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Mysterious night sky lights reported by several in region

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DETROIT LAKES -- Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said that reports of mysterious lights appearing in the sky early this morning in Becker and Otter Tail counties were likely shooting stars.

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Gordon said that the cold temperatures and clear sky made for the perfect conditions to see meteors entering the atmosphere.

He said that the sheriff's office received two calls from county residents about 10 miles apart.

"That tells me that what they saw was pretty high in the sky and farther than it appears," Gordon said.

The reports came in between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Friday.

"It is what it is," he said.

Gordon said there was ice fog in the sky and it's likely that whatever the object was, it appeared to be closer to the earth than it actually was.

"It's very deceiving," he said.

He said the sheriff's department received similar reports of lights in the sky about a month ago, when weather conditions were similar and another meteor shower was occurring.

A sheriff's deputy was dispatched near Frazee. The reports came from Highway 10 near Frazee and Highway 34 east of Detroit Lakes.

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks logged a call at 1:25 a.m. from someone 15 miles west of Bemidji who reported the sky looked green.

The weather station then heard from a sister station in Duluth, which passed along observations from law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin, where a huge fireball was seen near the town of Fifield that created temporary mid-day brightness, said Bill Barrett, a Weather Service official in Grand Forks.

Officials suspect the phenomena was a meteor, as this week marks the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, Barrett said.

Several Fergus Falls police officers were also dispatched to check out reports of lights.

Forum Communication Co. reporter Dave Olson contributed to this story.

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