OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WMBF/WECT) – Myrtle Beach business owner Gary Travis doesn't know what he saw off shore one night. But as an experienced pilot of 37 years, he knew he wasn't looking at an airplane.
Travis was visiting a friend in Ocean Isle Beach when he pulled out his camcorder to capture lighting above the ocean. Instead, he shot video of a series of bright orange lights littering the sky.
At first, he thought they were landing lights, but then they started moving all over the place.
"I'd never seen anything like it," said Travis, "Not in my experience."
Some on the island say it was probably the military carrying out exercises, while others say Travis' encounter of seeing a mysterious light shoot out at 100 mph is no big deal.
Larry Phillips says he's seen a bigger and faster mysterious light shoot quickly across the sky in his home state of Texas.
"We saw an airplane moving and it passed [Travis' footage] up," said Phillips. It was on the local news there."
However, Travis' trained eye alerted him that the lights could not be from a regular aircraft."These lights seem to snap on and off like someone flipped a switch," he said. "I even saw them rotate around each other and that's not going to happen on an airplane."
Reports of UFO sightings like these are reported fairly frequently in the Grand Strand area. Local paranormal investigators say it's exciting to check out each claim, but they have to use a healthy dose of skepticism in their investigation.
"The first thing is credibility," says EJ Lukacs of the Athena Research Group. He and his wife, Rebeccah investigate paranormal activity on the Grand Strand. "You need to look at the caller. What are they saying? What are they claiming?"
And when it comes to reporting claims of UFO's, there are actually lots of websites and groups that keep track of sightings throughout the Carolinas. But experts say there's definitely one group you shouldn't call.
"Contact any paranormal group, they're happy to help," says Lukacs. "But don't call the police, they've got better things to do."