Friday, November 16, 2018

Two Easily-Identified UFOs Grab Media Attention

What with all of the publicity concerning To The Stars and government UFO programs, UFOs have once again become a hot topic to the public, and to the major media. So sometimes UFO reports grab major publicity, even cases in which just a little investigation leads to a clear solution.

On November 12, the major Italian newspaper Il Messagiero ran a story about "mysterious lights in the California sky" on October 27, and linked to the above video. They said that it shows
a particularly bright plane that falls into a dive. Then that same light suddenly stopped. And a few seconds later, a short distance later, another one came up. From that moment on, the two lights moved much more slowly. A movement that led conspiracy experts to think of two unidentified flying objects. 
Our friend Scott Brando of "UFO of Interest" was quick to point out the similarity to other videos of parachutists carrying smoke or lights. Scott has been doing an excellent job exposing hoaxes and misidentifications posted on social media. There are a lot of them, so it's been keeping him pretty busy.

I first saw the video (taken just a few miles from where I live) when a local UFOlogist sent the link to his email list.  A simple search for parachutists in San Diego on October 27 led to the following:

Before every demonstration we first do a "streamer pass" to help us gauge wind speed and direction. Sometimes we'll activate a smoke canister attached to one of our foot brackets and perform what's known as an "early burn." When you see the “early burn” smoke it means we're ready to go. The smoke canisters attached to our feet make it easier for you to see us. Sometimes we're more than two miles up!

The United States Navy Parachute Team “The Leap Frogs” is the official parachute demonstration team of the United States Navy. Part of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command. The Leap Frogs Navy Parachute Team is made up of active-duty Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. The team is sanctioned by the Department of Defense and recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration.
So that one is nailed down pretty tightly: the "UFOs" were Navy parachutists.

Pilots see a UFO over Ireland (
The second case garnered considerably more publicity, and was covered as a major news story by media throughout the world. The Irish Examiner reported on November 12 , "Close encounter with UFO off Irish coast leaves pilots ‘wondering’ ":
The Irish Aviation Authority has begun an investigation into the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) by a number of aircraft off the south-west coast of Ireland last Friday. At approximately 6.47am on November 9, the pilot of a British Airways flight, call sign Speedbird94, contacted Shannon Air Traffic Control (ATC) to ask if there were military exercises taking place in the airspace through which her Boeing 787 was passing. There were no military exercises underway.

Shannon ATC replied: “There is nothing showing on either primary or secondary [radar].” The pilot responded: “OK. It was moving so fast.” The controller then asked: “Alongside you?”

The BA pilot, flying from Montreal to Heathrow, describes how the UFO came up along the left-hand side of the aircraft, “then rapidly veered to the north”. She said it was “a very bright light” that “disappeared at very high speed”.

She said they were “wondering” what it could be, that it did not seem to be on a collision course. ... The Irish Examiner contacted the Irish Aviation Authority to ask if it was investigating the UFO.

In a statement, the authority said: “Following reports from a small number of aircraft on Friday, November 9, of unusual air activity, the IAA has filed a report. “This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process.”

The incident was reported in many different media. "ALERT Irish Aviation Authority is investigating after #BA94 and #VS76 pilots reported UFO off Irish coast." The reports were widely shared on social media. 

A video from a dashboard camera was published, revealing a very brief, very bright object. The International Meteor Organization received five reports of  "a fireball seen over Northern Ireland and Scotland on Friday, November 9th 2018 around 06:44 UT." Observers reported that it was extremely bright - brighter than the full moon, although not as bright as the sun. The local time here is the same as UT, so this occurred about 6:45 AM - otherwise it probably would have been even more widely reported.

Graphic showing the location of the bolide, and of the observers.

Incidents such as these, widely reported, serve to keep UFOs in the public eye. And as always, more people see the article proclaiming the incident to be "unexplained" than see the eventual solution.


  1. I think the AMS plot is off. All but one of the observers was listed as a level 1 (the lowest). One of the observers have their site lines (which can be enabled) 180 degrees out. Based on the car video (which gave a direction of driving towards the SW), the most likely path was to the SW of all the land observers and to the NE of the aircraft. It is too bad there aren't any reports from in between. Maybe they will surface on the AMS web site in the future.

  2. Of course the media leans toward belief. The pulp-love is a little better disguised than far earlier times when air-ship crashes and Conan stories were all the rage.

  3. The shouts of "Geronimo!" should've been a give-away.

    But srsly, happy new year to you and your devoted readers.


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