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Falcon 9 rocket generates UFO sightings flap

Posted on Tuesday, 1 October, 2013 | Comment icon 17 comments

The Falcon 9 rocket soars in to the heavens. Image Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
Reports have flooded in of strange phenomena in the skies over South Africa and the Indian Ocean.
SpaceX has been going from strength to strength lately as it successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sunday. Carrying the Canadian Cassiope research satellite, the launch is being hailed as another step towards a new generation of rockets for the private sector.

Shortly after the launch however reports started to flood in across Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean of strange objects in the sky. Described in Zimbabwe as a "strange moonlike object", sightings of UFOs increased dramatically with headlines reflecting a spate of reports over a wide area.

It didn't take long however for the connection to the rocket launch to be realised, what people were seeing was in fact the result of fuel being released by the rocket's second stage.

"This release by chance coincided with sunset beneath that part of the orbit, as the booster and its deployed satellites flew from south to north directly over Madagascar, about 850 miles high," said space analyst James Oberg.

Source: NBC News | Comments (17)

Tags: SpaceX, Falcon 9, UFO

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Maars on 1 October, 2013, 7:31
Comment icon #9 Posted by AlienDan on 1 October, 2013, 7:47
Are you serious? Still better than 90% of other nighttime UFO videos, at least it's a real and strange looking object in the sky, and not just "a light". It's weird because the fuel makes it look like some sphere with a glowing center, and it doesnt have a trail like a minotour rocket that we've seen in other videos, I got intrigued until I read the article.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Realm on 1 October, 2013, 8:40
Well the Africans were right. It was an Unidentified flying object to them, we know however, what it was. An identified flying object (IFO)
Comment icon #11 Posted by rajeev shagun on 1 October, 2013, 9:18
l genuine complaints...i meant with real outer earth objects...we saw something on sep10 in india{plz read for detail ,'UFO appeared during discussion on Moon Hoax' in same forum and same page. that day changed our way of thinking,i have stopped laughing at other Ufo complaints.i don't know other cases much because i wasn't interested before sep10, one cop in US shot one video.that as well make sense to me.
Comment icon #12 Posted by rajeev shagun on 1 October, 2013, 9:26
thanks for edit, if i am not on pc ,mobile browser give me freedom to type few words only in reply.
Comment icon #13 Posted by rajeev shagun on 1 October, 2013, 9:48
Why do I believe Africa has less UFO reports? I think it is because I have never heard of one, or seen anything Yah i used to think same about india but on sep10 i was only one among 9, who realized its something wrong with very bright orange object.due to lack of knowledge they don't even pay attention to them{good though} because as soon as i pointed to it,it started to turn left like flash light..reacted. Even taboo in India to not point them{they believe it is voodoo 'Ghaath' will burn us otherwise.
Comment icon #14 Posted by slaughtr on 1 October, 2013, 19:23
Rocket fuel yea right!
Comment icon #15 Posted by Sweetpumper on 1 October, 2013, 19:31
This shouldn't even be in the UFO section.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Blacksabbath on 2 October, 2013, 16:37
I live in Africa, I'll have ya know. And also, it does not absolutely mean that what you saw were aliens.
Comment icon #17 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 2 October, 2013, 20:14
Salient points: 1. It was real 2. It was in focus. 3. It wasn't just a point of light. 4. The image didn't jiggle wildly or zoom in and out. What lesson could we possibly draw from these amazing coincidences?

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