Commonly Mistaken UFO Sighting Culprits II

Sometimes, the most ordinary objects in the sky can cause panic amongst the population. Flashing lights, odd shapes traveling at night, and speedy objects that dart by are just some of the characteristics of normal happenings that can be perceived as an unidentified flying object (or UFO). In this article, you will learn how some of the most harmless of things have caused such a large stir when it comes to mistaken alien spacecraft.


With flashing lights and nighttime flying patterns, airplanes are a common culprit behind many mistaken UFO sightings. Airplanes also leave behind a condensation trail (also known as a contrail), which causes streaks to appear throughout the clouds. They become illuminated when the sun starts to rise. Strange formations in the sky are sometimes the handiwork of jet aircraft contrails that linger longer in the air than usual. When one emerges in an unexpected location, expect an uproar to follow.


Whether it’s a hot air balloon floating in the distance or the release of many helium balloons, these colorful objects have been mistaken for UFOs before. Not too long ago, the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan was abuzz with the chatter of unexplainable objects in the sky. Many people saw what was described as a “cluster of silvery, shiny lights glittering from above.” Reports of the sightings ranged from viewing one large, slow-moving object full of lights to seeing nearly a half-dozen entities.  The balloons were accidentally released at 1 p.m.  The first report of a UFO sighting came in around 1:30 p.m.

Weird Clouds in the Sky

We all know that clouds can take odd shapes in the sky, but in some cases, these formations are mistaken for UFOs. It wasn’t too long ago that footage of a giant halo situated in the sky over Moscow had appeared on YouTube. Although the sky was overcast and the image was grainy, the video had piqued the interest of many UFO believers. Why? Because the video shows a dark pointy object that emerges out of the ring. In the background, a suspiciously panicked Russian radio broadcast is heard.

To the dismay of others, meteorologists quickly investigated the video and concluded that it was simply an optical illusion. Such a sight usually takes place when sunlight hits a cloud disrupted by wind or plane traffic under the proper circumstances. The event is called a ‘hole-punch cloud’ and typically happens in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. These clouds are made out of ice crystals and water droplets below freezing temperature that is still in a liquid state.

However, the physical properties responsible for keeping these types of clouds together are delicate and when they are disturbed (like when a jet plane passes by or the wind picks up), the droplets can instantly freeze or evaporate. The result is a hole that forms in the cloud.