Mysterious Black Object Recorded over Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, 'Can't be a Bug,' Says Newscaster

The mysterious object seemingly moving behind the clouds.  (Todd Mitchell / WDAY)

The mysterious object seemingly moving behind the clouds. (Todd Mitchell / WDAY)

Updated 9/27/19

A mysterious black object captured on camera by a Detroit Lakes man in Minnesota “can’t be a bug,” according to WDAY newscaster Tyler Ziegler.

“Now, originally I thought this was just a bug, but the figure comes back, and this time it flies through a cloud, guys,” Ziegler said. “It’s flying through the clouds, it can’t be a bug.”

The video was sent to WDAY News by Todd Mitchell, who, along with his wife, owns and operates the Country Campground just south of Detroit Lakes.

Mitchell said that he was trying to record the lightning from thunderstorms moving through the area on September 20th.

But, when he later watched the video, he had captured a mysterious black object flying around in-frame.

The object seems to appear from behind the treeline before zipping around in the sky, even appearing to move behind some clouds before disappearing.

The Singular Fortean Society’s photograph and video analyst Emily Wayland said she is unable to satisfactorily explain the phenomenon.

“What gets me is that it appears to come from behind the treeline,” she said. “If it was an insect close to the screen, you’d expect to see it flying in front of the landscape in the foreground, but you don’t. I’m not certain it’s really disappearing behind the clouds, though; it looks like that could actually be a trick of the eye caused by the object and the cloud’s similarity in transparency and blur. A trail behind an object is often seen in videos with a slow frame rate, much like a long exposure photograph, but the lightning in the video looks to be at a normal speed—so I don’t know that this could be a large object seen from far away and shot with a slow frame rate.”

“I have to consider that it could be a deliberate hoax, although it would take a certain amount of technical skill to create,” Emily continued. “If it was an overlay of an animation or something else inserted in Photoshop, the creator would have had to line that up pretty carefully to have it appear from behind the trees.”

Adam Benedict of the Pine Barrens Institute told the Singular Fortean Society that it reminded him of the engine to a model rocket.

"Right away to me, it looked like the engine to a model rocket. Without the actual rocket body, they zip all around in the sky with no clear path until running out of powder. You can get them with different colors of smoke as well," he said. "We used to light the just engines all the time as kids because we thought it was hilarious how they flew around like that."

Anyone in the area experimenting with model rocket engines on September 20th is encouraged to contact the Singular Fortean Society to help solve the mystery.

To report your own encounter with the impossible, reach out to us directly at the Singular Fortean Society through our contact page.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support the Singular Fortean Society, please consider becoming an official member by signing up through our Patreon page—membership includes a ton of extra content and behind-the-scenes access to the Society’s inner workings.

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