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NASA Spokesperson Explains Why UFO Video Coverup Speculation Is Nonsense

I want to believe ... that people will let this go.

Last week, some corners of the Internet were all wound up about NASA’s public, live video feed from the International Space Station and whether or not it cut out just as a UFO was seen entering Earth’s atmosphere. Now, a NASA spokesperson has dignified that question with an answer that probably won’t change anyone’s mind anyway.

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The video feed in question comes from the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment on the ISS, which points a number of video cameras at the Earth. In the above recording of the incident, you can see what appears to be an object descending towards Earth’s atmosphere and coming in contact with it right before the feed cuts out.

The video’s YouTube description points out that a UFO isn’t necessarily an alien craft and could be something else like a meteor, but it concludes, “What made it interesting was the camera cut off when the ufo seemed to stop.” Before we get into NASA’s explanation, it’s worth pointing out that, in the video, it doesn’t appear the the UFO stops, as the description suggests. It’s clearly visible that the entire stream—not just the UFO—has frozen before cutting out, as it does frequently when communications are interrupted.

What of the insinuation that NASA intentionally cut the video off due to the unidentified object? Cnet reached out to NASA to clear things up, and Daniel Hout responded in an email, “This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth, which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature-controlled housing. The experiment is on automatic controls to cycle through the various cameras. The station regularly passes out of range of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) used to send and receive video, voice and telemetry from the station.”

With the ISS making a full orbit of the Earth at a blistering pace—17,000 mph, taking only about 90 minutes total—it’s not surprising that the feed goes offline frequently. That takes care of any coverup theories, but what about the object itself? What could that have been? Well, some swamp gas from a weather balloon got trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus … or something. Really, no exact explanation was given, but Hout wrote that many things, including the Moon and yes, even reflections, cause artifacts in ISS video feeds. The truth is that they’re probably not that interested in figuring out the explanation because it’s probably just not that interesting.

As an aside, try to remember that if NASA were really all that concerned with covering up the existence of aliens, they’d have a pretty solid delay on their live stream in order to catch stuff like this before it got anywhere near the public. C’mon, friends. That’s Secret Illuminati Lizard People 101.

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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