NASA: No, that UFO plainly seen in our space observatory footage isn't a UFO

NASA's STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) research platform consists of two orbiting spacecraft that collect stereoscopic data about the sun and the eruptions of magnetized plasma during coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Last month, UFO buffs spotted a strange object in data acquired by STEREO, specifically what appears to be a wheel-shaped UFO. The footage made the rounds online (example above) spurring NASA to explain the anomaly. Turns out, it's... Venus. Bummer. From NASA:

Some people have noticed an odd shape, sort of a cross inside a circle, entering the field-of-view of the HI2 telescope on STEREO Ahead around February 20,2020. Eventually there is a cone shape that appears next to it. You can see the feature in question in this movie moving from right-to-left, just below the trapezoidal occulter on the right side of the image. The answer lies on the exact opposite side of the image. At the same time as this strange-looking feature starts being visible, the very bright planet Venus enters the HI2-A field-of-view from the left. Notice that Venus and the feature stay in step almost exactly opposite each other across the middle of the detector. This is not a coincidence. The strange looking geometrical "object" is actually an internal reflection of the planet Venus within the telescope optics. This effect has been seen many times before. Here's a particularly striking example of internal reflections caused by the planet Earth as seen early in the STEREO mission, taken from our image artifacts pages.

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Search for Bigfoot, Nessie, UFOs, and ghosts from your home

With more Webcams online than ever before, and the abundance of time stuck inside, you might enjoy conducting your own armchair expeditions in search of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, ghosts, and other strange phenomena. Over at Mysterious Universe, Paul Seaburn put together a list of "webcams with continuous feeds pointed at the sky, the waters, the buildings and the other places where these anomalies may occur." Here are a few:

Popocatepetl volcano UFOs

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano is active and well-known for UFO sightings both during and independent of eruptions. The multiple webcams serve a useful purpose of providing officials with advance warnings of eruptions but many UFO hunters watch it religiously. (Watch them here.) In fact, there was UFO activity there just this week. (Video here.) Was it birds, bugs, drones, alien spaceships refueling or ships from the alleged alien base that uses Popocatepetl as a portal?

Bigfoot

For Bigfoot watchers, the U.S. National Parks provide webcams everywhere for capturing glimpses of Sasquatch as well as the many other animals, birds, natural events and lost hikers that inhabit the park. Yellowstone has some, the Old Faithful cam being the most popular, but its greatest service is a list of links to all of the active webcams in other national parks.

"Stuck at Home? Use These Webcams to Hunt for UFOs, Bigfoot, Ghosts and Monsters" (Mysterious Universe)

Above, "The Surgeon's Photograph" of 1934, known to be a hoax. Read the rest

Making a flying saucer clock (with data storage) controlled by a Raspberry Pi

I love this strange and wonderful project on Hackaday.io. It is digital clock which uses a ring of 60 NeoPixels in a 3D printed flying saucer and 12 lights on the inner ring to indicate the hours. It also does backups. And light shows. All it needs is a cow being sucked up into it.

At the end of November 2019 my trusty old iomega StorCenter NAS (Network Attached Storage) started behaving eratically and would keep disappearing from the network and locking up every few hours. I immediately made sure I had several copies of the data and started the search for a replacement. But it dawned on me that whatever I would buy would ultimately go the same way: unsupported and unfixable.

So, with the new Raspberry Pi 4 having USB3 ports and a long running desire to make a circular neopixel clock at some point, it dawned on me that there are two devices that run 24 hours a day: my NAS and my trusty old Tix clock that I bought several years ago.

Why settle for another boring NAS when I can make the ultimate NAS come Clock combination? So began the flying saucer clock project...

So, how does it tell time?

The inner ring of the saucer contains 12 LEDs behind diffusers made from a ring of transparent PLA with black PLA colour separators, which are lit according to the current hours. The minutes and seconds are shown on the outer 60 LED ring. This also displays the hour as a series of 5 LEDs lit blue and also hour markers shown at spacing of every 5.

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UK's Ministry of Defence plans to release 50 years of UFO reports sometime in 2020

According to a piece in The Telegraph, the UK's Ministry of Defence has announced plans to make available online over 50 years of UFO sightings reported to the RAF.

The RAF discontinued its UFO reporting program in 2009 after claiming that nothing reported during the five decades of the program posed any sort of threat. UFO sightings are now reported to local police.

The reports are said to be scheduled to show up online (on a dedicated gov.uk web page) sometime during the first part of 2020.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash Read the rest

Commercial airline pilot records curious UFO

CesarMP is a commercial pilot from Colombia who posted a recent video about a UFO he saw while flying a plane. Is it a weather balloon? Ball lightning? Swamp gas?

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Vintage UFO photos sold at auction, including the one from The X-Files "I Want To Believe" poster

In the 1970s, "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier documented the extraterrestrials who visited him by taking fantastic photographs of their spacecraft zooming over the Swiss countryside. Meier, founder of Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschafter und Ufologiestudien (Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies) says the spacecraft are called "beamships" and that they are piloted by beings called the Plejaren. Meier's ex-wife has since said that the UFOs in the photos are actually household objects and that Meier is a fibber, but, well, I want to believe. And in fact, one of Meier's photos was the source for Fox Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster on The X-Files. That original snapshot and more than a dozen others just sold at a Sotheby's auction with one collection of six photos going for $16,250. From Sotheby's:

The second grouping includes two photographs which appear to show a single UFO moving slowly over the town of Berg Rumlikon, in Switzerland on June 14th, 1975 at 1:16 and 1:20 pm, and four images depicting a single UFO in a forested hilly area of Schmidrüti, Switzerland on March 18th, 1975, from 4:45 to 5:40 pm.

One of these photographs became perhaps the most famous and notorious UFO image of all time when 'The X-Files' chose it to appear in the famous "I Want to Believe" poster.

The poster hung in Mulder's office for the first three seasons of the show, but was changed in the 4th season due to an intellectual property suit brought by Meier, as the creators of the show never obtained permission to use the image.

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"Bigfoot Watcher Chasing Chemtrails Records a UFO"

At Mysterious Universe, Paul Seaburn writes:

In what can be considered an unusual convergence of conspiracy theories, a man who runs a Bigfoot videos YouTube channel was chasing chemtrails when he claimed to have recorded a UFO chasing them as well. If you’re playing Conspiracy Scrabble, ‘Chemtrail’, ‘Bigfoot’ and ‘UFO’ is a triple-word score.

According to his commentary during the video, Marc Abell –the CEO of Colorado Bigfoot, a provider of Bigfoot videos – was recording a plane making a contrail over a snow-covered terrain in Vail, Colorado, and believed the color and shape changes in the contrail were signs that the plane was actually spraying something rather than just trailing the usual water vapor and jet exhaust.

That's when Abell spotted the UFO.

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Watch this far-out Japanese animated "documentary" about UFOs (1975)

"That's a UFO! The flying saucer" (これがUFOだ! 空飛ぶ円盤) is a Japanese "documentary" about unidentified flying objects. It was first screened in 1975 at the annual Toei Anime Festival hosted by the famed Toei Animation studio, creators of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. The short film features classic UFO encounters like the Betty Barney Hill abduction case of 1961 and the 1948 story of Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Captain Thomas F. Mantel whose plane crashed while he chased a UFO.

(r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

New York Times: Navy pilots reported a rash of strange UFO encounters

The New York Times reports that in 2014 and 2015, Navy pilots flying off the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt reported frequent encounters with UFOs and captured video of the sightings. I'm not saying they're extraterrestrials... Really, I'm not. But that's some weird shit. Video below. Apparently it's these encounters that spurred the US Navy to issue new guidelines for its personnel to report "unexplained aerial phenomena" (UAPs). From the New York Times:

The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.

“These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect...."

The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”

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The weird grift of "sovereign citizens": where UFOlogy meets antisemitism by way of Cliven Bundy and cat-breeding

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest

Roswell UFO crash site sold to new owner

In 1947, an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its crew (or a weather balloon, or a nuclear test surveillance device) crashed on a ranch about 75 miles north of Roswell, New Mexico. That 78 acre property has just changed hands for the first time since the early 1950s when it was purchased by the Bogle family. Dinwiddie Cattle Co. now holds the deed on the legendary site and the still-standing shed where the crash debris was held until the Air Force retrieved it all. From the Roswell Daily Record:

Without a strong personal interest in the UFO connection at this time, (new property owner Tommy) Dinwiddie said he can’t say for sure whether the crash-site property will be made available to the public.

“I just don’t know a whole lot about it,” Dinwiddie said. “The guy who is running the ranch over there for me knows quite a bit about it, and after we kind of get our feet on the ground running it, we will do some more talking about it and figuring out what we want to do.”

The Bogle family hosted tours of the site during the most recent UFO Festival in July, marking the first time that the group provided visitor access during its 66 years of ownership of the land. Prior to that, only researchers or documentary makers were given permission to be on the property.

"Site of alleged 1947 UFO crash changes hands" (via The Anomalist)

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Man-on-the-street interviews: Is there life on other planets? (1962)

With NASA's InSight spacecraft scheduled to land on Mars today, it's fun to watch this vintage ABC News Australia segment from 1962: "Is there life on other planets?"

One of my favorite responses: "I hope not. Because they'd be frozen to death."

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Aviation authority investigating UFOs over Ireland

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating multiple reports of UFOs over the coast of Ireland on Friday. From the BBC:

(A British Airways) pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow, said there was a "very bright light" and the object had come up along the left side of the aircraft before it "rapidly veered to the north..."

(Another Virgin pilot said) there were "multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory" and that they were very bright.

The pilot said he saw "two bright lights" over to the right which climbed away at speed.

One pilot said the speed was "astronomical, it was like Mach 2" - which is twice the speed of sound.

According to the IAA, the matter will be "investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process." Meanwhile, the BBC quotes an astronomer who suggests what the pilots saw could have been a meteoroid aka "shooting star."

image: not the actual UFO over Ireland Read the rest

Nazi UFO toy model pulled from shelves

Toy model manufacturer Revell agreed to discontinue its model of the Haunebu II Flying Saucer, described as "the first object in the world capable of flying in space." According to the product description, the Nazi aircraft never made it past its 1943 test stage due to World War II. Thing is, none of that is true. From The Local:

The fact that Revell's product’s description fails to mention the aircraft never existed is risky in that people who buy it might actually believe the Nazis possessed superior technologies, (said historian Jens Whener of the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany).

"Enthusiasts can use this as a strategy to cast doubt on what we know today about National Socialism," the historian said.

The company said it agrees with the MHM, adding that “it is in fact a legendary, extraordinary aircraft which cannot be proven in terms of its existence.”

"Unfortunately, our product description does not adequately express this and we apologize for it," Revell said in a statement.

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Google Earth image of crashed UFO may not be that

This Google Earth image of Antarctica's South Georgia Island depicts either a UFO that crashed and skidded across the snow or a hunk of ice that rolled along after an avalanche. According to this YouTube video from Secureteam, with 2.5 million views, it's definitely the former. Keele University physical geographer lecturer Richard Waller suggests it's the latter. Below, a zoomed-out view of the area. (Space.com)

Previously: Another UFO found in Google Earth image of Antarctica

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"It’s Never Aliens—until It Is"

In 2017, the big mainstream stories of "near-hits" (aka "near-misses") in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence included episodic dimming of a star caused by possible "alien megastructures," a large object tearing through our solar system, and video captured by a fighter jet of a weird object capable of incredible maneuvers in the sky (video below).

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TV commercial depicts giant nipple UFO squirting milk into children's mouths

This is a TV commercial from Japanese milk company Rakunoh Mother’s. What's the deal with this Uddered Flying Object (UFO)? For the cattle mutilation-inspired backstory, see the equally unusual TV spot below.

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