'UFO' Recorded over Jackson Hole in Wyoming
A video taken just before 4 a.m. on August 11th over Jackson Hole in Wyoming appears to show an unidentified flying object emit a flash of light before streaking away. A second, larger flash occurs after it is off-screen.
The object was spotted on the webcam at Spring Creek Ranch by an anonymous witness who was trying to keep an eye out for the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The witness sent the video to Buckrail the same morning it was shot.
Buckrail released two versions of the video.
The original is three minutes and thirty five seconds long and shot frame-by-frame, wherein the camera only records one image every second.
A sped up version shows a much smoother flight.
The object is too bright and moving too slowly to be a meteor, and, according to the flight log database on the US Department of Transportation website, no flights were in that airspace at the time the video was recorded.
“My coworker thought something was broken on the camera,” the witness said. “I checked online, there weren’t any flights that I could find at that time.”
“It would totally be a plane in my mind if there weren’t a weird, bright flash in the end," she added.
Historical weather data does not show any meteorological explanation, such as lightning, for the flash.
A drone or fighter jet have both been lobbied as possible explanations for the object.
Samuel Singer, former Executive Director of Wyoming Stargazing, speculated that the object could be a drone, and local photographer and drone pilot Sam Cook agreed, since FAA guidelines require drone lights to be visible for at least three statute miles.
That's "pretty bright," said Cook.
Michael Brotherton, a professor of Astronomy at the University of Wyoming, also agreed that a drone is a valid hypothesis.
The flash of light could have been a relatively dim flash exaggerated by the webcam's low-light sensitivity, he said.
“There does seem to be a flash of light from the object partway through that is likely artificial,” Brotherton wrote in an email to Buckrail.
A former Air Force turned commercial pilot asked about the video said it could be a fighter jet pilot “showboating over the valley with an afterburner and flares.” While there is a jet route matching the object's path in the video, there is no military training airspace in that area, and most fighter jets fly in pairs unless they're moving from base to base. The early morning hour, too, would have been an unusual time for a fighter jet to be flying solo.
So far, the object remains unexplained.
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