Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A UFO case study.

Last Thursday night we saw a UFO fly by at Poker Flat. Here's a clip of the all-sky video, you'll see it as a white cloud coming up from the west (left) horizon then disappearing.

Here's a 100% crop on the relevant part of the image:

It's definitely a cloud of some sort, you can watch it spread out and disperse. And if there was any doubt in your mind about that, here's a shot from a photographer on Pedro Dome (~10 miles south of Poker Flat) through a telephoto lens:

A wide angle shot from the same photographer, showing it's position in the sky:

And here's another shot from all the way over in Unalakleet, AK on the edge of the Bering Sea, ~650km west of here:

The one thing that jumps out to me instantly is they all have the object near the Andromeda Galaxy. Here's an annotated version of my cropped AASAP shot:

Okay, the Andromeda Galaxy in these photos is, um, maybe not all that obvious to most people even after it's been pointed out, but it's noticeable if you spend enough time looking at the sky and know the patterns. It's in all the photos except the telephoto shot.

Why is this relevant? Well, if even the camera 650km away is seeing it in roughly the same part of the sky, the object must be very far away. In orbit.

So I discussed this with a few rocket scientist colleagues and we decided the most likely answer is it's a fuel dump from a satellite or rocket. it's so high up that the dumped fuel is still in sunlight, that's why we can see it so well. And that's why it seems to follow such a constant path - no winds up there. We're just watching the cloud of fuel spread out and disperse.

Two days later, after the image was posted on, a satellite tracker wrote in about a Delta 4 rocket carrying a new GPS satellite which was in that exact location in the sky at that time. And, further, the rocket had just 12 minutes earlier separated a stage, which entails dumping excess fuel.

Consider that a UFO turned into an IFO.

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