Black, Shimmering UFO Seen over Cornwall, England, Could Be Swarm, Say Ornithologists

An undulating black object has been seen over Cornwall, England, over the last few days, leaving witnesses puzzled.  According to Cornwall Live, the object "has been spotted over Truro city centre, Carluddon clay tip, Fistral beach in Newquay, over the A30, above Roche Rock and by a surfer above the sea off the Cornish coast."

The object has been seen by many local residents, who have taken to social media to post their videos of it.

Surfer Kiefer Krishnan captured this footage on his Go-Pro camera and posted it to Instagram on Monday.

Also on Monday, photographer Shayne House took this video while driving along the A30.

A third sighting on Monday came from Harry Wild, who witnessed the object over Fistral beach.

The sightings continued into Tuesday with Trudi posting footage over Roche Rock, near St. Austell.

Dan Goodwin also captured his video near St. Austell.

And the final sighting came from Steph, who caught the strange object over Truro prior to a hair appointment.

Ornithologists are saying that it could be a swarm--or murmur--of starlings, although one expert asked by Buzzfeed reportedly disagreed with that assessment.

"Wrong time of year for starlings, too small a group and too high in the sky (I reckon)," said the anonymous expert.

It's unusual for starlings to flock in this manner outside of winter, but Richard Smyth, author of bird watching book A Sweet Wild Note, speculated that perhaps it could be a small flock forming earlier in the year, given the similarity between sightings. 

But bird watcher and author Lev Parikian cast further doubt on an ornithological explanation for the UFO.

"Even in a small murmuration the movement of the crowd doesn't usually hold its shape in the same way as that seems to be doing," said Parikian. "They tend to move in waves and not just vertically – more undulating with some horizontal movement. And it's really the wrong time of year for it." 

Smyth, however, has suggested that a swarming hive of bees could behave this way, if they were keeping shape to protect their queen.

This wouldn't be the first time that a murmur of starlings was mistaken for a UFO.  A similar sighting was reported and identified as such in Scotland in 2013.

Included below is a video shot in Sacramento, California, of starlings murmuring together.  The video is startlingly similar to those captured above, and could point to starlings as the culprits, after all.

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Tobias WaylandComment