SLIDESHOW: Tracy UFO mystery solved
TRACY, CA - The mystery of the strange blue lights in Northern California that attracted several calls to the Tracy Police Department Thursday night has been solved -- and no, it wasn't extraterrestrials.
The source of the lights was actually amateur aerialist Robert Merrill, who flies a 6-foot remote-controlled glider in the skies west of Tracy -- a glider outfitted with blue lights on its wings that friends say can be seen for miles at night.
Merrill said he's been launching the craft from the back porch of his employer Rich Mattos' equipment transportation company on West Schulte Road since Thanksgiving.
Merrill said the lights have been bringing out lots of curious locals over the past few months.
"People have come out here and said, oh gosh, I thought it was a UFO," Merrill said.
The glider and its prominent wing lights were flying Thursday, generating several surprised calls to Tracy police, who said they had been fielding similar calls since November.
"It was never intended to scare people," Merrill said. "I just did it to keep flying at nighttime."