Mysterious UFO observation can go hand in hand with a puzzling natural phenomenon known as sprites - flash high into the atmosphere triggered by storms.
The lights have appeared in most of the above storms throughout history, but researchers did not start studying them until a mistake made a remark on camera in 1989.
"Flash of thunder excites the electric field above, produces a flash of light called a spirit," said Colin, a geophysicist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. "We now understand that only a certain type of flash is the trigger that initiates the sprites up."
Researchers have discovered flashes between 35 and 80 miles (56-129 km) from the ground, much higher than 7 to 10 miles (11.16 km), which usually produces lightning. Sprites can take the form of fast-paced balls of electricity, although previously suggested foot streaks or tendrils.
Case or on the flash remains murky, but suggested that the price might explain some of the UFO reports which have been harvested for years. It could provide a consolation for UFO enthusiasts disappointed human-caused false in the past.
Both jetliner pilots and astronauts have reported the observation of sprites, with a different but equally mysterious phenomenon known as blue jets.
Price and his colleagues have focused on 'winter sprites that appear only in the northern hemisphere winter months. Their remote-controlled roof-mounted cameras can place sprites on producing storms over the Mediterranean Sea.
Triangulation techniques have also allowed researchers to calculate the size of sprites.
"The candles are sprites in up to 15 miles high, the group of 45 candles mile wide - Looks like a great birthday celebration!" Price said.
Sprites can have some effect on Earth's ozone layer, but scientists suspect that the overall impact is small.