No, the lights over the Midlands weren't Santa, but we do know w - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

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No, the lights over the Midlands weren't Santa, but we do know what they were.

Is this Santa? Viewers from parts of the Midlands have sent us photos and video of several planes flying close together. (Source: Olivia Smith) Is this Santa? Viewers from parts of the Midlands have sent us photos and video of several planes flying close together. (Source: Olivia Smith)
Is this Santa? Viewers from parts of the Midlands have sent us photos and video of several planes flying close together. (Source: Olivia Smith) Is this Santa? Viewers from parts of the Midlands have sent us photos and video of several planes flying close together. (Source: Olivia Smith)
(Source: Matthew-Tabbatha Godfrey) (Source: Matthew-Tabbatha Godfrey)
(WIS) -

After receiving several calls and messages on several planes flying close together in the Midlands Saturday night we now know exactly what it was.  

And no - it was not aliens and it was not Santa Claus on a practice run. 

Viewers from Lexington, Leesburg, Red Bank, Gilbert, Lake Murray and other spots in the Midlands say they say a number of planes flying low and close together around 8 p.m. and commented that it was very loud. The planes were also spotted in various parts of the U.S., including by viewers of our sister station KFVS in Cape Girardeau, MO. 

But Twitter user Aircraft Spots, who noticed that people from South Carolina to Colorado noticed the lights and found the answer from Charleston AFB. We reached out to both Shaw Air Force Base and McEntire Joint National Guard Base on Saturday who said it was not them: 

We reached out to Charleston AFB through various mediums and we heard back from them on Twitter confirming the reports that the planes were theirs.

 Officials said a total of 17 C-17's launched Saturday evening in support of a training event known as a Joint Forcible Entry mission. 

Officials went on to say in a statement,  "Joint Base Charleston, along with several other bases, supported this mission, which is a capstone event for students at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The school uses this training mission to allow mobility air forces students to take what they have learned over the previous five months and apply it in a realistic training scenario simulating a high-end fight against a near-peer adversary. More than 40 C-17s from 10 bases and more than 20 C-130s from three bases will participate in the largest iteration of this event in the Weapon School's history."

Here's what the Midlands sent us on Saturday: 

If you have any additional photos or video, send us to us in a Facebook Message or email us a sendit@wistv.com.

Check back for more updates. 

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