Strange Things Caught On NASA Live Stream | Unveiled

Strange Things Caught On NASA Live Stream | Unveiled

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
UFOs are circling the ISS! Join us, and find out more!

In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at the NASA live stream on board the International Space Station! Over the years, this incredible video feed has provided some amazing images... but also some pictures that defy explanation! Unidentified flying objects, in space, just a few miles away from Earth!

5 Strangest Things Caught on NASA Live Streams

NASA is the world’s foremost space agency, with the most funding, the best technology, and some of the greatest minds on Earth behind it. As it operates in the public interest, it shares its discoveries and images with the whole planet, including live streams of astronauts working aboard the ISS. But are there also things in this footage that NASA doesn’t want us to see?

This is Unveiled, and today we’re taking a closer look at the STRANGEST things caught on NASA live stream?

NASA regularly puts out broadcasts of all sorts of things. All of its space launches are beamed live - often by major news outlets for the really important ones - as well as landings on other planets, like the 2021 landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. It’s technically true that any footage from beyond Earth won’t truly be “live” because of the delay it takes for signals to come back to us here. There’s an average communication difference of around 20 minutes between Earth and Mars, for example. But these events are still as live as they can possibly be. The International Space Station is far nearer to us than Mars, however. There’s still a time delay between us and it, but of only a few seconds at most… meaning we can actually have conversations with astronauts on board, and they often do interviews from the station. But NASA also broadcasts more general live streams of the ISS, showing astronauts performing spacewalks, making repairs, and providing a magnificent view of planet Earth from outer space. Again, the feed isn’t ALWAYS actually live, because sometimes the signal isn’t strong enough. But people still watch it and, from time to time, some very bizarre things have been picked up on camera.

In July 2016, eagle-eyed viewers of NASA’s ISS stream spotted a UFO in the footage. The object is visible as a small, bright dot heading down toward Earth’s atmosphere. It looks like a meteorite, but what makes matters strange is that NASA’s feed cut out suddenly, just as the object was about to reach the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere. Had the object been allowed to fall to Earth without anything unusual happening to the footage, it’s likely that this would have been easily written off as just a normal piece of debris. Onlookers immediately began to speculate, however, that NASA had cut the feed on purpose to stop people witnessing proof of alien life. NASA representatives explained that the real reason the feed cut off is simply that sometimes the ISS gets too far away for the signal to be received properly. But the counter argument was that that’s exactly what they WOULD say if they were hiding evidence of a spacecraft. Then again, if NASA did know aliens were out there around Earth and also wanted to hide it, they probably wouldn’t broadcast genuine livestreams from the ISS in the first place.

One of the biggest conspiracy theories around NASA images and streams centers on the enigmatic “Black Knight satellite”. This image appeared back in 1998, long before everybody had computers and cellphones capable of receiving constant, high-quality live streams from space… but it captured the public imagination nonetheless. The image shows a simple, dark object, the shape of which is hard to make out, and ufologists have said ever since the picture appeared that it’s a satellite of alien origin, spying on us. NASA, of course, denies this, and space experts say that it’s far more likely that the object is simply a normal piece of space debris – a thermal blanket, specifically. Thousands of pieces of debris from past space missions are out there, and this particular thermal blanket is one that’s recorded to have been lost during a spacewalk on the first Space Shuttle mission to the ISS. The Black Knight satellite theory doesn’t originate from this image, however; it’s something people have been trying to prove the existence of for decades, and this convenient image has been caught up in the theory. But it’s still odd, and the object has never been retrieved to prove one way or another what it actually is.

We’ve had more tangible UFO sightings since. Similar to the 2016 sighting, February 2020 saw another UFO on ISS cameras. This time, the feed didn’t ominously cut out, and viewers saw an unidentified object seemingly following the space station for a full twenty minutes. People focusing on this footage were slower to jump to the conclusion that the object must be alien in nature, with theories instead centering on the United States’ top secret “Orbital Test Vehicle”, or X-37B, a reusable space plane made for DARPA and the Air Force originally, and now operated by the Space Force. We know the X-37 exists and we have plenty of pictures of it, but when it’s up in space running missions, nobody knows what it’s doing. It’s completely automated with no crew on board. From time to time, it does conduct experiments that are reported publicly. But it’s also often used for classified spy missions. Some think that the UFO seen in this 2020 footage is, in fact, the X-37 on a mission. Though the sighting confused NASA as well, this wouldn’t be the only time NASA has been at odds with the US military. In 1974, NASA got in a heap of trouble with the CIA when astronauts on Skylab took images of Area 51, decades before the existence of Area 51 was formally confirmed by the government. It’s then very plausible that the ISS’s working astronauts wouldn’t know where the X-37 is or what it’s doing at a given moment… and if it came into their field of view, it WOULD take them by surprise. But we still don’t know for sure if the UFO in the 2020 footage even WAS the space plane, or something else entirely.

Even more recently, in 2021 an entire “fleet” of UFOs was spotted on a live stream from the ISS. And while one UFO might be debunked easily enough, what happens when there are lots of them? Well, since NASA isn’t raising the alarm about aliens circling Earth, it’s safe to say that they’re probably nothing to worry about. The fact is, it’s very difficult to tell what’s actually being shown in any of the images taken from high enough in the atmosphere or even in Earth orbit. There’s an entire field of image interpretation that exists solely to analyze cases like this, and it’s very different to just looking at landmarks on Google Maps.

In footage of UFOs taken in outer space, you don’t really have any reference points or easy way to tell how near or far the objects are, and thus, how big they might be. They might look like they’re large and far away, but your eye – and the camera lens – can play tricks on you. These particular UFOs, then, could just as well be pieces of normal debris - perhaps debris from the same object - hence why they’re so close together. Due to the problems with perspective, they could also be floating much nearer to the ISS than they at first appear to be. Remember, too, that objects orbiting Earth move extremely quickly through space. So, here, that may account for particularly fast-moving UFOs… because actually they’re no different to anything else. The ISS itself flies around up there at over 17,000 miles per hour. It’s a realm of extremes all around it, and that can be tricky to make sense of. Amateur astronomers watching NASA live streams, then, perhaps aren’t always equipped to analyze such extremely complex images… and there’s ample room for wires to be crossed, or mistaken conclusions to be reached.

But on the other hand, NASA rarely comments on these UFO sightings to truly explain what they might be. It’s not like they can send astronauts out to investigate the sightings, either, when the objects could be hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. Still, with over 27,000 pieces of space debris 4 inches or larger tracked by NASA, unexpected objects are regularly going to show up on the ISS cameras… not to mention all of the classified spy satellites that are zooming around overhead, too.

Maybe the strangest thing filmed in space, however, was an invasion of the ISS by a gorilla. This happened in 2016, and the world was shocked to see British astronaut Tim Peake chased the length and breadth of the station by the angry primate. But this was, of course, nothing more than a prank; fellow astronaut Scott Kelly was in the costume, after it was smuggled aboard the station as part of an elaborate ruse. Peake was even in on it, despite his fear looking very convincing in the clip.

A gorilla prank in outer space is certainly unusual no matter which way you spin it… but, even without that, those are some of the strangest things caught on NASA live stream.