The story of the fellow who had seen the columns of light might have been believed if he had stuck to his first yarn of seeing but one. But when he mentioned five ... well, he didn't have any too good a reputation for veracity and wasn't regarded as being overly bright. Besides, he had stated that the thickness of the columns of light seemed to be the same from the ground as far as his eyes could follow them upward. Everybody knew that a searchlight's beams spread out a bit.
Had they only paid more attention to his story, and those of the others. Now it was too late as structures rose into the sky only to come crashing back to the ground.