On the internet, UFO sightings are a dime a dozen Shaky hand-held videos of "lights in the sky", armchair conspiracy theorists seeing odd shapes in archived Apollo photos, horribly pixelated Youtube videos edited from zoomed in portions of other Youtube videos... all are fair game. But with much sadness, the vast majority can be quickly explained away with an ounce of rational thought. But the news cycle must go on and the tabloid press has a knack for seizing on the occasional blurry and badly edited video with eerie music and reporting it not only as news, but as "proof" that we're not alone in the universe.
Currently making the rounds on the conspiracy-fueled web is yet another Youtube video posted by Streetcap1, a pretty well-known ufologist who studies space videos and photos to find strange artifacts that may not be easily explained. In this recent UFO outing, the posted video depicts edited footage from the live International Space Station HD Earth Viewing Experiment.
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Using high-definition cameras on the space station, we can log into the site whenever we like to get live videos 250 miles above Earth. It's beautiful and I strongly recommend you taking some time to check it out. But, sometimes, eagle-eyed viewers have spotted strange goings on in the footage from low-Earth orbit.
In a recent DNews article, I analyzed another video uploaded by the same user that apparently contained evidence of a UFO that seemed to fall toward the limb of the Earth before pausing its descent when NASA "cut the feed." After analyzing archival footage from the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment, it quickly became clear what the bright object was. Every 90 minutes at dusk, the space station camera would see the same bright dot drop to the horizon. That dot was Venus.
But why did NASA cut the feed? I hear you cry. Well, NASA didn't cut the feed. The International Space Station passed out of range of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) that are used to relay the HD video to Earth. The live feed drops signal all the time throughout its orbit, but the fact that the feed just happened to drop as the UFO (Venus) made its descent was enough for some to think "conspiracy!"
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In this recent video, posted on Sept. 30, there's yet another bright dot at the limb of the sun, so it appeared Venus was up to its old tricks and pretending to be a UFO. But this time, it wasn't Venus. The explanation was even more mundane.
Once again, after poring over archival footage on the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment website for Sept. 30, there would be regular day-night cycles every 90 minutes (the length of one "day" on the orbiting outpost) and frequent "loss of signal" notifications.
Very quickly it became clear that there was a pretty huge object in the frame. But that object had nothing to do with anything outside the space station. It was inside the space station! (Cue "Alien" soundtrack.)
Introducing the Unidentified Fluffy Object: