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flame pillar
Shortly after midnight, on December 20, 2009, this bright orange-coloured pillar was spotted over Antwerp, Belgium. It was caused by flaring activities at the BASF complex north of the city. Newspapers, UFO groups and scientific institutions received calls from eye-witnesses. Some of the observers wondered if this could be related to secret tests or to alien visitors.

The pillar was visible from places up to 40 km (25 miles) distant from where the flaring took place. The photo we publish here was taken at about 00:40 a.m. from Leest, just west of the city of Malines.

Earlier that same night, on December 19, a pillar had already appeared in a much lower ice cloud that drifted over Antwerp (see OP-PL-11 and consecutive images for more info). Weaker pillars were also seen in the evening of December 21.

[© Frank VAN DER PUTTEN - photo shown with permission (sharpening applied)]