3 January 2023

Mysterious lights have Moruya man looking for answers

| Zoe Cartwright
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Lights on Moruya River.

Do you know what is causing this light on the Moruya River? Photo: Brendan Sheldon.

It’s uncommon – but not unheard of – to see strange lights in the sky, but Moruya man Brendan Sheldon can go one better.

Early on Christmas morning, he spotted a strange spectacle on the Moruya River, and he hopes someone might have an explanation.

Mr Sheldon has lived in his North Head Drive home for about eight years. The property backs onto the river, and he says he has never seen anything like what he saw last week.

“I’d woken up at about 12:40 am to go to the toilet – our bathroom ensuite looks out onto the river,” he explained.

“I could hear voices outside, which I thought was a bit strange. They weren’t speaking in English, which intrigued me, so I opened the window and peered out.”

At first, he saw what looked like two fishermen talking on the riverbank.

Then came something unexpected.

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“Two lights appeared on the other side of the river to me, on the private land just to the east of Ryan’s Creek,” he said.

“I thought it was a four-wheel drive with spotties on the other side of the river, but within a small space of time there were four beams lined up.

“As I watched, they sort of moulded into one big beacon of light and moved closer to the river.

“I was trying to work out what on earth it was, I thought it was weird, so I grabbed my phone and walked out onto the verandah and started taking photos.

“I couldn’t see a boat or anything. It was lighting up the river for probably 150 metres in 360 degrees.

“It lit up as far as the top of the eucalypt trees in Ryan’s creek, the whole area. I couldn’t hear a motor, a generator or anything.

“It was a clear, still night – we had that high-pressure system over Christmas. There was no fog, no sound. It was eerie.

“It seemed to move closer to the middle of the river and just stood stationary there for a couple of minutes before it started to move to the east without a sound.

“It was moving quite slowly, and when it was about 200 metres away, it was beyond my range of vision and past the trees.”

Mr Sheldon is, frankly, stumped as to what it could be.

He’s thought of a couple of theories, but they don’t quite fit.

“If it was a boat, usually the light comes from one end, and you can see the back end of the boat – this was 360 degrees,” he said.

“It didn’t have coloured bow and starboard lights like a boat would.

“I thought maybe it was fisheries coming to bust the fishermen or something and waited for a loudspeaker, but there was nothing.

“People have suggested illegal fishing or prawning, but people who are out illegally don’t usually try to draw attention to themselves.

“The light it threw out was phenomenal.

“Local fishermen say they haven’t seen anything that bright on the river at night before; you’d need a generator or something. It couldn’t be battery-operated.

“But I couldn’t hear any noise from a generator, and it was only about 100 metres away. I haven’t ruled out an electric motor.

“People have suggested flares or ball lightning, but there was no smoke, and it doesn’t explain the two lights becoming four lights before becoming a single light.”

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Mr Sheldon asked a few friends what they thought it might be – luckily, he had photos to show it wasn’t a dream induced by one too many Christmas puddings.

They were equally puzzled and suggested he put it on the Moruya Noticeboard.

Plenty of people commented with their own stories of unexplained lights, but no one was able to explain Mr Sheldon’s Unidentified Floating Object.

He regrets not approaching the fishermen, but at the time, he was more interested in getting back to bed than solving mysteries.

He hopes if they see this story – or if anyone who was driving on North Head Drive between 12:30 am and 1 am on Christmas morning sees it – that they will reach out to him.

“It gets the mind thinking outside the square – you want an answer,” he said.

“I don’t really like to make a fuss, I don’t use social media too often, but the great thing was hearing people’s experiences and interpretations.

“I’ve loved talking to people and listening to their suggestions – it’s pretty cool.”

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