Small Strobes that Flare to many times their size & brightnessWe saw 8 - 10 strobes in the distance & assumed they were airplanes. But we watched because so many were in a relatively small area of the sky. As we watched, one of them flared up from a very small strobe to about the width of a full moon near the horizon and about 1/4 as thick as wide. The Flare color was very bright yellow - orange and lasted about 5 - 10 seconds and seemd to be composed of 1 to 3 lights (we saw 5 sets altogether). I got a pair of 50X binoculars to get a better look & noticed the "Airplanes" were not traveling in straight lines, some reversed direction & followed others, some moved toward each other & then turned together in a different direction. They seemed to be simply milling about. We saw 5 flares, the first appeared to be 3 or 4 Lights the last 3 were single or double lights. they were about 2 minutes apart. When one of them flared the strobe or "Airplane" vanished. After the last one flared the "Airplanes" dispersed gradually. Since this was 22:45 and I was looking toward the east, these could not be reflections from the sun.This Morning 08/19/02 at 06:25 My wife & I saw 3 very bright lights with a strobe above the center one traveling very rapidly across the sky. I could see no red or green lights and the body was not visible even though the object appeared quite close. I was an air traffic controler in the Air Force & would estimate these lights at about 2 miles away. The first ones in this report were 10 or more miles away from the looks of the strobe & assuming they were airplanes.