A short excerpt of a live video stream from the International Space Station suddenly became the subject of intense media attention among UFO enthusiasts: the footage in question, which was captured earlier this year, apparently reveals an odd, angular object casting an eerie glow near one of the station’s external payload structures.
But that’s not what caused the uproar and subsequent viral madness.
For reasons unexplained at the time, after the object seems to draw nearer and nearer to the station, the live feed suddenly dropped, replaced by a blue screen.
The web promptly went full nutzoid, as theories began to circulate about a possible NASA cover-up of a documented UFO encounter.
Among those who smelled something fishy was Scott C. Waring of UFO Sightings Daily, who claimed “NASA always turns the screen blue if they see a UFO in an attempt — a failed attempt, mind you — to hide it from the public.”
Waring posted the video below, which shows an enhanced view of the eerie object, which seems to be nearing the ISS before we see the video cut out and the screen go blue.
Finally, a representative of NASA has come forward to address the mystery — and the answer is quite sensible, as is usually the case when these sightings occur.
“This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth,” Huot said, noting that the conditions of the experiment required the controls to automatically cycle between multiple cameras.
“[W]henever we lose signal (video comes down on our higher bandwidth, called KU), the cameras will show a blue screen (indicating no signal) or a preset video slate,” he explained. This actually happens quite a lot, so it makes sense.
So what exactly was the object floating near the station? Well, NASA has an explanation for that too.
“[I]t’s very common for things like the moon, space debris, reflections from station windows, the spacecraft structure itself, or lights from Earth to appear as artifacts in photos and videos from the orbiting laboratory,” Huot said.
It’s unlikely this new information will change the minds of UFO conspiracy theorists, but let’s just say we’ll keep our eyes and our minds open…