Tag Archives: ufo

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites are triggering a “UFO” craze

Around the world, social media users are reporting seeing a mysterious row of bright lights gliding across the sky — which many claim to be UFOs. Exciting as it may sound, it’s likely something far less exciting: a chain of Starlink satellites developed by Elon Musk’ SpaceX. 

Image credit: Richard Houle

Last week, Starlink launched its latest wave of 52 satellites from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It has already launched more than 600 of its 12,000 planned satellites, usually set off in batches of 60. They are usually described as “megaconstellations” because they are a group of satellites moving together.

Paul Lynam, a resident astronomer at Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, told The San Francisco Chronicle said the satellites were “catching and reflecting sunlight either in the couple hours after sunset or before sunrise” — which is what a growing number of people are reporting seeing. The sightings are becoming more common as SpaceX continues to populate its constellation space,” he added.

Over the last few years, more people seem to have been seeing these strange lights. In Canada, for example, there has been a notable surge in the number of calls to 911 dispatchers, with people calling to report UFO sightings near their homes. 

“We were getting a lot of calls with the SpaceX satellite launches. They’re a very specific pattern in the sky, they’re not hitting the ground, and we can just explain very quickly to people that there are actual satellites,” Tracy Duval, a dispatcher, told CityNews. We have situations where people are saying that the aliens are coming.”

While seeing these satellites in the sky can be an exciting experience and fuel the imagination (sparking images of aliens and UFOs), astronomers around the world are very concerned about the megaconstellations of SpaceX satellites. They worry that these satellites will be too bright and will interfere with visibility for scientific observations. But for people around the world, the satellites can be a godsend.

Under Starlink, SpaceX is developing a satellite network to provide global broadband coverage for high-speed internet access, particularly for people across the world in rural and remote areas. The service is now being beta tested by a limited number of users. It’s reportedly 47% faster than fiber-optic cable internet, the company has said.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX permission to fly 12,000 satellites, and perhaps as many as 30,000 eventually. This is massive. There are now only 2,000 active satellites orbiting the Earth that are key to modern life, from mobile phones to internet. Less than 9,000 have ever been launched in all of history.

The Starlink satellites orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers, which is low enough to get pulled down to Earth by atmospheric drag and burn up in a few years. This means they won’t become space junk once they die, which was an initial concern. Each weighs about 227 kilograms and measures about the size of a typical coffee table. 

Musk and his company have been questioned by the astronomical community due to their brightness and potential to disrupt observations of the night sky. This is because the satellites are brighter than most of the stars visible to the human eye and also move faster through the sky. This leaves a trail that can pollute astronomer’s data.

In response, SpaceX started equipping its satellites with a blackened sunshade called VisorSat. The company says it will lower the satellite’s apparent brightness by reducing the amount of sunlight that’s reflected. Initial efforts included launching a satellite with a black antireflecting coating, which was half as bright as a standard satellite. 

If noticing a UFO was difficult, the satellites are making it more difficult. Still, don’t lose hope. There might still be a green guy out there waiting for us yet. 

ufo-2-580x317

So called Baltic Sea “UFO” mystery solved, other questions arise

UFO

In the summer of 2011, Swedish marine explorers looking for various goods from shipwrecks, which sank in the Baltic Sea a long time ago, came across a peculiar discovery. The Swedish treasure hunters’ sonar revealed an extraordinary image: a formation of objects at the bottom of the sea that bears an uncanny resemblance to Star Wars’ fabled Millennium Falcon.

One year later, Swedish divers set on an expedition and took a closer look at the vestige site. In the depths, the explorers found that the site shaped like an almost perfect 60 meters in diameter circle, which mainstream press outlets were quick to stamp it as a UFO landing site, is actually a circular rock formation.

It was “like small fireplaces” with stones covered in “something resembling soot”, according to the team of underwater researchers who dubbed themselves Ocean X Team.

Scientists are still examining the footage from the expedition, but the whole site appears to be a giant stone, “the kind divers see in keys and harbors” — a peculiar formation, granted, but… just a stone. Well, I guess Han Solo didn’t park his ship there after all.

“It’s not obviously an alien spacecraft. It’s not made of metal,” said  Peter Lindberg, the leader of the Ocean Explorer team. The scientist didn’t miss the opportunity to make a little fun of the situation, though . “Who says they had to use metal?” he joked. “This trip has raised a lot of questions.”

ufo-2-580x317

While the whole deal, which was deviously portrayed from the get go by the media, has been freed of its extraterrestrial aura, this expedition raises some intruiguing questions.

For one, the rock isn’t covered at all in silt, which should have typically occurred on the bottom of the sea, Lindberg said. Even more odd for a seemingly natural formation, the main object is disc-shaped and “appears to have construction lines and boxes drawn on it,” Lindberg said. “There are also straight edges.”

Also, “the surface has cracks on it,” said Lindberg. “There is some black material in the cracks, but we don’t know what it is.”

Many samples have been passed on to scientists, and more detailed footage of the site has been promised by the diving expedition. If anything, though, this discovery perfectly illustrates man’s power of fitting patterns together, something that has allowed for one of the world’s greatest scientific discoveries to be made, but which also plunged man in making demented claims.

There’s a thin line between reason and imagination.

via RT.com

The mysterious USO (unidentified sunken object) sonar scan. If you look closer, you'll see some trails leading to it. (c) Ocean Explorer/Peter Lindberg

Swedish explorers stumble across the Millennium Falcon beneath the sea?

The mysterious USO (unidentified sunken object) sonar scan. If you look closer, you'll see some trails leading to it. (c) Ocean Explorer/Peter Lindberg

The mysterious USO (unidentified sunken object) sonar scan. If you look closer, you'll see some trails leading to it. (c) Ocean Explorer/Peter Lindberg

Well, I guess Han Solo should be more careful where he parks his spaceship from now, since Swedish treasure hunters just recently found an unidentified object beneath the Baltic seas which portrays an uncanny resemblance to Star Wars’ most iconic of spaceships.

The whole find occured while the Ocean Explorer team, led by researcher Peter Lindberg, were looking for cases of rare champagne through ship wrecks with their sonar. They eventually found something more that they could bargain for – 60-foot disc sunk in the bottom of the ocean, with what appears to be 985-foot-long impact tracks leading to it.

“You see a lot of weird stuff in this job but during my 18 years as a professional I have never seen anything like this. The shape is completely round… a circle”, Peter Lindberg said.

Of course, the whole discovery left a lot of room for speculation, and before you know it there’s been a myriad of blogs and newspapers hailing the USO (unidentified sunken object) as an alien craft. Other, more reasonable, explanations have it that the sonar scan actually depicts a natural formation,  such as the rim of a small underground volcano. The shape is too perfectly round to be anything but man-made, some believe, however – their explination: a sunken WWII battleship turret.

Lindberg has refrained from hypothesizing on what the object could be, perhaps allowing the tale to grow.

“It’s up to the rest of the world to decide what it is,” he said of the item he theorizes “might be a new Stonehenge.”

A tight budget has been keeping the team of explorers from taking a closer look, but undoubtedly considering the hype that’s been built around it, another better equipped team will be sent to further investigate.

I guess people are still waiting for George Lucas’ take on this. James Cameron could do just fine too.

The science behind crop circles

Crop circles have always been an important weapon in any conspiracy theorist’s arsenal, certain to be mentioned alongside UFOs, green aliens or reptilians. Since 1970, tens of thousands of crop circles have been reported around the world, most amateur hoaxes, while some are so intricately built that they even baffle scientists.

In this month’s edition of Physics World, Richard Taylor, director of the Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, takes a new look at the mysterious crop circle phenomenon, detailing a bit in his piece how science applies to them. He notes how physics and the arts are coming together to produce more impressive and spectacular crop-circle patterns that still manage to maintain their mystery.

“Crop-circle artists are not going to give up their secrets easily,” Taylor wrote.

“This summer, unknown artists will venture into the countryside close to your homes and carry out their craft, safe in the knowledge that they are continuing the legacy of the most science-oriented art movement in history.”

While it’s unanimously recognized that crop circles are man-made objects, and not UFO formations, some are so incredibly complex and precise, all cut out in an extremely short time, that they still baffle scientists as to how the artists actually managed them. Some of today’s designs are so complex, with some featuring up to 2000 different shapes, that there has to be more going into their production than just boards.

In the past, crop circle enthusiasts would use ropes, boards and even bar stools to form the deceiving patterns, however with the advancement in technology along the year the tools of trade have greatly diversified. Modern crop circle are now precisely drawn to the most complex shape using GPS plotting, lasers and microwaves.

Taylor suggests that microwaves could be used to make crop stalks fall over and cool in a horizontal position – a technique that could explain the speed and efficiency of the artists and the incredible detail in the patterns. In previous experiments, researchers were able to exactly replicate some of the complex crop-circles from around the world using a simple handheld magnetron, readily available from microwave ovens, and using a 12-volt battery.

Matin Durrani, Editor of Physics World, says, “It may seem odd for a physicist such as Taylor to be studying crop circles, but then he is merely trying to act like any good scientist – examining the evidence for the design and construction of crop circles without getting carried away by the side-show of UFOs, hoaxes and aliens

FBI releases memo about Roswell aliens

In a surprising move that didn’t get quite a lot of attention, the FBI released an online document archive they’re calling the Vault, in which they openly address, among other things, the alleged aliens and flying saucers found at Roswell. Yes, it’s about little green men, like the ones who are usually portrayed in movies. The memo at the core of this documents, named ‘Flying saucers’, was written by an FBI agent named Guy Hottel, and if the actions and pictures depicted within are for real, then I have no idea why this isn’t all over the news. If they’re not for real, I have no idea why the FBI would release them; either way, there’s something strange about this.

The decades old memo states that “three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico’, citing an Air Force investigator. There is also a short description of the flying saucers: “They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter.” “Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall.”. What’s weird is that after the alleged UFO crash, the newspapers from all over America, and the world, were screaming about the incident/accident. The army issued that press release, but less than a day after that, changed its mind, claiming that in fact they were dealing with nothing more than a few weather balloons that crashed. Of course, nobody was satisfied with this explanation.

The memo not only states that they were in fact flying saucers, but goes even further, and states that there were three bodies only three feet tall inside them. He also describes their clothing ! An FBI memo explains that they thought they were dealing with flying saucers, and there were humanoid bodies inside them ! Something everybody has been trying to be silent about suddently just got very loud with this memo, and it’s absolutely strange, to say the least. Even though this memo doesn’t represent FBI’s opinion, it does represent that of an agent who was at the spot, and in the center of events, so this is absolutely huge; and I’m not talking about comics, sci fi movies and all that, I’m talking about figuring out the truth.

Another thing that’s extremely interesting is that there are some differences between the 1947 Roswell document and the 1950 FBI memo. While Hottel describes the three alleged spaceships as ‘circular in shape with raised centers’, the 1947 document speaks about one flying disk, hexagonal in shape. So what does this mean ? It seems extremely unlikely that two different official documents of the same incident would differ this much, so does this mean that we’re talking about two different incidents in 1947 and 1950 ? I have no idea. Hopefully, now that the eye of the public opinion has been turned towards this event again, we will get some more details.

Strange sky spiral freaks out Norway

500x__gs4aevysbsnm18hqgzl-azf6tifeycrc0f-jzs90zpa

It was Thursday night when locals from Norway started to notice a strange, rotating light that just baffled them. It was visible long enough to be seen, photographed and recorded by half of country. The blue light seemed to appear from behind the top of a mountain; it rose, began to spin, then began to circulate.

500x__j_yjqpd4fnzd0dw6dz96aco1xqab95x0xaexjmidr5a

Naturally, as it became more and more visible, the questions became more and more pressing. Witnesses recorded it seemed to be computer generated, and nothing like auroras or some other natural phenomenon.

500x_kqptbrckp7wdakjqucw80arm_g_tjlcean1cuzgdgbtg

500x_sofalv6pjvs5mtuzhhm85w9-40xvu4luidl54xx_iewg

“We are used to seeing lots of auroras here in Arctic Norway, but on my way to work this morning I saw something completely unexpected. Between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m. local time, there was a strange light in the sky. It consisted initially of a green beam of light similar in color to the aurora with a mysterious rotating spiral at one end. This spiral then got bigger and bigger until it turned into a huge halo in the sky with the green beam extending down to the earth.”, said a witness.

500x_w4jhvxzjplefcintnq1_swm7qfshmrg2totmndm7jkmg

Because it was visible to so many, it’s obvious that it took place at a really high altitude, which was confirmed by astronauts from all over the world. However… they weren’t able to explain what it is.

article-1234430-0787e503000005dc-600_634x286

“My first thought was that it was a fireball meteor, but it has lasted far too long. It may have been a missile in Russia, but I can not guarantee that it is the answer.”, astronomer Knut Jorgen Roed Odegaard

article-1234430-07887b10000005dc-48_634x4211

However, the Russian government strongly denied this possibility (big surprise, huh?), and no firm evidence was found to support this theory. Of course there were claims that it was an UFO (I can only imagine what people would have said if this happened in the US). So, until this is sorted out, I hope they come in peace (whether it’s the aliens or the Russians).