Perhaps E.T. was phoning home, or Lodi was about to experience its first close encounter with a third kind. Or maybe it was just a plane passing overhead.
Either way, a slew of phone calls had San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies investigating reported blinking lights hovering in the sky above Lodi late Wednesday night.
Phone calls began coming in around 10 p.m., with residents from as far away as North Kennefick Road in Acampo reporting that they were witnessing unidentified flying objects with blinking lights making patterns in the sky.
However, no such UFOs existed.
Instead, lights from the parking lot carnival in Cherokee Plaza off of Cherokee Lane in Lodi proved to be the source of the strange light phenomena, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Neither the Lodi Police Department nor the Galt Police Department received any phone calls regarding a possible UFO sighting.
Though Wednesday night's incident was not an invasion of any body snatchers, it was a chance for Lodians and other residents in the surrounding area to have an off-beat experience that dates all the way back to the late 1800s.
In 1896, Col. H.G. Shaw, along with his friend Camille Spooner, were traveling by horse and carriage en route to Stockton. Shaw was on his way to Fresno, where he was in charge of putting together an exhibition that was to be displayed at the city's fair.
However, Shaw claimed he and Spooner were harassed by three tall, slender humanoids whose bodies were covered with a fine, downy hair. Shaw, who was near Lodi when the encounter occurred, said the men tried to kidnap the pair.
But Shaw and his friend escaped, and their story was later told in an 1897 edition of the Stockton Daily Mail. It also became one of the first recorded attempted alien abductions.
Since then, UFO sightings have continued to be reported in Lodi. The most recent report was recorded on April 2, when a pair of brothers allegedly saw an orange light shoot across the sky near the Lodi-Stockton border, according to the National UFO Reporting Center.
A similar light was seen back in January, according to another report filed with the center, but upon further investigation it was believed to possibly be the planet Venus, brightly visible during the later winter months.
So far, three alleged UFO sightings in Lodi have been reported to the center this year.
In 2011, three alleged UFO sightings were also reported to the center.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.