Article by selma
Oops! What’s that flaying thing? It’s UFO or something. Well, those lights you’ve seen swooping and swerving across the Modesto night sky in the first picture are not extraterrestrial. They do not want to be taken to your leader. They’re not even unidentified anymore. Instead, the culprits are a bunch of model plane enthusiasts who have attached lights to theirRadio Controlled Airplanes and fly them through the night sky for fun. “This was never intended to be seen as a UFO,” said Robert Merrill, the de facto captain of the Nor Cal Nite Fliers. “We figured we’d try something, fly at night. Next thing you know people are calling the cops, TV and thinking they’re UFOs. We never really thought it’d be this kind of a spectacle.”The 39-year-old Modesto resident and a group of about eight other men often meet at Modesto Hobby & Crafts, off McHenry and Bangs avenues in north Modesto, for their night flights.
They’ve flown all over Modesto and across the area, including Ripon and Tracy. The crafts have about a 6-foot wingspan and weigh about 2 pounds. Each flier has customized his lights design. Merrill, who had been flying model planes for about eight years, came up with the idea in August when he found the lights online from a manufacturer in Hong Kong. “I think (it’s) just the calmness of it. The whole thing is, when you get off work, you bring your plane out to the park and literally kick back in a chair and fly them,” Merrill said. “Nighttime, you can fly it farther because the lights are so bright you can see it farther than in the daytime.””Honestly, the most fun is messing with people,” said Modesto resident Rick Sanchez, 40. “People will see the lights (from their cars) and their heads will hang out the windows. It’s amazing how many people think they are UFOs.”The group flies the radio controlled airplanes almost every night that the sky is clear.
Manteca resident John Gilmore, 46, started about eight months ago.”The challenge of it interested me. And it’s definitely a challenge,” he said. “We’re having fun. We’re not trying to freak anyone out or cause problems. It’s just good, clean fun.”Well, that’s really cool. To be frank, I also dream of buying a Radio Controlled Toy and relish in fiddling with them everyday. But since I have not enough money, I have to buy a replica one made by China manufacturer since it’s cheap but multifunctional.
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Oops! UFO is coming!