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Flares have a long association with UFO sightings. One night in late February 1942, the sky over Southern California lit up with strange blinking lights near various defense plants. In what has become known as the Battle of Los Angeles, the Navy unloaded four batteries of antiaircraft artillery at what turned out to be a balloon carrying a red flare. A decade ago, mysterious lights seen by thousands of Phoenix residents were actually leftover flares dumped by A-10 pilots with the Maryland Air National Guard