I was standing by myself when I first noticed the object, but as the sighting continued two of my neighbors from up the street came running down to my location to view the sighting. We stood in silence while the object continued to divide into two objects, fly around erratically, and then form back into one object."
The object continued to repeat the maneuver.
"The red ball/light repeated this process three or four times before fading out. The only thing I could think of was that the object could have been was a UFO. Neither my neighbors nor myself had ever seen anything like that before and we were the only ones outside at the time of the incident. Ironically, I had never met these neighbors before and I have since moved from the location and have never have seen them again."
Another California report from the Los Angeles area - Case 54193 - describes a "fireball" type of light moving in a straight both about 11:29 p.m. on February 20, 2014.
In Case 54194, an Athens, Ohio, witness speculated that "star-like" moving overhead about 9 p.m. on February 20, 2014, might be drones.
"I was outside and I witnessed a yellow, star-like object flying slowly and not making a sound," the witness stated. "Then I saw another small, star-like object moving slowly after that one. There was a storm coming later on in the night and someone said that the local weather lab had drones up studying this storm before it hit at midnight last night."
Two often referenced MUFON cases where small red objects followed cars occurred in the Arizona desert in June 2011. See Fireball 'chases' Arizona couple through desert at ground level and Second case of red light reported chasing a car across Arizona desert.
MUFON STAR Team Manager Fletcher Gray, reached today in Texas, said that in addition to a military explanation, the field investigator must also look at Mother Nature.
"Some of these descriptions of hovering balls of light can also be compared to light associated with earthquakes," Gray said. "And then you also have ball lightning - another phenomena that must be taken into consideration."
Alexandra Witze, reporting in Scientific America January 3, 2014, stated, "A new catalog of earthquake lights—mysterious glows sometimes reported before or during seismic shaking—finds that they happen most often in geological rift environments, where the ground is pulling apart. The work is the latest to tackle the enigmatic lights, which have been described by eyewitnesses for centuries but are yet to be fully explained by scientists."
Elizabethtown, is a city in Hardin County, KY, population 29,335. Kentucky has a UFO Alert Rating of 5 with a low number of recent reports nationally. Kentucky had 8 UFO reports in January 2014 - the 22nd highest reporting state - while California had 102 reports - the highest reporting state in the nation.
You can read more details about other recently reported cases at the UFO Examiner home page.
The above quotes were edited for clarity. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or man-made. If Kentucky MUFON investigates and reports back on this case, I will release an update. Please report UFO activity to MUFON.com.