Commonly Mistaken UFO Sighting Culprits I

Not every suspicious light in the sky is a UFO (unidentified flying object), and it doesn’t help when there are numerous false positives that can occur.  Not only does Mother Nature play with our eyes when we look up into the darkness, but there are also other everyday objects that can give off the illusion of a UFO. In this article, you will encounter a handful of commonly mistaken UFO sightings.


That flash of light that takes place on a stormy night can give off the impression that something weird is in the sky. A natural weather phenomenon referred to as sprites causes bursts of light high in the atmosphere that are associated with thunderstorms. Sprites take place when lightning linked to thunderstorms makes contact with the electric field above the storm. The result is a performance of bright light flashes that dance in the sky. In some cases, sprites appear as fast-moving balls of electricity that can create streaks or tendrils. During the wintertime, ‘winter sprites’ can also occur in the northern hemisphere.

Missile Tests

With a green-blue beam of light shooting from its center, a giant spiral illuminated the sky in December 2009 , causing people to think they encountered a UFO.  What appeared as an intriguing light show with spirals in the sky above northern Norway, was really a Bulava ballistic test missile that had gotten out of control. Some people described the sight as a portal to another dimension, but the Russian missile was responsible for generating the odd-looking rotating spiral effect.

The Planet Venus

Sometimes, Venus gets in the way and sends people screaming that they’ve seen a UFO. On Earth, the second planet from the sun looks like a bright light that settles in the sky during a sunset. It gives off the illusion that it slowly hovers in the twilight as it shines brighter than every star , with the exception of the sun. Venus orbits the sun inside of our own orbit, so because of this, we have the perception that the planet continuously shifts out on the other side of the sun. This event causes people to think that they have spotted a UFO moving across the sky.

Military Experiments

You can’t mention culprits for mistaken UOs without referencing the military. Not only are they believed to be at the center of plenty of cover-ups, but they are also responsible for causing some of the rumored flying saucers. New Mexico, in particular, became a hot spot for UFO and alien controversy. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Air Force started conducting research that included floating balloons that carried microphones to high altitudes. They wanted to pick up the sound waves that came from Soviet atomic bomb testing. The program was called Project Mogul and it stirred a lot of suspicions.

For those that wish to hold onto the Roswell UFO Incident, the Air Force has confirmed that a crash of one of those balloons in 1947 is responsible for the debris that led some to suspect that an alien craft had crashed to the Earth.

The military was also behind the ‘alien’ bodies that people thought fell from outer space. During the 1950s, Air Force scientists sent a couple dozen anthropomorphic dummies out of planes to run tests on new high-altitude parachutes. They also wanted to see if the bodies would enter a dangerous spin as they fell to the ground. The results that came from the studies helped with the designs for parachutes and pressurized suits made for fighter jet pilots and early astronauts.