Our report from the above site:
Copy and pasted below:
Occurred : 10/11/2014 19:44 (Entered as : 10/11/14 19:44)
Reported: 10/18/2014 7:01:55 PM 19:01
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
String of Red Lights at Elevation, Spanning 40 Degrees, in the vicinity of the Allegheny County Airport.
We live in Pittsburgh west of the Allegheny County Airport (located in West Mifflin). My wife, walking the dog in our yard, noticed a string of uniformly spaced red lights at altitude (as one would expect a Life Flight helicopter to be) spanning at least 40 angular degrees. She called me to the yard, and I also observed them. I observed (at times using binoculars) that they appeared to be rising, in a spaced fashion, one after another, from a single point in the southeast and heading to the southwest. We estimated they were rising in the vicinity of the airport. One plane observed was perceived by us to be lingering in the area, but the plane, a commercial airliner or cargo plane, subsequently flew over our house, so the perception of lingering must have been due to a great initial distance and we observed it flying into the area. Towards the end of the event, we perceived helicopters to be flying in the area of the airport near the point we witnessed the lights ascending.
The lights were red, similar to radio tower lighting. The light to the southwest most point merely extinguished, and being distracted, but not seeing the others, they too apparently went out. My initial assessment is that they were some man made thing, such as "Sky Lanterns" lifted by balloon or the heat rising from a candle, but problems exist with this theory.
1. They were launched near the County Airport, which I would suppose to be forbidden for a legal launch, as interference to or confusion of air traffic may ensue.
2. To suppose that they were equipped with electrical power for lighting or being equipped with a candle should have provided the most recently launched light with the ability to travel from the southeast launch point to the southwest extinguish point before itself extinguishing, this clearly did not happen.
I returned to the house and alternately listened to a scanning radio for the police frequencies in my area of Pittsburgh and to Aircraft Frequencies collectively. Nothing was heard to indicate that any others had called to report this incident, nor were pilots, in their very brief communications, mentioning it.
I subsequently noted an establishment across the street from the County Airport as having a Grand Opening sign, but I'm not sure how old the sign is. I drove past the County Airport travelling to work, on following days, but did not notice anything to account for the lights. We perused the media for a hint of a man made cause, but found none. We found this reporting page as a result.
40 angular degrees that I mentioned above can be visualized by holding your hand at arms length, spread the little finger and thumb apart from each other as far as possible. That's 20 degrees. The area we saw these lights was over twice that span. In your neighbor's yard, 40 degrees isn't much, but miles away, it is. I uploaded two images from Google Maps. The one the area we observed from, approximately, is in the extreme upper right. The next one shows the airport. It's quite a distance, relatively, from our house to the airport.
Personal Drones and Chinese Lanterns both pose some problems.
1. The airport is there, a very busy country airport. They would not welcome or tolerate the operation of drones near a functioning airfield.
2. Chinese lanterns would similarly be an issue for air traffic.
3. The angular distance they covered would have made control of drones, at night, risky.
4. We observed a few rising, but they appeared through the binoculars to be smaller, therefore likely more distant. We were using moderately expensive German 8x32 Roof Prism Binoculars, and we only perceived the light, no shape, with the distant or nearer lights.
5. Seeing a few rising sounds like Chinese Lanterns, but they all extinguished at the same time. If they were all lit at the same time (they use candles) it's almost impossible to believe that the candles were clockwork calibrated to extinguish at the same time. Actually one went out and the others went out seconds later. And why would someone launch a Chinese Lantern with a spent candle, as a few were seen rising earlier but also extinguished.
6. The ones displayed across the horizon were equally spaced, at the same modest altitude, were not climbing, were moving very slow (almost imperceptible) and presented like the first scene in a horror movie where one could imagine an attack was pending. If they were Chinese Lanterns, why would they have stopped climbing. And, to my logic, if they launched recently and were climbing, the horizontal line should be represented by the furthest away at the greatest altitude, and the more recently ones at a lower altitude. These were straight across at the same altitude.
7. If you look at the initial NUFORC link, a similar sighting in the same area occurred a month after ours.
Always open to hearing input on this "sighting", has us perplexed.