Top 10 UFOs Caught On Camera

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Top 10 UFOs Caught On Camera

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Are we alone in the universe? This evidence suggests we aren't! For this list, we'll be looking at the most famous, argued about, and unusual videos of unidentified flying objects. Our countdown includes STS-48 Incident, Phoenix Lights, Aguadilla Airport Incident, and more!
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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 UFOs Caught on Camera


Are we alone in the universe? This evidence suggests we aren’t! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 UFOs Caught on Camera.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most famous, argued about, and unusual videos of unidentified flying objects.

#10: ISS Light Beam

In 2016, a video surfaced on YouTube from NASA’s live feed of the International Space Station, seemingly showing an object making atmospheric entry. The feed was then suspiciously cut off, although NASA claims that this was due to technical difficulties and the object was likely debris or lights from Earth. However, a subsequent video from the same feed showed what appeared to be a similar object departing Earth, followed by a bright, golden beam of light. This wouldn’t be the last time that conspiracy theorists gravitated towards the ISS. In 2020, the feed captured another object moving over Earth. It was later reported that this was a retired communications component being jettisoned, although we’re definitely keeping a close watch on the ISS.

#9: STS-48 Incident

Launched on September 12, 1991, the STS-48 mission’s goal was to deploy satellites from the Space Shuttle Discovery. In UFO circles, though, the mission is best-remembered for footage captured on September 15. While not easy to make out, the video shows objects zooming by and bright lights flashing in Earth’s orbit. According to NASA, these were ice particles responding to the engine jets. Astronomer Phil Plait has backed up these claims, but we gotta admit, the believer in us likes to wonder. It’s not the only Space Shuttle mission to have caught UFOlogists' eyes. In 1996, footage from STS-75 seemed to show objects buzzing around the broken tether of a drifting satellite. Debris . . . or curious visitors?

#8: Kaikoura Lights

It’s only fitting that the Kaikoura lights surfaced the year after “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” hit theaters. New Zealand’s Kaikoura mountain ranges caught the media’s attention on December 21, 1978, when a cargo plane crew observed house-sized lights flashing around the aircraft for several minutes. Air traffic control specialists from Wellington tracked the lights, which an Australian television crew then recorded in color. The TV crew came along for the cargo plane’s next flight from Wellington back to Christchurch. Shortly after takeoff, the crew captured footage of a giant, illuminated orb. New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence has provided several possible explanations, including lights from boats, cars, or Venus; but alternative explanations abound.

#7: Phoenix Lights

The Phoenix Lights have inspired a documentary and multiple horror movies, but nobody can say for sure what happened on March 13, 1997. This incident can be broken into two phases. First, a v-shape formation was seen flying over Phoenix, although little footage exists of this event and the footage we have is low quality. There’s more documentation of the second event, which saw five circular lights floating in the night sky. Even with numerous photographs, videos, and eyewitness accounts, though, a giant question mark continues to hover over Phoenix. While the U.S. Air Force chalked the lights up to military flares, many have argued against these claims and even Arizona governor Fife Symington described what he saw as “otherworldly.”

#6: Chilean Navy

A little speck can certainly stir up a lot of speculation. In 2017, the Chilean government agency tasked with examining UFO sightings released footage of a flying object that defied explanation. The footage, which had been classified for almost three years, was taken by the Chilean Navy from a helicopter during the day. The pilot failed to make contact with the object, which moved like another helicopter. Even more curious, the object didn’t pop up on air traffic control radar. Most mysterious of all, the UFO released an unknown substance, and vanished into the sky. Experts were stumped, with the agency’s director saying: “We do not know what it was, but we do not know what it was not”. Well, that’s . . . reassuring.

#5: Mexican Air Force Video

On March 5, 2004, the Mexican Air Force recorded footage of eleven UFOs at 11,500 feet above southern Campeche state. Surrounding a military jet, these lights were detected during a routine search for drug-traffickers. Jets pursued the UFOs, but eventually gave up and the objects disappeared. While some believe this was the work of flares, explanations also range from ball lightning to a meteorite deteriorating in Earth’s atmosphere. Whatever these objects were, infrared equipment operator Lt. Mario Adrian Vazquez is convinced that they were “completely real.” Pilot Maj. Magdaleno Castanon went so far as suggesting that the UFOs knew they were being pursued.

#4: Aguadilla Airport Incident

Even by UFO standards, this one is perplexing. It all started in April 2013 at the Rafael Hernández Airport, located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. A video was taken of an unknown object swiftly flying over land and then seeming to submerge underwater. After doing so multiple times, the object appears to split in two. Supposedly, the US Department of Homeland Security tried to keep this under wraps, but the video was eventually leaked by an anonymous whistleblower. A group known as the Scientific Coalition for Ufology was responsible for posting the footage online. According to the SCU website, it “exhibits characteristics that cannot be explained by any known aircraft or natural phenomenon.”

#3: Go Fast

Our top three UFO sightings are actually part of a package, although each has a distinctive signature. Filmed by the US Navy, and published online in the late 2010s, they were declassified and officially released by the Pentagon in 2020. Released under the filename “Go Fast”, this video was taken over the East Coast in January 2015 by an F/A-18F Super Hornet during the USS Theodore Roosevelt UFO incidents. The footage was captured using Raytheon’s Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared pod, or ATFLIR. Just as entertaining as the footage itself is the fighter pilots’ comments. While the audio is somewhat hard to understand, you can certainly grasp the astonishment they experienced while watching the object.

#2: FLIR1

Also released by the Pentagon, “FLIR1” was filmed on November 14, 2004, around the San Diego coastline. Like “Go Fast,” this video was also taken aboard a Super Hornet using ATFLIR. The footage was captured during the USS Nimitz UFO incident, in which the Navy had a radar-visual encounter. The video centers on a dark, round object that suddenly moves slightly to the left. After lingering a little while longer, the object quickly darts even further until it’s completely out of sight. Commander David Fravor can’t tell you exactly what the object was, but he recalls that it “accelerated like nothing [he’d] ever seen.”

#1: Gimbal

Rounding out this trio of UFO videos is “Gimbal,” which the Navy captured the same year as “Go Fast.” Often getting mixed up with the USS Nimitz UFO incident, this sighting actually took place aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt by the coast of Florida. Out of the three videos, the object in “Gimbal” arguably looks the most like a flying saucer. Before you jump to any conclusions, skeptical investigator Mick West has called all three of these sightings into question, believing the “Gimbal” object is just a plane. Honestly, the world may never know. If you think this is all of the UFO information that the government has been sitting on, former U.S. Senator Harry Reid claims that it “only scratches the surface.”
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